Saturday, April 01, 2017

Lazarus, Come Out!

By Jim Bayne

Out of the depths, I cry to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice!  Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.  (Ps 130:1-2)

Thus says the Lord GOD: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
(EZ 37:12-13)

If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you. (ROM 8:11)

He cried out in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out,
(John 11:43)

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will never die. (John 11:25)

Lord, how often have I heard it said, that if I believe in you, I will never die.
Yet, so often I let my daily struggles overwhelm me. I end the day feeling like Lazarus: bound up, hand and foot, unable to see, unable to move.

During those times, help me to hear your voice, come out of the tomb, and allow you to set me free to do your will in my little world.

Let my ears always be attentive to your voice.

When reading scripture, St. Ignatius recommended that his followers put themselves in the place of each character in the story and use our imagination to see how we would feel in those circumstances.  Imagine yourself in the place of Lazarus, bound up, in the tomb, in the dark, and deep silence. 

If you’re like most of us, there have been plenty of times in your life when you have felt like Lazarus.  Sometimes the events of life put us in these situations.  At other times, we bind up ourselves by overreaching or by forgetting who we are and whose we are. 

If we try to raise ourselves to new life through our own actions, we most often only succeed in binding ourselves even tighter and wriggling even deeper into the tomb.

It is at times like these when we need to pray the words of the psalmist: Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord.  We need the prayerful support of our brothers and sisters who will call out to the Lord on our behalf telling Him that we are sick and in need of healing.  Finally, we need the faith and the strength to listen and to stand up when the Lord finally calls us to come forth from the tomb.  We need to be grateful for the brothers and sisters who stand ready to help us remove the bindings that have held us fast.

The next time you find yourself in a bind, don’t wait too long to call on the Lord for help. Have faith and believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Believe him when he says whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will never die.

When you encounter someone - friend or foe - who has become bound up by the events of life, call out to the Lord on their behalf. Ask the Lord to come with his healing power to heal them and raise them to new life. 

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