On the Saturday before Holy Week, the church turns our attention to the miracle of bringing Lazarus from the dead.
It is curious that a few days after Lazarus has died, and Jesus kept saying that he was “asleep”. Jesus finally says “Lazarus is dead. For your sakes I am glad I was not there, that you might come to believe” (John 11,14-15) Jesus also says “This sickness is not to end in death, rather it is for God’s glory” (John 11, 4)
In the Bible, Lazarus besides being a real person is also a symbol of all of us. His resurrection from the dead represents our own resurrection.
- Easter 2020 Reflections Bishop Peter Stasiuk
- Bishop Peter: The virus and the Church
- Prayers for use during the Coronavirus pandemic
Because we die through our sins, Jesus who is without sin, dies to free us from death and sin.
On Palm Sunday, thousands of people greet Jesus singing “Hosanna. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the King of Israel” (John 12:13)
You can call Palm Sunday a bit of a political rally. They praise Jesus because many of them, impressed with Lazarus’ resurrection, see Jesus as a potential saviour from the occupying Romans. He is not of this world. Our resurrection takes us to another world.
Jesus does want to help us, but He first wants us to understand Him. He has authority power and He can resurrect.
The Coronavirus causes us to be confused as well. We too want freedom and salvation. Jesus does want to help us, but He first wants us to understand Him. He has authority power and He can resurrect.
The extra time we now have gives us an opportunity to think about a lot of things, the end of life is certainly one of these.
Every crisis contains both dangers and opportunities. Today we are already asking ourselves “where is God”? “What is He saying”? “What role does he play in our lives”?
Recently speaking about the virus, Pope Francis quoted an old Spanish saying, “God always forgives, we sometimes forgive but nature never forgives”.
Sin lives by its own rules. Nature has its rules, when speaking about the virus, we know that we will get it if we do not follow the rules.
We will also find God if we follow God’s road to Salvation. God is with us, but he is not here according to the rules that we ourselves set. We have to find strength in the suffering, because Holy Week teaches us that in suffering, we can see the presence of God. Pain is overcome and our salvation is found in the new life of the resurrection.
Nature has its rules, when speaking about the virus, we know that we will get it if we do not follow the rules.
God did not cause the virus crisis to punish us because we have done something wrong and need to be punished. No, the virus was caused by the rules of nature.
God does want us to make sure that the virus will destroy us. He wants us to use it for something good. To find God. To discover God’s plan and to use it to be part of His Kingdom.
I really like what St. Paul said in Philippians 4, 4-6. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Present your needs to God in every form of prayer. Be grateful. Then God’s own peace will stand guard over your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ”.
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