Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11: 25-26

Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, sent word to Jesus that his friend was ill. Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, but he delayed his journey for two days. There was a purpose for the delayed departure: Jesus said, “This illness is not to end in death but is for the glory of God, and that the Son of God may be glorified through it” John 11:4.

He said this, and told them, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him.. but Jesus was talking about his death.. “ John 11:11, 13.

Jesus knew that by the time he arrived at Bethany, Lazarus would be dead. This was so that His Father and himself would be glorified. In raising Lazarus, Jesus demonstrated his divine power, the mighty power of God, over death.

The raising of Lazarus from the tomb, foreshadows Jesus’ own death and resurrection. Thus fulfilling scripture, Jesus’s predictions.  Mark 8:31 , Luke 18:31-33. The crux of our Christian faith is the resurrection of Jesus. “If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty too your faith”. “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain and you are still in your sins” Corinthians 15; 14, 17.

The scene described at Bethany is a sad one. Martha meets Jesus weeping and saying that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Yet she remains confident that God will do whatever Jesus asks. Martha affirms her belief that there will be a resurrection of the dead in the last day. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live and everyone who live and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26.

We too are called and asked by Jesus, “Do you believe this?” At every Eucharistic celebration, we make the Profession of Faith, “I believe in… the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen” How deep is your belief, your faith in the Lord?

Then Martha’s sister, Mary, came to Jesus with the same confidence, saying to Jesus, “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “see how he loved him.” John 11:32-36. Jesus showed deep compassion and love for Lazarus and also for all of us by dying on the cross. “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.” Psalm 130:1-8.

Jesus asks to be brought to Lazarus’s tomb where he prayed to His Father and called aloud to Lazarus, “Lazarus come out!”. At this sign, many came to believe in Jesus.

Those who believe in Him take hope that we too will have eternal life with Him in the heavenly kingdom when we die. Just as Jesus calls for the stone to be rolled away from Lazarus’s tomb, so too will the disciples find the stone rolled away from Jesus’ tomb. God will open the graves and restore the people of Israel. Ezekiel 37:12-14.

As our catechumens move closer to the celebration of their baptism at the Easter Triduum, today’s Gospel reading invites us to reflect upon what it means to call Jesus the Resurrection and the life. John 11:25. As our catechumens are preparing for their baptism at Easter vigil, the Gospel today calls us to reflect on baptism as dying and risng with Jesus. In baptism, sin’s power over us is broken. Having died to ourselves, we rise as children of God. In baptism we unite ourselves with Christ, who conquered death once and for all so that we who believe in him may have eternal life. Like Martha and Mary, we are called to profess our faith, and believe that Jesus is indeed the resurrection and the life.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In your ways, knowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverb 3:5-6.

Jesus’ promise of eternal life is a central element of our Catholic faith. “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not  perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16. Even though Easter is still two weeks away, today’s Gospel invites us to acknowledge Jesus’ power over death, as evidenced by the raising of Lazarus, and to anticipate Jesus conquering of death once and for all by his death and Resurrection. Are we fully alive to the Word of God, do we live the Word and do we read the Bible  daily. Are we evanglising, sharing, talking about Jesus to others who do not know him.


Peace and Love
Jacqueline and Philip