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From: John 11:19-27

The Raising of Lazarus (Continuation)

[19] And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them con-
cerning their brother. [20] When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went
and met Him, while Mary sat in the house. [21] Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if
You had been here, my brother would not have died. [22] And even now I know
that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.” [23] Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise again.” [24] Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise
again in the resurrection at the last day.” [25] Jesus said to her, “I am the resur-
rection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, [26]
and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” [27]
She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God,
He who is coming into the world.”


1-45. This chapter deals with one of Jesus’ most outstanding miracles. The
Fourth Gospel, by including it, demonstrates Jesus’ power over death, which the
Synoptic Gospels showed by reporting the raising of the daughter of Jairus (Mat-
thew 9:25 and paragraph) and of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:12).

The Evangelist first sets the scene (verses 1-16); then he gives Jesus’ conversa-
tion with Lazarus’ sisters (verses 17-37); finally, he reports the raising of Lazarus
four days after his death (verses 38-45). Bethany was only about three kilometers
(two miles) from Jerusalem (verse 18). On the days prior to His passion, Jesus
often visited this family, to which He was very attached. St. John records Jesus’
affection (verses 3, 5, 36) by describing His emotion and sorrow at the death of
His friend.

By raising Lazarus our Lord shows His divine power over death and thereby gives
proof of His divinity, in order to confirm His disciples’ faith and reveal Himself as
the Resurrection and the Life. Most Jews, but not the Sadducees, believed in the
resurrection of the body. Martha believed in it (cf. verse 24).

Apart from being a real, historical event, Lazarus’ return to life is a sign of our
future resurrection: we too will return to life. Christ, by His glorious resurrection
though He is the “first-born from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20; Colossians 1:
18; Revelation 1:5), is also the cause and model of our resurrection. In this His
resurrection is different from that of Lazarus, for “Christ being raised from the
dead will never die again” (Romans 6:9), whereas Lazarus returned to earthly
life, later to die again.

21-22. According to St. Augustine, Martha’s request is a good example of confi-
dent prayer, a prayer of abandonment into the hands of God, who knows better
than we what we need. Therefore, “she did not say, But now I ask You to raise
my brother to life again. [...] All she said was, I know that You can do it; if you
will, do it; it is for you to judge whether to do it, not for me to presume” (”In Ioann.
Evang.”, 49, 13). The same can be said of Mary’s words, which St. John repeats
at verse 32.

24-26. Here we have one of those concise definitions Christ gives of Himself, and
which St. John faithfully passes on to us (cf. John 10:9; 14:6; 15:1): Jesus is the
Resurrection and the Life. He is the Resurrection because by His victory over
death He is the cause of the resurrection of all men. The miracle He works in
raising Lazarus is a sign of Christ’s power to give life to people. And so, by faith
in Jesus Christ, who arose first from among the dead, the Christian is sure that
he too will rise one day, like Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23; Colossians 1;18).
Therefore, for the believer death is not the end; it is simply the step to eternal life,
a change of dwelling-place, as one of the Roman Missal’s Prefaces of Christian
Death puts it: “Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the
body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in

By saying that He is Life, Jesus is referring not only to that life which begins be-
yond the grave, but also to the supernatural life which grace brings to the soul of
man when he is still a wayfarer on this earth.

“This life, which the Father has promised and offered to each man in Jesus
Christ, His eternal and only Son, who ‘when the time had fully come’ (Galatians
4:4), became incarnate and was born of the Virgin Mary, is the final fulfillment of
man’s vocation. It is in a way the fulfillment of the ‘destiny’ that God has prepared
for him from eternity. This ‘divine destiny’ is advancing, in spite of all the enigmas,
the unsolved riddles, the twists and turns of ‘human destiny’ in the world of time.
Indeed, while all this, in spite of all the riches of life in time, necessarily and inevi-
tably leads to the frontiers of death and the goal of the destruction of the human
body, beyond that goal we see Christ. ‘I am the resurrection and the life, He who
believes in Me...shall never die.’ In Jesus Christ, who was crucified and laid in the
tomb and then rose again, ‘our hope of resurrection dawned...the bright promise
of immortality’ (”Roman Missal”, Preface of Christian Death, I), on the way to
which man, through the death of the body, shares with the whole of visible crea-
tion the necessity to which matter is subject” (Bl. John Paul II, “Redemptor Ho-
minis”, 18).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 07/30/2016 6:14:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: White.

First reading Jeremiah 26:1-9 ©
At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘The Lord says this: Stand in the court of the Temple of the Lord. To all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the Temple of the Lord you must speak all the words I have commanded you to tell them; do not omit one syllable. Perhaps they will listen and each turn from his evil way: if so, I shall relent and not bring the disaster on them which I intended for their misdeeds. Say to them, “The Lord says this: If you will not listen to me by following my Law which I put before you, by paying attention to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send so persistently to you, without your ever listening to them, I will treat this Temple as I treated Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.”’
  The priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah say these words in the Temple of the Lord. When Jeremiah had finished saying everything that the Lord had ordered him to say to all the people, the priests and prophets seized hold of him and said, ‘You shall die! Why have you made this prophecy in the name of the Lord, “This Temple will be like Shiloh, and this city will be desolate, and uninhabited”?’ And the people were all crowding round Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 68:5,8-10,14 ©
In your great love, answer me, O God.
More numerous than the hairs on my head
  are those who hate me without cause.
Those who attack me with lies
  are too much for my strength.
How can I restore
  what I have never stolen?
In your great love, answer me, O God.
It is for you that I suffer taunts,
  that shame covers my face,
that I have become a stranger to my brothers,
  an alien to my own mother’s sons.
I burn with zeal for your house
  and taunts against you fall on me.
In your great love, answer me, O God.
This is my prayer to you,
  my prayer for your favour.
In your great love, answer me, O God,
  with your help that never fails.
In your great love, answer me, O God.

Gospel Acclamation cf.1Th2:13
Alleluia, alleluia!
Accept God’s message for what it really is:
God’s message, and not some human thinking.
Or 1P1:25
Alleluia, alleluia!
The word of the Lord remains for ever:
What is this word?
It is the Good News that has been brought to you.
Gospel John 11:19-27 ©
Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:
‘I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’
Alternative Gospel Luke 10:38-42 ©
Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’

5 posted on 07/30/2016 6:17:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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