lunes, 7 de abril de 2014

Lazarus and the Lord of Life

5th Sunday of Lent
April 6, 2014
Jn 11:1-45

The gospel today is about the death of the dearest friend of Jesus whom he wept for upon learning of his passing- perhaps just like when we grieve over a death of a loved one. What we know about Lazarus in scripture is very little, except that he was loved by Jesus, he got ill, and eventually died. Because of Jesus’ great love for Lazarus, he raised him back to life, much to the joy of his family, yet this very same act elicited condemnation from the critics of Jesus.

The raising of Lazarus is actually the most crucial act of Jesus that provoked hatred from the Pharisees. They thought of ways to prevent Jesus from speaking and performing miracles to the people because they were afraid that the crowd would eventually conspire against them, and thus destabilize the state. The preoccupation of the Sanhedrin was to identify Jesus’ disciples and to know about his preaching not because they want to believe in him but rather to accuse him and eventually convict him to death.

The raising of Lazarus to life could be the mightiest work of Jesus as Luke writes “the reception of Jesus on Palm Sunday and the fury of the Pharisees are based on ‘all the mighty works of Jesus’. John could have perceived this. Thus, he placed the Lazarus miracle as an example of that mighty works that led Jesus to his shameful end. It is ironic that Jesus performs a mighty work for us to understand that he is true to his promise of giving us life but which cost his own life. He cries out to give us life while those people who refuse to believe in him cry out for his death.

While many came to faith in Jesus after Lazarus came out of the tomb there were others who did not see the light of Jesus and were in a haste to inform the Sanhedrin. In this gospel, Jesus shows his willingness to face his destined death in order to rescue us from the darkness of sin and death. Jesus is both the light who gave sight to a man born blind and he is the life who brought back Lazarus to life.

Scholars tell us that the name Lazarus is another form of Eleazar which means “God helps” and Bethany means the “House of Affliction”. In life we will be afflicted with different kinds of illnesses that will eventually drag us to the tomb. But God has a great plan for all of us: He wants us to live and for those who are dead due to sin He wants to bring them back to life. He is a God whose profound desire is to help his people who have been suffering by the afflictions brought by all kinds of sins in the world today. Unfortunately, many have become indifferent in their habitat of sins. It seems very natural for people to succumb to the sting of sin and power and totally ignore the voice of the agonizing and wilting souls of its victims. At present, many people have no sense of shame and sorrow to disclose their wrongdoings and simply allow themselves to be eaten by greed.

We are Lazaruses in this present time and no doubt the Lord is also weeping for our pitiful condition. He continues to speak to our hearts that he is the resurrection and the life. He gives spiritual life to those who have been physically dead and he would never allow spiritual death to touch those who believe and follow him.

May God revive our drooping spirit and bring us back to life in Christ Jesus.
- Sem. Noel Corcino


Lord Jesus, raise me who am dead due to sin and may my life proclaim that you are the Resurrection and the Life. Amen.

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