by Sister Margaret Mary Halbach
Today we concentrate on the Raising of Lazarus. This is one of the key stories we share and include in our parish process called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, which welcomes new members to the Catholic faith. This story demonstrates the power of God through Jesus.
Jesus was a dear friend of Lazarus, Martha and Mary. He spent time with them every time He went to Bethany which was near Jerusalem. We hear in Sunday’s Gospel of how Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus came to the tomb. Lazarus’ sister, Martha, said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” This expression of her faith in Jesus is touching to read and reflect upon. Jesus ordered the stone to be rolled back from the tomb opening. Then “Jesus wept.” This is a remarkable statement to have in the Scriptures. Jesus grieved the loss of His friend like we do.
Then Jesus shouted: “Lazarus, Come out!” and he did, still bound in burial cloth. Jesus asked those who were near to “Untie him and unwrap him.” Many of them believed in Jesus at that time. What a marvel to have witnessed.
Maybe our lives have been “dead” to some extent at one time or another. We need help to become alive. The whole Community is needed to make a conversion to the Lord in openness.
May God bless each of us to be open during this time of Lent that we may be unbound in whatever way we need.
Openness...the key to living in the now with faith and love and lightheartedness. Thank you for your open and giving heart, dearest aunt!
Never thought of this reading this way! Thank you for being our "Martha" at HF all those years! And now too. Love you SMM. Blessings of this season.
The hurt and disappointment, likely even anger, within Martha to express to JESUS, "If you had been here ......" What a testimony to a living and true relationship! She says what she means; she tells how she feels. And JESUS knows and understands and loves her all the more for it.
In these Times, when we want to cry out, "If you had only been there, LORD!" or "If you would just come and be here right now, LORD JESUS ....!"
Perhaps if we all cry out for JESUS 'To-Come!' it will become so in each and all of us, in ways we did not know or recognize or understand before, and in the life of the world, as well.