The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? 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Lazarus as a Disciple

April 6, 2014 click on left end of black bar to play-pause
April 6, 2014 4: 5-42
Gospel: John 11: 1- 45
Father George Smiga

Today’s gospel is the raising of Lazarus. We have heard the story many times. Therefore, we might be tempted to say, “Lazarus? I know that one”, and then turn to thinking of something else. But every great story can become fresh, if you look at it from a new perspective. So here is the question I would like us to consider today: How do we imagine that Lazarus felt about being raised from the dead?

Now remember, Lazarus was not resurrected. Resurrection is a movement from death into a perfect new life. Resurrection is what happened to Jesus on Easter and what we hope will happen to us when Jesus returns on the last day. Lazarus was not, however, resurrected. He was resuscitated. Instead of being called forward into a new and perfect life, Lazarus was called backward into the life that he had just left four days earlier. That life had ended with a serious sickness whose ravages probably still scarred his emaciated body. Lazarus was being called back into a life where there would be further sickness and further pain, a life that would again end with a death that he would have to endure.

So how do we imagine that Lazarus felt about being called back to that life? Could we picture him suddenly waking up in the still, dark tomb and hearing Jesus from outside calling, “Lazarus come out!” Could there be a part of Lazarus that thought, “Come out to what—to work, responsibility, hunger, hurt, misunderstanding, suffering and death?” Could there have been a part of Lazarus that objected, “Come out? I like it here. It’s peaceful, safe, easy.” Could Lazarus have thought even for a moment, “Maybe if I lie very still, he‘ll just go away?”

But Lazarus did come out—out of the tomb, into the light, back to the real life in which we live. And by that action, Lazarus became an example to us of what discipleship entails.  Because discipleship involves the courage to leave behind what is peaceful, safe, and easy and answer the call of Christ.

Every day Christ is calling us to “come out” into the real world where our responsibilities lie. Perhaps he is calling us to come out into difficult relationships that are characterized by misunderstanding and competition, or into a difficult job that is not fulfilling or even just. He might be calling us to come out and again take up the burden of grief over a loved one who we have lost or to struggle with a sickness that is threatening our future. He very likely is calling us to come out and use our abilities for the sake of others, to be a mentor to those who want to learn or an advocate for the poor and the oppressed.

Every time that Jesus calls us to “come out,” we can be tempted to choose what is easy, to lie still in our tombs of denial, fear, and inactivity and hope that he just goes away. But Lazarus shows us that a disciple is one who stands up and walks. And that action of Lazarus is not without hope, because when we leave the tomb behind, we discover that we are not alone. As our eyes adjust to the light of the real world in which we live, we come to see that Jesus who has called us is the one who is also standing by our side.

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