Roll Away Your Stone
“This sickness is not to end in death; rather it is for God’s glory, that through it the Son of God may be glorified” John 11: 4
The raising of Lazarus is a beautiful story of hope to prepare our hearts for this last week of Lent. In the story, Jesus weeps over Lazarus’ death and the Jews say “See how he loved him.” This story is about us and how Christ loves us far too much to leave us the way we are—dead in our sin. Jesus longs to bring us to life no matter what the cost. In the story his disciples warned him that he was almost stoned in the town where Lazarus lay, but all Jesus wanted was to go to “the one he loved” and bring him life.
When Jesus arrived at the tomb he told them to remove the stone from the grave. He was warned that there would be a stench because Lazarus had been dead for days. This stench is an interesting image of sin. To think of our sin as an unbearable odor brings light to the reality of its ugliness. God even revealed the “stench of sin” to St. Catherine of Siena, who was given the gift to physically smell the stink of sin on people when she was around them. She said that the smell was so unbearable that she might die. But we see again Jesus doesn’t care, all he wants is to go to the ugliest parts of our hearts where we are dead without him and bring life.
We can reflect on the story of Lazarus and recognize these areas in our own lives where we are dead in sin, and we need the love of Christ to come and bring us to life. “Thus says the LORD God: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them …Then you shall know that I am the LORD … I will put my spirit in you that you may live …”
Heavenly Father, have mercy on us poor sinners. Grant us the grace to allow you into those darkest, ugliest parts of our hearts so that you may heal them with your love. We thank you for this journey through lent and that during this last week we dive even deeper into longing for your resurrection and the life you long to give us. Mary, make our prayer perfect. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Is 43: 16-21, or Ez 37: 12-14, Ps 126: 1-6, Phil 3: 8-14 or Rom 8: 8-11
Jn 8: 1-11 or Jn 11: 1-45