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On the Raising of Lazarus

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Lazarus was only a sign of what the Savior of the world, the Resurrection and the Life, would do for all humanity. Source: Victor Hoagland

All things being said, in the dramatically painful confrontation with death it is not theory or explanation that satisfies or consoles us. Christian belief in the resurrection comes through to us slowly, something experienced that helps us to move forward in the darkness, not backwards to mere memory. Source: Eamon Higgins

Jesus is not concerned and compassionate to just those mourning Lazarus but for each of us here and now. He loves and cares for us no less than He did for them. He wants to share our burdens and comfort us in our pain. He reminds Martha that He is the way, the truth and the life. When we are lost and things seem to overwhelm us, when there does not seem ot be any solution to our problems, turn to Jesus. He is the WAY!
He can lead us to the answer and the answer is Jesus. We need to trust that He will always love us and care for us. When we are betrayed by a loved or trusted one, when we experience confusion, deception, lying and cheating; turn to Jesus for the answers. He is the TRUTH! He has the correct answers, the clear, simple and complete solutions.
In those dark times in our lives when all seems lost, when grief seems to too much to bear, when the darkness of sin makes us feel we cannot find a way out of the pit; Jesus is the source of life and light. He takes our darkness, especially the darkness of our sins, upon himself and leads us to new LIFE. It should be comforting to know that at times like this Jesus is standing right there with us. He shares our suffering and loss and wants to hold us in His arms and absorb all of our pain and sorrow. He wants to fill us with hope in the promise of a new and better tomorrow. Source: Homilies Alive

In the scriptures the “glory” of God is the triumph of God over oppression. When the Hebrews crossed the Reed Sea, freeing themselves from Egypt, the Bible account says they saw the “glory of God.” The “glory of God” is any victory of justice over injustice. In the Scriptures, the “glory of God” is God’s appearance in history. The God of Hebrew and Christian scriptures is essentially liberating. Jesus tells Martha that if she believes, she will see that glory in the resurrection of her brother. Lazarus symbolises the transformation of humanity. Source: Liturgy Guide

Update: March 9, 2005

The story of the raising of Lazarus in John 11 is used in the Catholic Burial Rite. The story itself allows us to see how Christ feels for every Christian (a friend, “I call you friends,” Jn. 15:15) who passes away and those who mourn at his passing. The scene involving the Lord and Mary which elicited the remark “See how he loved him” (vv. 32-35) is a reminder that the tears shed for the passing of a loved o­ne does not go unheeded. It is for this reason that it is read in burials where the hope in the Resurrection is proclaimed.

Another level can be gleaned from the text if we read Jesus’ command “Lazarus, come forth” and St. Paul’s use of a hymn in Ephesians 5:14 “Awake, O Sleeper, arise from the dead”, a passage we read from the fourth Sunday of Lent. The raising of Lazarus has a baptismal undertone! It is Christ who calls each of us from the bowels of Sheol to which the sin of Adam has condemned us into the the light of his Day. Lazarus is a type of the Christian who is liberated from the grasp of Death by Him who is “Life.” Thus, on the third Sunday of the scrutiny of the catechumens (those being prepared for baptism), this story is read anew.

The story that John tells us goes deeper however. Why did the Lord delay? Why must he elicit from Martha a confession of belief in his person? The Lord delayed his coming, or rather, Martha and Mary experienced his delay. And they felt the effect of that delay when Lazarus died while he was absent. The experience of Martha and Mary is no different from the experience of Christians now who continue to wait for the coming of the Lord (an Advent theme) so that human suffering may end. But the Lord arrives apparently delayed and and glorifies God with the act of Resurrecting those who have died, at the Resurrection of the Dead. Thus, the story of Lazarus is not just a reminder that the Lord suffers with those who mourn, it also carries with it a meaning that tells us about our baptismal life NOW and its full flowering in the Day of the Lord, “when every tear will be wiped away”, that Day that will not see the sunset.

Originally posted 2005-03-05 05:49:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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