Fifth Sunday of Lent, April 2, 2017
You can find the full readings here. This Lectio is based on the New Testament reading, John 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33B-45.
The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
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?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”
He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”
So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s d, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”
Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.
glory of God, if you had been here, your brother will rise, Jesus wept, untie him and let him go
“I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus Christ, God from God, Light from Light. The Word that was spoken and the universe came to be now speaks beside the grave of a dear friend. And he is perturbed. And he weeps.
For what does he weep, and what has upset him so? Some have said it was the lack of faith that perturbed him. Perhaps. But I believe it was the condition of death itself. The people lacked faith because death was the end result of life. And Jesus knew that “from the beginning it was not so.”
Jesus knew that man was created for more than this – mourning at a tomb, thinking of what might have been if only the Master had arrived earlier. Jesus also knew that his own tomb awaited him. That his own death on the cross was just a few days away. For Death and Hell to be vanquished, Jesus came to suffer and die.
Jesus raised Lazarus, demonstrating his power over death. And then he suffered at the hand of the Romans, died on a cruel instrument of torture, was laid in a borrowed tomb, and raised again on the third day – so that all who believe in him may live eternally.
God, you give life. Help us to be life givers as well. To those we meet who are ignorant of your love. To those who suffer from bodily ailments. To those who fear death. May we be our brothers’ keepers. And trust that by your life-giving grace they will rise.