As we get closer to Easter, our faith in the words and promises of Jesus seem to get more tested. In today’s Gospel, His friend and disciple Lazarus is quite ill. Jesus is told of this and responds with what appears to be a curious answer: “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God…” Then Jesus does not rush to visit his dying friend, as it takes Him four days to finally get to see Lazarus and his sisters. By that time Lazarus had already died. The family is happy to see Jesus, but upset that it took Him so long to get there. They wonder why did it take Him so long to arrive? Don’t we often feel the same way when crises such as sudden illness and even death face us directly? We think and say: “Where is God all this time we have been afraid and suffering?” “Why does it take Him so long to come and help us?” These thoughts and feelings are surely on many people’s hearts these days as we face the corona virus and its unknown impact on us all. Perhaps never before in our lifetime have we faced such an illness of which we know so little about. We ask ourselves anxious questions: “How long will this last?” “Why can’t we find the sufficient medical resources that we need?” “What age groups are more susceptible?” We may even be wanting to ask Jesus: “What is taking you so long to arrive into our situation and help us?” I would suggest that the answer Jesus gave to Lazarus’ family is the same one He is giving to us: “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” In other words, Jesus is reassuring us that God has our back. And that this is our time to express our faith in our loving and merciful Father. And to believe with all our hearts that when the time is right God will provide the healing we need. For if Jesus can raise a person from the dead, then healing us of any illness will surely happen in God’s good time. We must be people of hope during these difficult days now and ahead. That means we must walk closely with Jesus for He will get us through this. He will especially help us to gain a new perspective on life, as we come to realize what is most important in our lives: that we accept our dependence upon one another; that we accept how vulnerable we really are as human beings; that we are not in control of our lives, let alone the things of this world; and that real power comes not from money, wealth nor armaments, but from love of God and neighbor. When the time is right, we shall be healed!!
~ Fr. John