Grace: light to know the infinite love of our Divine King and to put all trust in Him
Text for Prayer: John 11:1-45
Imagine: Compose the scene in your mind, imagining the road to Bethany and the tomb of Lazarus
Reflection: By now, we have come to know a Jesus Who has set a course for us and Who constantly watches over us as we carry on His mission. St. Ignatius wants us to know that we are not alone, even when the road seems difficult, thankless and often fruitless. The present contemplation is meant to bring out the affectionate love of our Divine King and the infinite power which is His.
We see in the story of the raising of Lazarus the overflowing love of our Lord. Martha and Mary implore Jesus – love pleading to Love. “Behold, He that loves the sick.” John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus loved Martha, her sister Mary and Lazarus. Christ Himself refers to Lazarus as a friend and weeps at the news of Lazarus’ demise. “Behold, how He loved him.”
Let yourself feel the sadness of Martha and Mary. Let yourself cry out to Our Lord in this time of need. Allow yourself to feel the urgency of needing His presence – and the patience of waiting. How do you respond when Our Divine King shows no sign of hurry? How do you respond when He finally arrives and begins to weep?
Recourse in our need to our Divine Lord and friend shows our confidence in His love and infinite power. We learn this from the experience of having our sins forgiven by Him. Now we understand that He is our breath of life. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall affliction or anguish or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or the sword?… Yet amidst all this we more than conquer through Him that has loved us.” (Romans 8:35-37)
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. Through Him we rise from the worst of deaths – death to sin – to live the very life of God. Through Him we live eternally of His life, and although our body will have to undergo the penalty of death, it will one day rise by the power of Christ and share in the happiness and glory that souls were meant to share.
Can you rejoice with the others when Lazarus exits the tomb? The message of Christianity from its beginning, the aim of the Church’s work and her martyrdom, is “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” The cry of Martha must be the constant cry of our souls, the rock on which our spiritual life stands unshaken and ever rising toward Our Lord’s throne.
Pray: O loving King, I know that You love me. I love You as a Divine King and as a friend. I am consoled knowing that however miserable I may be, I am the object of your infinite love. Come to my aid in times of distress, and stay with me and let me grow in Your love. Let me know your friendship so that we may never be apart.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me;
Blood of Christ, inebriate me;
Water from the side of Christ, wash me;
Passion of Christ, strengthen me;
0 good Jesus, hear me;
Within Thy wounds, hide me;
Permit me not to be separated from Thee;
From the wicked foe, defend me;
In the hour of my death call me,
And bid me come to Thee,
That with all Thy saints I may praise Thee
For ever and ever. Amen.