AND JESUS WEPT. JN 11:35
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary.
Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.
So the sisters sent word to him 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.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.”
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
“Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
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 to him,
“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.”
When she had said this,
she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
“The teacher is here and is asking for you.”
As soon as she heard this,
she rose quickly and went to him.
For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
but was still where Martha had met him.
So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
they followed her,
presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
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. JN 11:1-45
Today, John the Evangelist, gives us the last sign, the rising of Jesus’s good friend Lazarus. This sign is God’s redemptive plan for our fallen bodies. We are made of body and Spirit. As I pray, I think about the meaning of the Resurrection. Jesus is showing us today what will happen to dead bodies. They will be raised. This is a very difficult and radical belief. We have all been to a funeral or a graveyard. I don’t see any bodies being raised from the dead, so it is hard to wrap our minds around.
In wrestling with God on this question, He first led me to Peter Kreeft’s book, “Everything You Wanted to Know About Heaven”. Then, I was led to “Heaven, the Heart’s Deepest Longing”. God was telling me that I must live with the end in mind. I needed to know what this great reward was that I was fighting for. This greatly motivated me and increased my faith.
He has led me to Carl Olsen who wrote “Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead”. I stumbled upon Fr. Spitzer and his work with the Shroud of Turin. All of the scientific data and research with new technology that has proven this Man is rising through this burial cloth and it is from the time of Jesus. Fr. Spitzer led me to look up near death experiences (NDE), especially of the blind. God then sent me Dr. Eben Alexander’s book, “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife”. Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Bird bought me this book from the Scholastic Book Fair.
I am interested to see what I find next because this is our destiny. The resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God Man, changes everything about our purpose and mission on earth. The research I have done in wresting with God on this question has increased my faith, lessened my worry and anxiety of judgment day and my fears of death. Sr. Mary Francesca says, “We live to die”. The hardest death is dying to self, not physical death says Peter Kreeft.
In reflecting on the Gospels daily, I have wrestled with God on the most important questions of life and death. I still fear death and judgment day some. I don’t think I would be human or have a fallen human nature if I didn’t, but I worry a lot less about it. I know where to go if I fall into sin, but most importantly through prayer and reading the Gospels I have learned how to trust. My consecration to Jesus through Mary and daily rosary have impacted my life and faith beyond human reasoning.
So, today Jesus gives us the last sign in John’s Gospel. Since Jesus rose from the dead He changed everything about how humans and the world function in 3 fundamental ways (Bishop Barron’s teaching on the resurrection:
First, this life is not the final horizon. We are created for an afterlife. I suggest you start reading about it and how to get there. We are earthly creatures with a heavenly homeland. Jesus shares plenty about what the Kingdom of Heaven is like and how to get there. Second, the tyrants rule is over. There is no human on earth more powerful than God. Jesus is the King of the Universe.
Is He King of your universe? God’s love is the most powerful thing in the world. Take time to wrestle with God on this one. Third, Jesus opened up the Spiritual world for everyone. Jesus has won hope for the hopeless. The resurrection is about hope. Do you have it? Jesus has opened a place where He can bring everyone together in communion. Jesus gave us a way to get back to the Father. The Father’s greatest desire is our friendship, to be with Him forever.
Last, Christianity is the only religion in the world with a past, present, and future. If there is no God and there is no resurrection, what is the point of living?
Today’s challenge: Wrestle with this radical belief that only one religion in the world believes following this one Man. Then, pray and ask Jesus for the grace to believe.