“I knew that You hear Me, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that You sent Me.” When He said this, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” John 11:42-43
Jesus allowed His dear friend Lazarus to die. And Lazarus was dead for four days. In other words, he was truly dead! But for Jesus, death is not the end of the story!
Jesus calls and death has no power!
On this 5th Sunday in Lent, when Holy Week is only a week away, we are brought to the side of the Grave of Lazarus to remind us of the Power of the Lord Jesus! Perhaps something in us has died. Perhaps we have given up hope for something very important for us. Perhaps we are a Lazaruslike person! May be we are called to listen to the Lord’s words.
Come out! Unbind him, and let him go free! John 11:44
We are called to be freed from the things that make us feel dead! We are called to be free!
“One thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:25
In Jesus We See!
The man born blind has an encounter with Jesus that charge everything!
He lost his job! He was a beggar.
It seems that he had a normal life. He entered persecution!
His relationship with his family and community was turned upside down! Jesus was a problem for the religious authorities and his relationship with Jesus made him an outsider!
Was the encounter with Jesus worth all of this trouble? Absolutely!
He said, “I was blind, but now I see!
He said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe “; and he worship Him. John 9:38
Let the encounter between the Man Born Blind and Jesus bless us! As we near the week of the Passion, encounter Jesus a fresh! We are in troubling times, Jesus can meet us and give us new sight that we may serve Him, love Him, and love each other as He would!
Be True Worshippers, Worship God in Spirit and Truth!
“God is Spirit, and those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
Jesus speaking to the Samaritan Woman at the Well has given us many important truths. Among these truths is true worship!
True worship must include The Spirit and must be done in Truth!
Worshiping in the Spirit comes from the Divine relationship between ourselves and God. We do not create this worship, we make ourselves available to it. There is a distinction between prayer and worship. In prayer we talk to God, in worship we are united in God! The Spirit of God and our spirit is united in a most intimate way!
To be available to God, we need to live in the Truth! Jesus came to us over two thousand years ago to give us the truth! The Message from Jesus is Love! Jesus is the Divine example of Worship! When we follow Him, we will known and experience true worship!
And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Matthew 17:4
Peter is such a normal person! He is who he is! In the Glorious Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus, Peter experienced Heaven. And he wanted to stay there. Of course that would not be possible. He would have to go through some challenging times, and fail too! Yet Peter had the Glorious Transfiguration to recall and get up continue to allow the Divine to shape and mold him into being the great Apostle that he became!
Peter as an example of true discipleship!
Peter is real! When he is scared all of his strength fails him and he denies his Savior. Yet, he comes back and returns and gets back to work for his Savior! The Transfiguration gave him the taste of Heaven that allowed him to get up again!
We can see this as how discipleship is! It is coming back, and beginning again!
We may fall down, but we must get up again! May our transfiguration experiences (those intimate, glorious experiences with the Lord Jesus) give us the grace to return to the Lord, and serve Him!
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father who is in Heaven…” Matthew 5: 44-45
We are made in the Image of God!
Some times we may forget our true essence. Some times we may allow our anger at some one to lead us to hurting them. We need to stop and look at Jesus! No matter who hurts us, our response is to follow the Master, Jesus! Pray for those who hurt us!
His Yoke is easy and His Burden is light (Matthew 11:30)!
When we give our lives to Jesus, He will give us peace. Never let hate win, let Love Win in every circumstance! Learn from those who hurt us, do not put ourselves in situations that they can hurt us again, if at all possible.
Peace is marvelous; keep it!
22 February 2023, many people who follow Jesus will be entering into the special time of preparation for the celebration of the Life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. May this be a time that truly we enter into Jesus and become who we are truly meant to be!
“So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5: 23-24
Jesus is clear!
Jesus wanted His World to be Heaven on Earth. His Words are to be taken seriously! However, human behaviors has not reach where Jesus is calling us to.
St. Teresa of Calcutta gives us an example of how to live out the Jesus’ Way: Love people anyway! In other words, Heaven is a personal decision!
We can use Jesus’ example in our quote from Matthew’s Gospel above. Me, you, must make peace with our sister or brother. Jesus wants us to individually choose Heaven Living regardless of what other people do!
Do not let other people’s actions take your peace away!
Forgive and be forgiven and let God’s Kingdom come on earth in Us!
“”Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12
A key road to peace is the be one’s best self in God! However, this is often an unpleasant experience. An understanding of being a saint is to being your best self and that often flies against those who are in power. The best example is Jesus. If we study His Beatitudes we see a radical attack against the usual things of world.
Jesus lived His Beatitudes! He was crucified because of the way He lived and spoke. The more closely we follow Him, the more likely we will experience difficulty, but not to worry,we receive rewards, the resurrection and Heaven now will be ours!
“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and the shadow of death a light has dawned. “ Matthew 4:16
Darkness seems to be all around us. It is easy to despair because of the evil that strike at us, yet Jesus speaks to this situation. He brings the light of His Word to our darkness and gives us hope!
We have just come out of the Christmas Season, a season which we celebrate the light of Jesus coming into the world in our dark season, winter. Today we see Jesus calling His disciples. These individuals will take the Light of Jesus and reflect it every where that they go. Let us put ourselves in this Gospel reading.
We are the Disciples Jesus is calling today!
We cannot stop that horrible things people do to each other, but we are called to reflect the Light of Jesus to these situations! We are to bring hope to situations that are terrible and love the persons involved through these sad times.
May we be the best reflection of Jesus in the world!