Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Lazarus, Come Out!" (3rd Scrutiny)

When Jesus tells Martha,
“everyone who lives and believes in me will never die,”
He isn’t talking about whether we experience death,
But about the power it has over us.

Do we fear death?

When my father who died two years ago at 97,
He had planned his funeral years in advance.
He wasn’t afraid.

But sometimes I visit people, they’re very sick,
it’s obvious death isn’t far away—
But no one will talk about it!

That only makes even more frightening.

Talk about this with your family, before it’s too late.
And if you want my help? Let me know.

Death can frighten us;
but there is a power, and a peace we can have,
in the face of death, and it comes from Jesus Christ!

Look at the cross: everyone faces it.
No one escapes death.

But when we see Jesus on the cross—
We know we do not have to be alone.
When Jesus is at the center of our lives,
Why should we be afraid of death?

You heard it say, “Jesus wept.”
The Greek text is a lot stronger:
It says—this’ll surprise you:
He “snorted”—like a horse!

The idea is that he wasn’t just “sad”—but frustrated,
Frustrated that Mary and Martha were so focused
on the power of death,
that they didn’t realize His power.

Lazarus remained in the tomb four days.
Sometimes we wait and we grieve;
And we wonder, “When will the Lord come?
What’s he waiting for?”

He can come and abolish death forever,
whenever he wants. And one day, he will.

We’d like it to be today.
We’d like that very much.

But that means no more chances
for people to recognize Jesus,
to turn to him for salvation.
They’d be out of luck—too late!

So, yes, Jesus waits. And we wait.

But we don’t have to wait to know him—
Not one minute, not one second.

Right now, right now! you and I can know Jesus
the Source of Life.
I said a moment ago death
comes faster than we expect.

Why wait to know Jesus?
I don’t mean, know his Name—
I mean to know Him.

Why wait?
Invite him into your life; receive His life into yours.

Let him call you out of the tomb of your fears,
Let him untie the sins the bind us hand and foot.

Why wait?
He’s calling you: from the tomb; from darkness, from sin:
“Lazarus, come out!”


Dad29 said...

Nice exegesis, there.

Gavin said...

Not to be negative, but I can't wait for next year, when EVERY Sunday Mass is year A readings!

Anna said...

Thank you for a good sermon. The one I heard was lacking a bit.

Father Martin Fox said...


Thanks; credit goes to Rev. Tim Schehr, Scripture scholar at Mt. St. Mary's Seminary of the West in Cincinnati.

Father Martin Fox said...

Dad -- at least, he got me started. He pointed out the bit of Greek I mentioned.