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Medjugorje Blog - From this world to the next. He said to the woman: Your faith has saved you; go in peace. ~ Luke 7:50
By: Peace Pilgrim

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Monday, 14-Mar-2005 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
RCIA: Third Scrutiny: The Raising of Lazarus

Bonnie as Martha, and Rick as an apostle.
Bonnie as Martha.
Steve, Jackie & Sean
What's my line?
An apostle (Alvin) and a neighbor (Michelle)
Mary & Martha, Lazarus' not-so-grieving sisters
Neighbor boy, Mary, Martha and the stripper of the cloths.
Last minute prompting by Mila.
You can do it. It's just ONE line.
With eyes closed, Scott practicing the role of the dead Lazarus
Scott, you can open your eyes,now. You've risen.
Let's get all our smiles out, before we get in grieving mode.
Janette & Charmaine: Forever Friends
First the front view, now the back view.
Break a leg! Here we go!
The audience was transfixed by the drama.
Lazarus arose amid dramatic special effects...
by our very own Ryan.
Ryan signs the blind man's guava branch, err, staff.
Sean, the Blindman's guide-boy, signs the staff for posterity.
...or as Estella would say it: LAH ZAH ROOS' !

My personal reflections (or, "as I see it"): This is a gospel about human anger towards Jesus, Our Lord. Martha is ticked off with Jesus, and she wasn't going to be "nicey-nice" about it. She admonishes Him with an accusatory tone: "Lord, 'if' you had been here Lazarus would never have died!"

If I were Martha, I would have been angry, too. He was, after all, only two miles away and Lazarus was his best friend since childhood. Worse, He didn't come when he was called upon. If she didn't say it, she was thinking it: "Where the **** were you?"

Jesus was cool about it. He didn't get defensive. He didn't get huffy. He understood. She had just lost her beloved brother. She was angry and she was angry at Him, big-time. That He was God seemed to make no difference.

My take on this: it's okay to be angry at God as Martha was. He can take it. There are times -- and there will be times -- in our lives when life seems so unfair. If our friends Carl and Jennifer were angry at God for not interceding and saving their daughter Caitlin's life and if Antoinette was more than upset at God for losing her brother, we completely understood. And we could count on God to understand.

Because what does God do? In His time, He brings those who feel let down by Him to a place of acceptance as he did with His words to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

That's what we are being called to do for those who grieve. We will pray for Caitlin's and Antoinette's family to come to that place where Martha ends up -- acceptance.

When Lazarus died, he had no access to Heaven. Jesus had to die and be resurrected first to open the gates of Heaven for mankind. So what does Jesus do for his best friend? He brings him back from limbo. He would go before his friend, open the way to Heaven, and then and only then call his friend Lazarus to join Him.

God needed Caitlin and Antoinette's brother with Him. He didn't need to bring them back as He did Lazarus. Almost 2000 years ago, as He did for Lazarus, with His crucifixion, He opened the gates for Heaven for them and for us. There were glorious rooms prepared for Caitlin and Antoinette's brother in Our Father's mansion. A place where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears. A place filled with rainbows.

I once had the teensiest glimpse of Heaven, and the saying is humorously true: "If you saw what's in store for you on the other side, you'd die to get over there!" But we go there when God deems it time to go Home. We go to a place promised to us by Jesus. Where He went, we will follow.

In the meantime, with stories like this one, we come to the realization that we are here on Earth for a short time. Like Martha, like Carl and Antoinette, we will lose people we love dearly. We will be angry. We will feel sorrow. We will shed tears. This story is a reminder that what is of this world -- houses, cars, positions, status, fame -- is not important. What is important is that we love God so dearly that one day we will be in His company and with our loved ones. We must aim high. We must aim to be saints.

Before He left, Jesus left a map to get to Him and our loved ones: Love God with all of your heart, mind, and soul, and love others as yourself.

"Those who believe in Me will live!"

>> Some learned theosophical reflections

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