Gospel – John 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33B-45

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.

Peter-KillenReflection on the Gospel from Br. Peter Killeen, FSC

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God.

One of Pope Francis’ convictions is that Catholics should not emphasize matters of doctrine and morality that are of secondary importance to the extent that such matters seem to constitute the initial and essential proclamation of the gospel. Rather, Francis has reminded Christians again and again that we must firstly and most boldly emphasize that “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you” (The Joy of the Gospel 164).

In today’s gospel reading, we find the loving and saving Christ that Pope Francis counsels Christians to joyfully proclaim. John the Evangelist relates that Jesus loved Martha and her sister, Mary, and their brother, Lazarus. Jesus’ tender love for his friend Lazarus is further evidenced by the tears that John tells us Jesus wept. As for Christ being the one who saves, Jesus proclaims to Martha that those who “live in him” and “believe in him” will never die.

May Christ grant us the grace both to feel his tender love and to be convicted that Jesus is the one who saves, the one who makes eternal life a possibility. May God gift us with the desire to share this good news with others in both word and deed.

Reflection Questions

  1. What is your last remembrance of feeling that Christ loved you? Thank him for this.

  2. You did not give yourself earthly life nor can you give yourself eternal life. Both earthly life and eternal life are gifts that come from outside of oneself. Ponder this reality and thank your Heavenly Father.

  3. Only Christ could raise Lazarus, such that Lazarus needed to be “untied and let go.” Ask Christ to “raise something” in you so that you might be “untied” and better able love God and neighbor. Tell Christ that you will be thankful no matter how he chooses to respond to your prayer.

St. John Baptist de La Salle — Pray for us.
Live Jesus in Our Hearts — Forever!