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The good news for the day April 2, 2017

The fifth Sunday of Lent (34)

The sisters of Lazarus messaged Jesus through friends, saying, “Sir, the one you love is sick.” When Jesus got the word, he said, “This illness is not going to kill him; it is for the glory of God—so that the Child of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus cared very much for Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. When he heard that he was sick, he stayed on two days in the place where he was. It was after that he said to his followers, “Let us go back to Judea.” On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been buried four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him; Mary stayed home. Martha said to Jesus, “Sir, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now, though, I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said, “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 dead—will live. Everyone living who believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Sir. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah Son of God, the one coming into this world.” He became upset then and deeply concerned, and said, “Where have you buried him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus cried. Some Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some others said, “Couldn’t somebody who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?” Jesus, still upset, came to the tomb. It was a cave-tomb—a stone closed it off. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Sir, by now there will be a bad smell’ he has been dead 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.” After he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with shroud burial bands, his face wrapped in a cloth. 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.  (John 11)

In this marvelous story, “I am the Resurrection and the Life”—stands out. Jesus weeps with authentic grief. It is the human response to human death of loved ones—but Jesus knows that the “other Life” is what is really important—to become alive in a New Way—to live in a different world, to confront death, accept it—and become alive again, again, again in constant resurrection. When you see someone arise from their deadness—you, too, come to believe in God’s goodness.

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