Sunday, April 06, 2014

Untie Him and Let Him Go

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

You shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and make you come up out of them, my people!  I will put my spirit in you that you may come to life, and I will settle you in your land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. I have spoken; I will do it—oracle of the LORD.  Ezekiel 37:13-14

He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.  So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”  John 11:43-44

Piety is an expression of the great expectations we have of the Lord.  Our piety asks the Lord to protect those we love.  When there has been a serious accident and a loved one is suffering we hear ourselves asking for the miracle of a healing.  Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, is a good example of our dilemma.  We do not ask of the Lord the miracles we really want.  He wants the miracle we are looking for even more than we do.  He never says “no” to our requests.  He often gives us right away what we are asking without our realizing it.  He will sometimes give us something better that makes it hard to recognize we already have what we are asking.   Sometimes he will give it at another time when it is more important.  How to open our hearts to be recipients of the miracles the Lord is forever doing in our lives is what we need to study.

The two sisters believed in the healing powers of Christ.  But he was not there to keep Lazarus from dying.  We make the Lord present by our prayers.  We do not even have to be where the miracle takes place.   It can happen by prayers from elsewhere.  Love covers a great distance. It is the recognition of the miracle that needs the presence of the one praying.  Life itself is an ongoing miracle of God’s love for us.

The need of a miracle is an ongoing call for our prayer.  We need to crowd heaven with the call of our prayers for those we love that need the miracle of life.  Our human experience does not give us much comfort in expecting the impossible.  Yet nothing is impossible to the plan of God.  The power of God’s love is seen when we let God use our inadequacies for others.  God takes care of our shortcoming.  We need to work as if everything depends on God.   Belief in Jesus frees us to live as if nothing is impossible to our love when we live our love in Jesus for the sake of each other.  We can never ask enough.

No comments: