Sunday, April 10, 2011

“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there.”

The great gift of Easter is hope - Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake. - Basil C. Hume

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
+Let us go back to Judea.”
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”
He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”
So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”
Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

Today, the Church presents us with a great miracle: Jesus resurrects a defunct that had been dead for several days. He asks all of us: «Do you believe this?» (Jn 11:26). Do we believe that God has given us a new life through the Baptism? St. Paul says that we are a new creation (cf. 2Cor 5:17). This resurrection is the foundation of our hope, which is not based upon an uncertain, future and false utopia, but upon a fact: «The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!» (Lk 24:34).

Jesus says to them: «Untie him and let him go» (Jn 11:44). Redemption has liberated us from the chains of sin that we were all suffering from. Pope Leo the Great said: «Mistakes were defeated, authority mastered and the world gained a new start. Because if we share in his sufferings we will also share in his glory (cf. Rom 8:17). This gain is not only prepared for those smashed in the name of the Lord, by those godless. Because all those who serve God and live in Him are crucified in Christ, and in Christ they will receive the crown».

We, Christians, are called to live in our earth this new supernatural life that allows us to get credit for our luck: Always ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks us for a reason for our hope! (cf. 1Pet 3:15).

Just as “Jesus wept” for Lazarus and his friends, he weeps for us, pining after our stone-hard hearts and saying, “Take away the stone.” He does not want us to be bound to sin and death; he has given his life to ensure that we “will see the glory of God.” If we empty ourselves so that we can be filled with the Spirit, if we work hard to know him, trusting that he is the confidence that keeps us trying, he will say about each of us at the Judgment, “Untie him and let him go.”

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