Homily – March 29, 2020

Today’s gospel tells the awesome story of Jesus calling his close friend Lazarus from the tomb to life. All this was done so that God may be glorified.

We hear this story every year. Lazarus and Mary and Martha were close friends of Jesus. He and his disciples visited their home on other occasions. This time was different. Lazarus was seriously ill. Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus, ‘come quickly, the family needs you.’ Jesus delays and arrives four days after his friend’s death. Both Martha and Mary let Jesus know they are annoyed with him. ‘If you had been here our brother would not have died.’ Together they go to the tomb and Jesus weeps. He then tells them to roll away the stone that blocks the entrance to the fetid tomb. He calls Lazarus to come out. Lazarus hears the call and comes out and all are amazed.

These are stressful and tense filled times for all of us. We can’t meet friends for coffee and a chat. We can’t mingle with friends and neighbours. Restaurants and bars are no-go zones. It’s rough. Who’d ever imagine we’d come to such a place?

Do you remember ever saying to yourself,’ Oh for some peace and quiet, oh to be alone for just a bit’? Well it’s here, here in spades. It’s stressful.

Hopefully the time will come when this necessary separation from others will come will be over. Hopefully the time will come when Jesus will call each one of us, as he called Lazarus, out of our tombs of isolation and lonely confinement and restore us, as he restored Lazarus, to our friends and neighbours. Was it Joni Mitchel who sang, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone’? We know now the pain of separation. When all this is over, and it will be, may we be blessed with a deeper appreciation of how our lives are blessed with the people we so often take for granted.

Pray for the sick and the doctors and nurses and their support staffs who are under so much stress these days. May they be blessed with patience and courage.