In heaven “good will shall be so ordered in us that we shall have no other desire than to remain there eternally.” – St. Augustine
Today’s first reading reminds us that there is nothing impossible for God. He possesses power over everything – life and death. In Isaiah, the Lord says, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” He is promising us eternal life with him.
In today’s Gospel proclamation, this promise is fulfilled through his only Son who brings Lazarus back to life from death. This is however an implicit illustration of the eternal life he would win for us after his sacrifice on the cross.
The raising of Lazarus is the sixth of seven signs that Jesus performed according to the Gospel of John. We see similar miracles recorded in the synoptic Gospels such as the raising of the widow’s son and Jairus’ daughter. Lazarus dies but it seems that it is not what it is, the purpose of this is that Jesus will raise him to life and it is an opportunity for Jesus to glorify God through this sign and miracle. It is said that he was delayed by two days. This period of waiting is not a mistake but a part of God’s plan to generate faith in the eyes of disciples as well as others who witnessed the miracle.
We too get emotionally and spiritually disturbed when the waiting period is longer than we expect. But what we need to remember is that everything happens according to the time of the Lord. If we do not wait on the Lord patiently, we will lose the opportunity to glorify him with our lives. Jesus says, “I am the resurrection”. He wants us to place our hope on the future resurrection that is to come. Jesus possesses absolute sovereignty over life and death. As seen and discussed in the first reading, this was always attributed only to God according to the Old Testament. But this was the moment Jesus explicitly displayed that he is truly the Son of God and that God Almighty has given him power over life and death and everything else.
As this new year began, a popular quote was that “If you are in Christ, you are a new creation”. Now, three months later, it is time to reflect on how we are living that new year resolution we made. We may fail many times, but we need to remind ourselves constantly that it is an opportunity for us to get up and this is the reason we enter into the presence of God through the four steps every day.
Prayer: Abba Father, you are the maker of all things, knowing you and loving you is eternal life; lead me to a deeper relationship with you. Amen.