Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead – Jesus, you let us wait, because we want to do everything by ourselves

1. Introductory prayer 

Jesus, you are calling us to stand up, to begin to live a new life – awake us from death. But I am afraid to get out of the grave. There, I know how it works, I know what to do, and I prefer grieving, if something cannot be done. But You do not give up: “Come out!” “Untie him…” Christ, my God, revive my faith in You and untie the shackles that keep me in the grave.

2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to John 11,17−45 – Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead 

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God,who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind manhave kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead 

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

The Plot to Kill Jesus

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel 

  • Lazarus sickness and death will be an opportunity to demonstrate God’s power and glory. When Jesus came to Bethany, Lazarus was already four days in the tomb. His sisters Martha and Mary were weeping and grieving, like many others who came to comfort them. Israelites in Babylon were crying because they experienced exile as death.
  • Here we have the real death of a loved one. The pain is great, not only for domestic ones, Jesus also cries. Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus. What will he do? Sister secretly hope. Marta even confesses faith in Jesus as the Savior.

Let us turn to the grave. Darkness, death. Corpse associated with bandages, face wrapped with a cloth. The body falls apart. Just recently, Lazarus was looking forward to life; he could walk, dance, talk, work, love and taste the love of his beloved, even Jesus. Then came sickness and death. Is it now all over? The mystery of death – an issue that excites people of all time. Even Jesus himself stands before this mystery.

” Take away the stone,” he said, thanking the Father, and cried with a loud voice, »Lazarus, come out!” And the dead one came out. This is the power of the creative word of God. In human powerlessness – and what is death, if not a complete human helplessness – the power of God has shown.

  • Jesus loved Lazarus. Love drove him; he went to Bethany, even though it meant that he would fall into the hands of the enemy. Love has moved Him that he wept at the grave of a friend. Love finally resurrected Lazarus. Love gives life. It is also our hope when we may experience us as the Israelite in exile or Lazarus in the tomb. The love of Christ also opens our graves.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • As Martha and Mary, I often see only the grave – nothing else. Where do I feel the helplessness that keeps me in the grave?
  • Jesus truly listens to my distress, powerlessness, meaninglessness, wandering. This helplessness, fear, doubt I hand to Jesus my loving Savior.
  • Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead. Love opens and gives life. Where does Jesus already today calling me in freedom, in life? When I start to live this – what difference will notice those who love me, which are close to me?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about of this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God)

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence to be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me.

Perhaps from this silence I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship, or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

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7. Action 

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action)

8. Prayer at the end

Jesus, you let us wait, because we want to do everything by ourselves. You Wait, that we let you. And you know what we are truly capable. Good Lord, thank you softening me, to die, what it has to die. Strengthen my faith and trust in You. I pray, to allow Your creative Word, to get me up in freedom and in the image which You are calling me.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel at the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. By prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home  – ignacijevdom.si.