What an emotional scene at the home of Mary and Martha! Their brother, Lazarus, had just died, and everyone was crying. Even Jesus was crying. They had all been close friends, and now there was this unexpected loss of life.
Crying is God's healing remedy. Shedding tears can come from overwhelming victories, and in devastating losses. We cry in sorrow, and in joy. For Lazarus, they did both. They cried when he had died, and cried when Jesus raised him from the dead.
When Jesus said, “Lazarus, come out,” they thought that Jesus was crazy. It had been four days since Lazarus had died, and no one thought that one could have the power over death. Death was the final obstacle to living a life of hope for all eternity. But in just a matter of a few minutes, Jesus turns the sorrow of death into the joy of New Life. The people were crying again, but this time because they were overwhelmed with joy, that Lazarus would now get a second chance, and to enjoy life, with Jesus, his sisters, and his friends.
Lazarus will now have to decide how he will live this new life. He had the unusual experience of death; he had the unusual experience of dying; He had the unusual experience of conquering death. Now, he will have a new appreciation for his second life- a life in which he is born again.
Lazarus will now see the world differently. He now has the eyes of faith. He had looked death in the eye and, through the power of Jesus, conquered that death.
Given this chance for a new life, Lazarus is overjoyed. The tears of sorrow that everyone shed for him, now become tears of joy. This was literally a wake up call for Lazarus. Perhaps, we have received a wake up call, and we have overlooked it. It could be a this moment.
Each of us comes to that realization that when Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, we all were. When Jesus defeated death, he did it for us. He did it so that we could have a life without fear; that we may have a life of hope. To make sure that we don't feel lost, to make sure we don’t give into despair, Christ has provided the sacrament of reconciliation; to make sure that we don't lose sight of the real purpose of our lives. We have been given the gift of the Eucharist. As we prepare our minds in our hearts for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil, and Easter masses, we can try to see our lives through the eyes of Lazarus, one who has been given another chance at life, so that we may live in peace in our hearts, that we may have a new life in Christ.
When we come to that moment of realization, that moment of rebirth. we come to that recognition- that experience- that Jesus has been watching over us. That all of our past experiences come together at this mass, at this time, as Jesus calls us each by name to be reborn to a New Life.
We will be crying with joy.