Someone Standing in the Field

Lazarus, Come Out!: 5th Sunday of Lent

by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday March 29, 2020

Holy Friends,

Jesus is a strange fellow. When he is told that "the one you love is ill,” and in danger of dying, you would think Jesus would act like a normal person, drop whatever he was doing, and go immediately to his friends bedside. After all, he loves him. Any of us would do that if we heard the same. Not Jesus. Oddly, the Gospel says that "he remained for two days in the place where he was." Why did he procrastinate?

When he finally arrives, a heartbreaking dialogue ensues between Martha and Jesus: "“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died." Is that not the same question we all want to ask God when we suffer? How often we think God has abandon us in our hour of need. But no, in fact, Jesus weeps with us in our pain (cf. John 11:35). Sure he could have physically healed his friend, but God wants a higher good for you and I.

You see, sin has caused us to construct our own graves for ourselves. We hid in shame because of what we've done in our past. We preoccupy our lives over to things which we think will give us life but only lead to death. Like Lazarus, all of humanity is trapped within the tombs of our own making. Jesus has come to break us free. He calls out to each one of us, "COME OUT!" Come out of your tombs my brothers and sisters. "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die." (John 11:25)