EZEKIEL 37: 21 - 28
JOHN 11: 45 - 56
Today, when we step into this powerful scene in the Gospel of St John we find ourselves faced with a situation that has to be life-changing for our spiritual journey back to God through Christ.
In this dramatic passage, we stand shoulder to shoulder with many other people in the hot, dusty burial grounds. We have just witnessed Jesus awakening Lazarus from death.
The crowd around us had been stunned into awed silence but now, eyes wide with shock, they turn to look into the eyes of equally speechless friends. Tongues are loosening. And slowly, in hushed voices, words expressing division begin to be heard. Fears begin to surface and people were divided: some believed in Him with their whole being, some began to denounce Him. How could anyone denounce someone for raising a man from death to life? What could be the source of the growing fear within?
We have to understand that many of that number depended completely on the Temple power and on its leaders to be able to live in financial security, for their families to be accepted and to be part of their community. They were aware that this unknown "Prophet" from Galilee was a threat to the Temple and to the Pharisees so their fear-filled hearts, even having witnessed this death to life event, were divided. They erred on the side of caution and security, and ran to report Jesus to the Temple authorities.
To accept Jesus as Lord can often bring division into our fear-filled hearts. On Sundays we acknowledge Him as Lord and God but on Monday and the rest of the week, do we trust Him to resolve our daily fears? Does He really know my fear? Lordship over death doesn't stop Jesus from feeling deep compassion for our sorrows and fears. "Christ's Heart is Human-Divine, the God of loving, maternal tenderness made flesh" (Pope Benedict XVI)
When temptations press in on us, can we hear Him tell us, "Your weakness is My might. Your safety lies in letting Me fight for you".
When we are very scared of financial demands, when it's hard to meet debts, can we hear Him say, "I am your purse-bearer. Draw from Me, depend on Me. My supplies are limitless. I am the world's CFO. Let Me prove my promises".
When we are overcome by sorrow, can we hear Him say, "I am the Man of sorrows. Let me teach you some of my most treasured lessons which I share only with my close friends. Let me help you wield the weapon of the power of a prayer pressed from grief".
Can we allow the One Who overcomes death to awaken us from the death of daily fear into God's new life or will our souls divided by our fears ?
"Yes, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world” (11:27). Yes, O Lord! We also believe, notwithstanding our doubts and darkness; we believe in you because you have the words of eternal life. We want to believe in you, who give us a trustworthy hope of life beyond life, of authentic and full life in your kingdom of light and peace" (Pope Benedict XVI)