Jesus is the resurrection and life here and now for those who truly believe in him.
We now experience in this earthly life anxieties, adversities, miseries and tragedies. These things, however, should not worry us nor make us lose our peace. In this regard, the key is to ground ourselves in the words of Jesus and follow closely his example.
According to St. Vincent de Paul, (CRCM II, 2), those who ground themselves in the teachings of the Gospel cast their cares on God. That is because they are certain of his protection and providence. And that is how they are even if seems that they are about to perish.
They learn to feel that way, of course, from the examples Jesus gives. He seeks first the kingdom of God, his righteousness and glory. Hence, he receives calmly the news of the illness of his friend. He reacts saying, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God.”
Now, the calm Jesus displays does not suggest any indecision. In fact, upon sensing that Lazarus has died, he decides to return to Judea, where the Jews tried to kill him earlier. But the God-Sent will not abandon his mission; people have to see the glory of God. Nor the threat of death will stop him from revealing his comforting and powerful love.
So then, to make a long story short, Jesus now comes to comfort Martha and Mary by raising up Lazarus. In doing so, he reveals at the same time the glory of God.
Yes, Jesus calls Lazarus who, recognizing the life-giving voice of the shepherd, comes out right away. Thus does Jesus prove his claim that he is the life and resurrection right now. In contrast to Martha who is thinking of the distant future, Jesus thinks of the now.
And really, could Jesus be thinking of something other than the now? After all, he finds disturbing to see Mary and the Jews who are with her weep. And the sight of the tomb of Lazarus again troubles him deeply. Will those who believe in him, then, live even if they die? Will they never die those who live and believe in him? I so believe!
Of course, the idea of the resurrection and life now is foreign to human reason. Precisely because of this, the challenge for each one of is, “Do you believe this?”
And we do not explain such faith so much as one lives it. By assisting the beggar Lazarus, we prove that we have the true faith. We also get to come out of the tomb, untying ourselves free from all self-absorption that makes us indifferent.
Lord, through your Spirit and words, breathe life into us who are now pilgrims. Feed us with your body and blood, else the journey will be too long for us.
2 April 2017
5th Sunday of Lent (A)
Ezek 37, 12-14; Rom 8, 8-11; Jn 11, 1-45