5TH SUNDAY OF LENT: John 11:1-45 Let the Miracles Happen!
LAZARUS was stuck in the tomb for four days until Jesus came to the tomb and raised him up. Like Lazarus, sometimes we feel like we are in the “tomb” or like hitting the wall! We all have moments in our lives when we come to dead-ends, the times when we see only the dark tunnel in front of us, the times when we face illness or the unexpected deaths of our dear ones, or the times when we are forced to take U-turns in our lives.
Sometimes we feel that we are in the “tombs” of selfishness, negative feelings, unnecessary worries, fear, hatred, and guilt. Jesus is calling each of us by name; “come out” of your personal “tombs” and allow Jesus to visit these areas and bring light and the beginning of new life. Let us ask ourselves: “How can we get out of them?” How can we make miracles happen during these times?
In the gospel story, we see that Jesus commanded the people, who had lost hope; no matter how distressed they were, they obeyed Jesus. That is how miracles happen. First, Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” …. So, they took away the stone. Did the people understand why they should do this heavy work? Why didn’t Jesus command the stone to roll away all by itself, without bothering the people? The divine power seems always to be activated by our cooperation. Let us “take away the stones,” which are really bothering and disturbing our lives; let the grace of God enter every part of our lives, and let the miracles happen!
Today, Jesus is challenging each of us: “Take away the stone.” Perhaps we have a relationship with someone close to us that is broken, and out of shame or regret, we try to hide it safely in a cave. Yet, Jesus, today, is asking each of us “Take away that stone.” By saying this, Jesus is assuring us there is always hope for reconciliation. Maybe we have some kind of bad attitude or bad habits and pride or greed Jesus is telling us “Take away these stones.” and experience the hope for healing and hope for change. One thing, we have to remember, is that Jesus is not forcing us or asking us to do the impossible thing. Rather, Jesus is saying, remove the obstacles of the darkness of evil around us and let the light can shine through our lives!
Another point the gospel reveals to us concerns the humanity of Jesus. Jesus was a very close friend of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. When the sad news of the death of Lazarus was brought to Jesus, He wept. Even Jesus experienced the pain of losing a loved one. Jesus was so real and so human. Some of us have forgotten how to be spontaneous and natural with our feelings. Sometimes, we hide them, we deny them, or we simply become indifferent.
The gospel says that when Jesus saw Mary weeping… “Jesus was troubled in spirit and was moved by the deepest emotions.” And Jesus wept over the death of his friend Lazarus. When was the last time we wept for someone? Some of us have never been able to weep and grieve. Let us also ask: “Has my life affected the lives of others positively so that people will be there to weep for me like Jesus did?” Am I willing to cry for others when they are suffering, in pain, and in their tears?
We must continue to believe that there is something more beautiful that awaits us after our lives of trials and suffering. “We can do something with faith, but we can do nothing without faith.”