Raising Lazarus

Gospel John 11:1-45 

My dear brothers and sisters, as we are accompanying those working on being Confirmed, our community was meditating on the Readings of Year A.

The first encounter was Jesus with the Samaritan woman who was very far from the Lord, from the true God. She had five husbands, which theologically we can say; she had a lot of Gods without knowing the true God. After she knew Jesus everything changed in her life and in the life of the people that knew her.

Last Sunday we meditated on the blind man. After seeing Jesus he started seeing things in a different way. We also are this blind and through Baptism and Confirmation we have to see the world in a different way.

Today we encounter Jesus with a family – Lazarus, Martha and Mary. When we have names in the Gospel, we know that this is a key in order to do a Reading in a theological vision. We are speaking of a Gospel that was written one century after the event of the death and resurrection of Christ, in which it is recalling the facts that happened with Jesus in this world. In this time they are not only writing about only the facts but the facts is given in another dimension that John wants to communicate to us to communicate to the people in the year 1985. Therefore, Lazarus, Martha and Mary represent a community, the three communities that were following Jesus Christ. The community represented by Lazarus, most loved by Christ, was becoming ill. The community represented by Mary and Martha was becoming will, because they were waiting for Christ to come back. But three generations, 60, 70, 80, 90 years, Jesus doesn’t come back. They started to become ill, to lose hope. One community represented by Lazarus is even dead, they don’t want to follow Jesus, and they have lost their vision because the Jews have chased them away from the synagogue. They have to go to the tombs, hiding themselves there to pray. One of the communities represented by Martha went out of the house and recognised that Jesus is risen and can be found in the midst of the community. That’s why she went to Mary and said – the Lord is calling you, take back your hope, let us go out, let us preach the Gospel of the Lord because Christ is alive and will be with us.

That is the main message of this Gospel – with Jesus the community lives, without Jesus the community is dead. The four days that Lazarus was dead means totally the community was dead, the soul has left the body.

What does this Gospel preach to us today? Brothers and sisters, we also have our problems – financial, family, personal – problems that shoot down our hope – why should I live, why should I pray – but I want to tell you the same words that Martha said to Mary. The Lord is waiting for you. Jesus is calling you. Come out of distress; come out of your sadness.

What is the message that Jesus wants to tell you today? First, take out the stone that prevents you to meet with Jesus, the stone that keeps you dead. That stone can be the stone of fear, the stone of indifference, of pride, of jealousy, of injustice, of hypocrisy, of criticism, of gossip, of insults, of slander. When we are enslaved by sin, we are bound without freedom.  Jesus said – unbind him, untie him. That’s the same thing He is telling us today. Let us free ourselves from all these stones. Come out and live a new life, only with Christ.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.