In the final days of Lent, Jesus' message is simple but profound
by Sister Rose Jochmann
Can you believe it – it is already the fifth week of Lent. How are you doing on your Lenten resolutions?
In the Gospel this week, we hear the story of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary and a close friend of Jesus. This is one of the stories in the Gospels which gives us a vivid picture. Jesus hears that Lazarus is ill, but he does not hurry to go to him. When Jesus does finally arrive in town, Lazarus has been in the tomb four days. Martha runs to meet him. Weeping, Martha says to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. Jesus asks where they have laid him. When they arrive at the tomb, Jesus is perturbed and weeps. Jesus says, “Take away the stone”. They protest, “By now there will be a stench: he has been dead for four days.” Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” Lazarus came out, tied hand and foot with the burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So, Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” (Paraphrased John 11: 1-45)
In conversation between Jesus and Martha, she states that her brother will rise. She says clearly, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” But Jesus tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live. And everyone who believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” This statement and question are for you and me, too. Do you and I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the one who came into the world?
Jesus the Christ has come into our world and to each of us with his presence and love. We don’t have to request this love and presence; Christ is with us. Let us open ourselves to Christ and Christ’s love which is given to us in abundance.
Thank you, Sister Rose, for posing for our reflection the essential question:Do I/we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who has become one of us and who suffered and died AND ROSE FOR LOVE OF US? What answer will I give each day to this invitation to believe…in prayer, in repentance, in sacrificial charity? And not only during Lent.