GOSPEL John 11:3-7. 17. 20-27. 33-45
The sisters Martha and Mary sent this message to Jesus, ‘Lord, the man you love is ill.’ On receiving the message, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.’
Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he learned that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judaea.’
On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’‘your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know
he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:
‘I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.
Do you believe this?
‘Yes Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’ Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart, ‘Where have you put him?’ They said, ‘See how much he loved him!’ But there were some who remarked, ‘He opened the eyes of the blind man, could he not have prevented this man’s death?’ Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb; it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus said, ‘Take the stone away.’ Martha said to him, ‘Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day.’ Jesus replied, ‘Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:
‘Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.
I knew indeed that you always hear me, but I speak
for the sake of all these who stand round me,
so that they may believe it was you who sent me.’
When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, here! Come out!’ The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let him go free.’
Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him.
The Gospel of the Lord
Donal Neary SJ:
Gospel Reflections for Sundays of Year A: Matthew
A Human Heart
When people read this they say they see that Jesus is a real human being, son of God, God of heaven, man of the earth, weeping over a friend.
His was a human heart. He liked friends and he found a home and a safe place with them, over the hill and away from the mob. We might picture him there - the talk, the chat, the prayers, the love; meals with other friends who dropped in, times of prayer and silence.
The one who can share a laugh, eat a scone, have a drink or a cuppa. The one who'd give a wink at the sign of peace! Not always so serious, even about religion. There's no such thing as a sad saint!
He is a good friend. Friendship gives new spirit.
When life is ending we will give thanks for friends, and regret the way we have drifted or hurt each other. Real friendship is when another's thoughts and life become at least as or more important than our own.
So the resurrection and the life is not just for after death. It is for now. We raise each other up in friendship and in love. In that is the grace of the Lord, himself a friend, for when we love, God lives in us.
Picture your friends and those you love and give thanks to God for each of them.
Lord, help me to keep love and friendship alive in my life.