Ez 37: 12-14, Rom 8: 8-11, Jn 11: 1-45
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Every one of us at one time or another in our lives has suffered some type of loss. It could be the loss of a spouse or a child, a parent or grandparent, brother or sister. These are the most severe types of losses and most everyone has had someone near and dear to them die. But besides death, we experience many other types of losses throughout our lives. The breakup of a marriage, betrayal by a friend, loss of a job, financial setbacks, accidents and illness; even minor things all cause us some degree of suffering and pain. It’s part of being human and living in a sinful world.
Sometimes the greatest suffering we can endure is witnessing the pain and suffering of those we love. We see their grief and pain and feel helpless to do anything to make it go away for them. In today’s Gospel we see Jesus deeply perturbed and even weeping, not for the death of Lazarus, but because of the pain and grief of Mary, Martha and the others, all people he loved dearly. His raising Lazarus from the dead, and indeed he was surely dead, was his greatest miracle and climax of the signs of His divinity. This great miracle will lead directly to the arrest and execution of Jesus, since the Sanhedrin will now make the decision to kill Him. While the death and raising of Lazarus was necessary to His mission, Jesus still feels the pain and grief of those He loves.
Jesus is not concerned and compassionate to just those mourning for Lazarus but for each of us here and now. He loves and cares for us no less than He did for them. He wants to share our burdens and comfort us in our pain. He reminds Martha that He is the way, the truth and the life. When we are lost and things seem to overwhelm us, when there does not seem to be any solution to our problems, turn to Jesus. He is the WAY!
He can lead us to the answer and the answer is Jesus. We need to trust that He will always love us and care for us. When we are betrayed by a loved or trusted one, when we experience confusion, deception, lying and cheating; turn to Jesus for the answers. He is the TRUTH! He has the correct answers, the clear, simple and complete solutions.
In those dark times in our lives when all seems lost, when grief seems too much to bear, when the darkness of sin makes us feel we cannot find a way out of the pit; Jesus is the source of life and light. He takes our darkness, especially the darkness of our sins, upon himself and leads us to new LIFE. It should be comforting to know that at times like this Jesus is standing right there with us. He shares our suffering and loss and wants to hold us in His arms and absorb all of our pain and sorrow. He wants to fill us with hope in the promise of a new and better tomorrow.
During this season of Lent, we need to recognize our total dependency on God. Many of the situations we face, especially those dealing with death and illness, are beyond our ability to control. Only by trusting in God for His help can we hope to get through these difficult times. We all can trust in the words of the Lord as he brings hope in place of despair and light in place of darkness. Our watchword for the remainder of this Lenten season should be the old saying, “Let go – let God.”
Peace and all good!
Fr. Valery Burusu