Ezekiel 37: 12-14; Romans 8:8-11; John 11: 1-45.
“Untie him and let him go!” says Jesus in today’s Gospel’s reading after he brought life back to a dead Lazarus. Poor Lazarus, wrapped up in burial shroud with new life bursting within, found himself all tied up.
“Untie her and let her go!” How many ways do we get ourselves all bound up! Perhaps it is the past which haunts us so much that we are unable to live fully in the present? Or maybe it is a lack of trust in our abilities and passions? Or possibly we find family relationships constricting and impossible to sort out?
“Untie him and let him go!” Feeling tied up, bound, enchained whether to others, the past or our own personal demons saps us of God’s gift of life. Over time, if we remain chained, our passion for life and God wanes and we can become a ‘dead man walking’. Who wants that?
“Untie her and let her go!” Today Jesus not only gives us a hopeful story but points us in the direction of liberation from what ensnares us. We are all caught in webs which can limit us and sometimes cause despair, but Jesus offers us hope. He is the one who has power over death; He is the only one who can free us if we are patient, want to be free and ask for liberation. Turning to Jesus can allow us the light to see more clearly our situation and only He can give us the grace and courage to be free.
“Untie him and let him go free!” Not only should we turn to Jesus but ask how we can help free others. How often do we learn of a listening heart changing another? How often compassion can move someone to see life differently? How many around us feel trapped and alone, crying for human respect and concern? These are gifts which we can certainly give others as members of the Body of Christ. Let us pray to be untied and help the Lord to untie those around us.
Mission Doctors help the poorest of the poor to regain health, untying the slavery of sickness so they can once again fully participate in family and community. Please help their work.
God bless you and Happy Lent!