Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were good friends of Jesus. They probably expected him to come to Bethany immediately when he heard that Lazarus was sick. But Jesus did not come for several days. When he did arrive, both Martha and Mary were happy to see him. Martha had great faith in Jesus and knew of his love for them. She believed that he was from God and that God would do whatever Jesus asked. But she could never have imagined at that moment that Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead.
Upon Jesus’ arrival in Bethany, Martha, Mary, and the community of mourners took him to where Lazarus was buried. Amidst the crowd Jesus first prayed to God and then called Lazarus forth from the tomb. Lazarus came out of the grave, was unbound and rejoined the community. Through Jesus’ prayer to his Father, the power and glory of God was revealed, and many in the crowd came to believe in Jesus.
The raising of Lazarus from the dead foreshadowed Jesus’ death and resurrection, the most sacred celebration of our faith. As I go through this Lent, can I:
- be patient in my prayer and wait for God’s answer;
- listen and hear God speak to me;
- accept and follow God’s will instead of my own;
- live Gospel values and recognize Jesus in the people whom I meet.
None of this is simple, but neither was Jesus’ passion and death. But remember—Easter and resurrection do follow the hard times.
Our world and all its inhabitants are presently in a dangerous and difficult position. What can we do? Pope Francis has asked us to pray each day for our world. Think of the strength of everyone united in prayer!
–Sr. Maryellen Blumlein
Sister Maryellen, a former elementary and high school teacher and Archive Manager for the Congregation, has also served as an adjunct professor of English at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.