Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Krzysztof Stawicki, cmf

In our Lenten pilgrimage we were already in the desert, on Mount Tabor, at the well in Samaria, we met the blind man and today we come to the ... grave.
Today’s people are afraid of death, though these fears are accompanied by virtually forever. Uncertainty, what could be expected beyond the limit of human life, could be depressing, but Christianity seems to put a new light on this taboo.
Already in the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel says that beyond the end of earthly life God open a new perspective. He gives His spirit, new life. The living in God's presence can not be a disaster, because surely God loves man.

In their earthly pilgrimage, Christians are not able to avoid the concerns and worries, suffering and pain. The mystery of Lenten season shows this to us with the clarity. However, the grace of God is with us always, even in most difficult experiences. This grace also gives us the strength to walk ahead, because we trust in God’s will which is fulfilled not as we want to, but as God wants. Trust it is the engine of our journey. If only we allow God to lead us, he is able to change our lives completely. This shows clearly an example of today's Gospel.
Jesus was a friend of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. The fate of Lazarus was not indifferent to him. It is expressed in the words: "Lord, the man you love is ill" and "Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus." This friendship was reciprocated.

The teaching of Jesus was not just comforting story for Martha, but in fact we could be struck by power of her faith confessed before Christ. Also meeting with Mary is very impressive and the Evangelist says that Jesus addressed to her “in great distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart”.
And at a time when everything seemed lost, because Lazarus died, Jesus tangibly demonstrates that faith in God is not only a deaf man cry. The one who died, because of the power of Jesus' words came out of the tomb alive. Thanks to this sign many believed in him.

In this context it is worthwhile to ask ourselves: what is our faith? Is this only a collection of truths which we recite in Sunday’s Creed, whether the reality which we live every day. Can we draw from the trust to Jesus, or are we discouraged?
It is true that sometimes it is not easy for us to know God's will, but never with God, is nothing lost forever.

The following parable reminds this to us:
One night I dreamed a dream.
I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.
When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.
"Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I'm aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don't understand why, when I need You most, You leave me."
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and difficulties. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."


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