My Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

            The passage we hear from John’s gospel today involving Martha and Mary and the death and subsequent raising from the dead of their brother Lazarus is a profound and beautiful account of the compassion, conviction and tenderness of the Lord Jesus and his challenge to guide us to true intimacy and holiness in our life of faith.

            Remember that Jesus is very close to Lazarus, Martha and Mary.  He has spent numerous occasions in their home.  His friendship with them is both obvious and essential in His ministry.  Martha and Mary have come to rely on Jesus like an older brother because of His friendship with Lazarus.  Now they feel lost with the sudden passing of their brother and turn to Jesus, with great faith, knowing He alone can change things.

            We not only witness the power of Christ’s unity with the Father and His ability to bring back to life that which was dead, but we are witness to His immense love and profound closeness He shared in His friendship with Lazarus as Jesus wept upon His approach to Lazarus’ tomb.

            How much more humanly could our Lord be revealed to us?  What more do we need to know and understand about the Lord’s desire for us to experience wholeness, healing and true compassion? 

            Brothers and sisters, we are nearing the end of our Lenten Season.  Perhaps some of us are still struggling with past hurts and the brokenness in our lives.  Perhaps we are still struggling with letting go of our comfort zone.  Perhaps we need that extra push to release us from those things that bind us from experiencing the newness of life in Christ crucified and risen. 

            If our faith is anything like Martha and Mary’s faith, we already know Jesus can give us all that we need to succeed.  And in case you ever forget, look to the Cross!

God’s peace and my love and prayers,

Father Michael