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Thursday, April 18, 2019

       “Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.’ Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’” (Jn 11: 11-16)

     Today most Orthodox Christians prepare for Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday, while other Christians already celebrate Holy Thursday, or the Lord’s Supper with His disciples, soon after which most of them abandoned Him at His arres...

Saturday, May 26, 2018

     “Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and he said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept.” (Jn 11: 32-35) 

     On this Memorial Saturday preceding Pentecost, when we commemorate our departed, I am thinking about how the Lord shares our human grief over the death of a loved one, when we share it with Him. When Lazarus’s sister Mary fell before Him in tears, surrounded by friends who are also in tears, Jesus allowed Himself to be so “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” that He wept with them. He also allowed Him...

Saturday, March 31, 2018

     “Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you hear me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbi...

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

     “…Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.’ Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’” (Jn 11: 11-16)

      The above-quoted conversation happens “today” (in liturgical time), and two days after Jesus was informed that His friend, Lazarus, had fallen ill back in Bethany. So, “today” Lazarus dies, and four days from now, on Saturday, the Lord will...

Monday, March 26, 2018

     “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go into Judea again.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?’” (Jn 11: 1-8)

     On this final, sixth w...

Sunday, October 22, 2017

There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side…” (Lk 16: 19-23)

The “rich man” in this parable has no name, while the “poor man” is dignified with a name, Lazarus. Why? Because Lazarus has an identity, having become himself, and self-aware, through his “hunger” that he “longed to satisfy”; that is to say, through his deficiencies. I don’t know...

Saturday, June 3, 2017

“…The poor man (Lazarus) died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus at his bosom. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm (χάσμα μέγα) has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’” (Lk 16: 22-26)

Do we conclude, from th...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind h...

Friday, April 7, 2017

We have finished the spiritually-beneficial forty days! O Lover of Mankind, we ask: Grant us also to see the Holy Week of Your passion, that we may glorify Your mighty deeds, and Your ineffable dispensation for our sakes, as we sing with one mind: Lord, glory to You!” (Lenten Triodion, Friday of Week 6)

Today is a difficult day to write one of these reflections, because there is so much going on in our liturgical calendar(s). Some of us, on the Older Calendar, are celebrating the great feast of the Annunciation, or “the beginning of our salvation” (as this feast is called in its Troparion-hymn). At the same time, we are transitioning to the beginning of Holy Week, having “finished the forty days” of Lent, according to the Byzantine liturgical calendar. Today Lazarus rests in his tomb for t...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha… So the sisters (of Lazarus) sent to him, saying, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” (Jn 11: 1, 3-5)

Jesus “loved” Lazarus and his two sisters, these simple people, not extolled for any special virtue in the Gospels. Just as He loves all of us, for whom He died on the Cross “while we were still sinners” (Rom 5: 8). But when our Lord heard about Lazarus’s deadly illness, which was so dire that Martha and Mary sent Him wo...

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