“I praise you, LORD, for you have raised me up and did not let my enemies rejoice over me…. LORD, you brought me up from Sheol; you kept me from going down to the pit” (Psalm 30:2,4).
Two main characters in Sunday’s Gospel: Martha & Mary. Martha runs to meet our Lord upon his return to Bethany to profess in her life long Jewish understanding of the resurrection on the last day. She sees Jesus as the miracle worker. On the other hand, like the Good Shepherd who calls his own loving sheep, Jesus calls for Mary and she quickly responds! She runs to meet him and not to mourn at the tomb of Lazarus as “the Jews” continued to carry out the ritual mourning. She profess her intimate loving faith in who Jesus is, but eventually cannot help but give into the ritual mourning of “the Jews.”
When we read of Jesus weeping it is not for ritualistic purposes as was the custom during the week after the deceased had died. He weeps because it pains him that not all will come to believe in him as the Son of the Father, the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in Jesus now will have life NOW and in the life to come!
So where do we stand as we approach the threshold of Holy Week? Do we only believe in Jesus because of what others have told us of him, the God who remains within the Church walls on Sunday and has no relevance for us in life? Or do we dare, to dig a little deeper into the gift of faith, to discover the one who rolls away the stone of our lives, the stagnant and often times dead aspects of our life and with his voice that created all that is good, calls us into newness of life WITH HIM.