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Monthly Archives: March 2020

JOHN 8:21-22 [Today’s Gospel Reading: John 8:21-30]

Jakarta, 31 March 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JOHN 8:11

Jakarta, 30 March 2020

A CChristian Pilgrim

 

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JOHN 11:25-26 (Today’s Gospel Reading: John 11:1-45)

Jakarta, 29 March 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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THE LIFE – THE RESURRECTION: 5th Week of Lent [Year A] – John 11:1-45 or John 11:3-7,17,20-27,33b-45 (Shorter Version)

Jakarta, 29 March 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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CALLING THE DEAD TO NEW LIFE

CALLING THE DEAD TO NEW LIFE

(A biblical refection on THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT [YEAR A], 29 March 2020)

Gospel Reading: John 11:1-45 (Shorter version: John 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33-45) 

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalms: Psalm 130:1-8; Second Reading: Romans 8:8-11 

The Scripture Text

So the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord he whom You love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it He said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.”

Now when Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he had been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me. I knew that Thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that Thou didst send me.” When He had said this, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what He did, believed in him. (John 11:3-7,17, 20-27,33-45 RSV)

The author of the Gospel of John provides us with a glimpse of the human side of Jesus when Lazarus, one of Jesus’ close friends, dies. John tells us Jesus was troubled and wept openly upon hearing about Lazarus’ death. Since this is hardly the reaction we would expect from a deity who enjoys seeing people suffer, we can conclude from this story that Jesus is a God who does not like to see His friends in pain. So let’s stop blaming Him for all the evil in the world and let’s stop telling people who are suffering to accept their pain because “it is God’s will”. It is not God’s will that we suffer and die.

In today’s Gospel we hear how the death of Lazarus leaves a large absence in the lives of those who loved him. By the time Jesus arrives Lazarus is already dead, and Martha voices her regret: If Jesus had been with them earlier, things would surely have turned out differently. But Jesus’ absence is essential to the story. John tells us at the beginning of his account that through the death of Lazarus the Son of God will glorified. Just as the blindness of the man in last week’s Gospel served as the occasion to show Jesus as the light, so the death of Lazarus will serve to show Jesus as the life.

 The evangelist John is now showing us a great truth about Jesus that he proclaimed at the beginning of his Gospel: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5 RSV).

When Jesus tells Martha that her brother will rise again, He will show her that He means now: “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). The darkness of the tomb is not too dark for Jesus, the death of Lazarus does not mean that it is too late for Jesus to be his life. In a loud voice Jesus calls to the dead: “Lazarus, come out” (John 11:43).

The great miracle is that while he is dead Lazarus hears the word of Jesus and obeys it. Hearing the voice of the Son of God, Lazarus lives again. The great prophetic word of Jesus is seen to happen: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live”  (John 5:25).

When Lazarus comes forth he is still wearing the clothes of a dead man. He is still enshrouded. Jesus now addresses the community: “Unbind him, and let him go” (John 11:44). In obeying the word of Jesus the community plays its part in helping Lazarus unwind and emerge into the light of his new life.

The story of the raising of Lazarus proclaims the great truth that Jesus is Lord of the life. He has power to call us out of our tombs – for the Christian life only begins when we, even though we are dead, hear the word of God and obey it. We know from experience that we don’t have to be dead in the midst of life – hoping for a word and a community that will put us together again.

The voice of Jesus calls us all away from making the tomb our natural habitat. It also challenges us to take responsibility for our brother who, like Lazarus, is loved by Jesus. If we see someone buried alive we are invited to do as Jesus and the community do in today’s Gospel: call them, and help them go free. If we do that as part of our Lenten task then resurrection at Easter at Easter won’t come as too much of a surprise.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for Your Church, in our country and in the world, that we may be Jesus in the world, walking without stumbling because we are walking in Your light; not afraid to go to Judaea even when we know we could be put to death there; that we may let ourselves be led to where Lazarus is lying in a tomb, so that we can share in the grief of the world and in its sighs. Fill Your Church with the love of Jesus for Lazarus, and with His trust in You, so that she may call him out of the tomb and set him free. Amen. 

Jakarta, 28 March 2020 

A Christian Pilgrim 

 
 

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JOHN 7:46 [Today’s Gospel Reading: John 7:40-53]

Jakarta, 28 March 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

 

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JOHN 7:29 [Today’s Gospel Reading – John 7:1-2,10,25-30]

Jakarta, 27 March 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JOHN 5:36 NAB (Today’s Gospel Reading: John 5:31-47)

Jakarta, 26 March 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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Read Luke 1:26-38

Prayer: Shape us in the likeness of the divine nature of our Redeemer, whom we believe to be true God and true man, since it was Your will, Lord God, that He, Your Word, should take to Himself our human nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 25 March 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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JOHN 5:1-16

Jakarta, 24 March 2020

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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