Fifth Week of Lent
This fifth weekend in Lent we hear Martha and Mary summoning Jesus as their brother Lazarus is dying and he dies before Jesus arrives. They are filled with grief, and we can relate to them in our times of grief and pain. They are upset with Jesus because he arrived too late and question him. “If you had been there….” How often do we speak those words to our Lord? Help me? I want to avoid this pain and suffering; can you take this from me Lord? What is striking in this Gospel, is Jesus doesn’t depart in haste when He receives word of His friend. He arrives after Lazarus has been dead four days. Jesus weeps in shared pain, but then raises Lazarus from the dead. This is where we must place our focus, not on questioning like Martha and Mary do. When Jesus raises Lazarus, he doesn’t abolish everything that has already happened. The pain, suffering, trials, and lived experiences have still happened, just as they do with us. What Jesus does do, is unbind Lazarus from the bonds of death and shows us how He can unbind us as well. We all have those deaths within us: angers, resentments, fears, addictions, broken relationships, wounds, betrayals, sorrows, and despair. They can wrap around us just as the burial cloths wrapped Lazarus. Jesus shows us that He is not wiping that pain away from us because through that sorrow comes transformation. What needs to be unbound in you as Lent is waning? Take those deaths to our Lord and let Him transform them into new life.