“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” John 11:25
Although the raising of Lazarus is the focal point of today’s Gospel reading, another aspect of this story bears reflection. In my younger years, I used to wonder why Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus from a distance as He did the Centurion’s servant in Matthew 8:5-13. Didn’t Jesus care about his dear friend? Of course, Jesus loved Lazarus and was even moved to tears when He arrived in Bethany and was given the news by Martha that Lazarus had already been dead for four days. When Mary fell at his feet saying: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,” Jesus became perturbed, troubled, and deeply moved. He wept for the sorrow of these two sisters, and He identified with their sadness and distress. Once, when going through a difficult time, I asked a priest: “Where was God?” He answered: “He is crying in heaven with you over your sorrow and pain.” What a compassionate God!
I believe that Jesus’ delay in returning to Bethany that day was not just to prove to the many unbelievers gathered that He was the Messiah, having the power and authority of God, but also that He was a “man of sorrows,” acquainted with grief, able to comfort us in our own afflictions. Our timing is not always in sync with God’s. Let us pray to have the faith and trust of Martha and Mary in our relationship with Jesus.
Sister Evelyn Marita Figueroa, CSFN