Br Nicolas asks “Where is God” in this crisis

A reflection from the Saturday of Lazarus after John 11.

Palm cross to welcome our King

Today is traditionally called the Saturday of Lazarus. The readings from the lectionary mention the Gospel narrative of the brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany, Lazarus. We all know very well this story, when Jesus arrives at his friends’ village and finds a crowd of people weeping and crying aloud.

However, as we face this current situation of the coronavirus throughout the world, I suggest we take a bit of time to ponder and reflect on the meaning of Jesus weeping.

As we carefully read the Gospel according to John chapter 11, we see a multitude of faces coming to Jesus with all sorts of emotions. Some are rebuking him to not have been present during Lazarus’ illness. Others are weeping over his death, and some are utterly disturbed and abashed. We see Jesus being questioned. Where he has been, what he has done…

Today, the question we wonder is the same we wonder at any great calamity throughout the ages: “WHERE IS GOD?”

The answer isn’t that easy, it depends of our own theology, how we consider who God is. How he is at work in our world and within ourselves. We might consider some ways to answer to these questions if we gaze on Jesus.

Our Lord is suffering from his friend’s death. We read that Jesus is weeping, which happens to be the shorter verse in the whole Bible. Jesus is weeping, he is disturbed in his mind that the friend he knew and cared for has died. He is not a robot without any emotions and feeling nothing like you and I.

Our Lord Jesus is suffering from the absence of his friend. This is where the Incarnation leads Jesus.

Flesh. Blood. Bones.

To share and feel all the pattern of emotions than we all experience during our lives. Our Lord isn’t exempt of these.

In his sufferings, however, we find our hope and our strength. As we gaze on Jesus, we encounter God the Almighty taking care of us, weeping for us and suffering with us until the very end of our lives.

From death comes life. From betrayal comes trust. From doubt comes trust.

As Lazarus died, so is Jesus, led to the tomb.

As Peter betrayed him, so is he led to repentance and confidence at the Resurrection.

As Thomas doubted, so are we called to trust our Lord Jesus, who died and rose from the dead to save us.

Dearly beloved, at the question “WHERE IS GOD”, we can answer that GOD IS WITH US.

Jesus Christ is WITH US, for God is dwelling among us, taking care of us. He is not somewhere else than within our hearts and lives.

Hosanna to the Son of David

My prayer is that ALL OF US can encounter the Risen Lord when he will come to visit us.

From now on, let us walk ahead to Jerusalem, take up our branches and welcome the King of Salvation.

Hosanna to the Son of David!

Amen.

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