26 Mar Thursday
The Gospel story of Lazarus opens with Jesus at some distance from Bethany, informed of the death of his friend, waits two more days. Doing this time, a argument arises from the disciples about the wisdom of not going to Jerusalem where the confrontation between the Jewish leaders and Jesus has devolved out of control; the disciples are concerned for their own lives and the live of Jesus. In this dialogue it is Thomas, the same one who doubts in John’s gospel, who comes off as the courageous and unflinching disciple. a
In these days of plague, we too are challenged to go up with Jesus and accept what there is to be for. Yet, it is very hard to be brave, unswerving, and even like Thomas, enthusiastic about the coming way of cross. We are knowing the same thing, challenged as we are to pick up this cross and to serve one another on the way. Marth and Mary are presented in this Gospel as example os this compassionate caring.
While some are out there predicting apocalyptic doom. It’s what the disciples warn Jesus about, “They are going to stone you.” They see only an end, while Jesus proclaims a resurrection, something entirely unexpected and new; Thomas urges them on into the jaws of death. Then, Jesus shows us his own take on death, calling forth Lazarus from four days in the grave. This is what we too must proclaim — Life!
This is not to say we become like Pollyanna. Because we also know, now more than ever in the crisis we face, that life is messy, and I’m sure in some locked down homes, messier than ever. Yet, this is our choice. Love and life are messy, but let us not shrink back from plunging right into the mess of things. It’s then that we are at our best.