In today’s gospel Jesus receives the message from Mary and Martha that their brother Lazarus is ill.
Although Jerusalem is only around one kilometre from the village of Bethany Jesus is delayed getting there and by that time Lazarus has died. Hearing that he has arrived Martha goes out to meet him while Mary stays indoors. Martha tells Jesus that ‘if he had been here her brother would not have died’ but she knows that no matter what he asks God for, it will be granted. Jesus reassures her that he will rise again on the last day. In return Martha expresses her faith in Jesus’ assurance of the resurrection of her brother Lazarus.
Mary then comes to Jesus and he is immediately moved by her tears. He asks where they have put Lazarus body and is invited to ‘come and see’. When he arrives to the tomb Jesus asks for the stone covering the exit to be moved and then cries in a loud voice ‘Lazarus come out’. He miraculously appears and Jesus tells others to unbind him and let him go free.
In these closing weeks of Lent, we pray that we may be able to roll away any ‘stone’ in our lives that is preventing us from being free and living in God’s light. We can all be bound by different chains in life, addiction to drugs, alcohol, gossip, slander, prejudice, hatred and anger etc. Jesus calls us forward, out of these tombs we often find ourselves in from time to time.
Lord, we have been raised to new life with you through baptism!