Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Jn 11:1-45 Open Up Your Grave

Fifth Sunday of Lent
(Click here for readings)

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him...  Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died... Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise."  Martha said to him, "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...  Do you believe this?"

The Lord gave sight to the blind.  Now, He is about to give life to the dead. 

Physical resurrection.  Christ did with great ease what hospitals do with great difficulty: raise people from the dead. 

I have always been fascinated with death.  Why?  Because it makes perfect sense in a supposedly senseless Universe.  I mean if the blind and random forces of nature could have concocted life, then they surely could have cooked up eternal life, or at least a life that lasted for centuries, right?   But these forces new better, and in the grand scheme of things, death provides a variety of benefits for the living, not all of which are so obvious. 

Death in all its splendor.  For something supposedly so random and so blind as life, it's remarkable the tremendous impact death has had on humanity.  If its sole purpose was merely ecological, then it would be remarkable.  But that is just the tip of the iceberg.  Death is political, and I find this to be astonishing.  For example, with regards to the human race, death not only leaves room for others to live and move, but it also leaves openings in leadership positions. It eliminates the possibility of eternal dictators, of everlasting strong men.  It solves the huge problem of overbearing and annoying people.  As a poor man in the movie Scrooge once sang: "Thank you very much.  Thank you very much.  It's the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me."  What a blessing it is to know that no man or woman - regardless of how strong or overwhelming they may physically and psychologically be - can have all the time in the world to subject others.  Thank God!

Death is not random.  It is highly intentional and it calls out to us.

Death provides a very real reminder to never take anyone or anything for granted.  Death as well as the dead deserve and demand our respect.  The clock ticks not only for Cinderella, but also for Prince Charming.  The clock ticks for thee. 

Before midnight strikes and we turn back to dust, we all have a certain amount of time to accomplish our life mission.  What makes death so dramatic is that it's final.  There is no turning back.

Lazarus' Resurrection.  The bodily resurrection of Lazarus was all for show.  It was a demonstration, a preview of things to come.  The Lord was giving his audience a real life death situation and what happens to all of us on the last day of the resurrection.  On that day, tombs shall be opened and bodies shall rise.  Life will have the last laugh.

If the curing of the blind man is the meat and potatoes of Amazing Grace: "I once was blind, but now I see", then today's gospel passage is the meat and potatoes behind the parable of the Prodigal Son:  "Your brother was dead, and is alive again."

He opens your grave.  Death is multilayered:  spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical.  Are your sins killing you?  Have you died to sin?   Then allow the Lord to open your grave and free you from your tomb!  Is your pride or vanity or sensuality sucking the life out of you?  Then learn to be humble and simple so as to arise from your slumber. 

O death, where is thy sting?  We do not need to fear death if we are spiritually alive and well. 

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." - Franklin Roosevelt.

1 comment:

  1. I don’t know why, but I always thought that I would die young. It was just a thought ……that didn’t come true. And now I realize how many of those thoughts that are just that…… thoughts that will never come true! It’s an acceptance of only what God wants. My true joy is in wanting only what He wants….

    I continue to tell my kids: you have seeds deep within you that only need watering: love of others! This love of others will help your own seeds to grow, to see what flowers that are planted within your very being: by this you will know your true calling! By loving others, the seeds inside your own soul will grow, and you will see what course of life will make you the most fulfilled! In the end, no matter what your vocation, it’s all about loving others and accepting for own self the love of God and others. The will of your sanctification.

    Only my thoughts, but when Jesus was responding to Martha, I thought that he was trying to covey that He could resurrect Lazarus NOW, on this earth, that we could live heaven on earth NOW! In other words: we don’t have to wait until we die!! We will only continue in heaven what we are NOW living one earth! Don’t wait until heaven to LIVE LIFE to its fullest! What we become now on earth will be continued in heaven. The “level” that we have understood Christ on earth will only continue in Heaven. For those who have an immense union with God on earth will be closer to Christ in heaven. John 14:2 speaks of many mansions in heaven. I can only struggle to understand this!

    Great words Father. Thank you.


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