FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT
“The fundamental thing is God's gift of His love. And the heart has reasons that reason doesn't know.”
Bernard Lonergan, SJ ~ Why I Am A Christian
Today’s Gospel from John tells the story of the raising of Lazarus. As I reflected on the passage, I was overwhelmed with love. Picturing myself within this passage, I saw myself standing with Martha. Overwhelmed myself with grief, my arm around Martha, I felt her sadness and love for her brother Lazarus. As I stood beside her, I heard the anguish and hope in her voice that Jesus would come. Like an old friend who is always there no matter how many years you have been apart or no matter how far away they are from you, Jesus loved us.
I waited with Martha as we looked down the road, seeing the travelers and feeling the dry dust kick up around us. There was a moment of excitement as we saw Jesus coming toward us. And it was as if our oldest and dearest friend had arrived to make everything okay just by his presence. Martha and I were so confident in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. And our old friend wants us to believe that He is the resurrection and the life. And we do with love and joy.
As Jesus inquires about Lazarus, Martha and I stand before him and watch him weep. He too is deeply troubled by the death of Lazarus. His tears are tears of love and of hope and we are both overtaken by emotion ourselves. I find myself weeping beside Jesus and wanting to hold His hand, to comfort Him. Instead he comforts us by reminding us to believe in the glory of God and he raises Lazarus. God’s love is the fundamental gift here, manifested in His Son Jesus.
As the passage ends, I find myself sitting on a rock just outside the tomb. And I know I have witnessed a selfless act of love. And I know I will witness a selfless act of love as I move through Jesus’ story over the coming weeks. And I know that in order for me to embrace and turn toward this awesome love, I must be in right relationship. And I feel a great heavy load lifted off of me as I remain a witness to God’s love and as I watch my old friend with awe.
Susanne Chawszczewski, Ph.D.
Director of Campus Ministry