Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming (ἐρχόμενος) into the world.’” (Jn 11: 17-27)

Christ refers to Himself many times in the Gospels as the one who (already) “has come” or “came” into the world (e.g., Mt 5:17; Mt 10: 34; Lk 9: 56; Jn 9: 39; Jn 12: 46, etc.). But the remarkable Martha refers to Him here as to one who still “is coming” into the world (ὁ εἰς τὸν κόσμον “ἐρχόμενος”). Because His Self-giving light, His glory, was not fully revealed to her, nor to the rest of us. At this point, our Lord is still “coming into the world.”

Today let me embrace and re-affirm Martha’s faith, in my Lord Who “is coming again,” and again, into my world, revealing Himself “in glory,” sometimes after prolonged absences, when I have the eyes to see, and the willingness to choose, His life over my death. “I am the resurrection and the life…,” He says to me today, and asks: “Do you believe this?” Yes, Lord, I say with Martha, despite the grief of the past few days, in the Lord’s incomprehensible absence. “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”

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