07 April 2019 : He was one like us in everything, deeply human


Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year A Readings

Reading 1: Ezekiel 37:12-14; Reading 2 : Romans 8:8-11; Gospel :John 11:1-45

Jesus wept; and the Jews said, ‘See how much he loved him!’

Bethany and the Family that Jesus loved! Inspired by this hearth, there are hundreds of ‘Bethany Homes’ around the world, where the personal love of God for his people is being shared. Let us look at the human Jesus in this famous episode of the raising of Lazarus.

‘Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus’, says John, who narrates this entire story with minute details. It was not simple friendship of a guest and a host. Martha’s sister ‘was the same Mary, who anointed the Lord’s feet with ointment and wiped them with her hair’, in public, during a banquet. Imagine the meaning of that action in a prudish society! Only within a relationship of true love and esteem would such an action not be scandalous. Such a display of love was unique in the entire Bible! And Jesus was not unhappy, nor shy!

When Lazarus becomes ill, the sisters send a terse message. ‘Lord, the man you love is ill.’ When there is love, there intercessions are not needed, just information suffices. Jesus decides to return to Judea in spite of the clear danger for his life. When loved ones suffer, personal danger does not matter!

Martha almost complains when Jesus comes late. After a loving, but ‘theological’ conversation with her, his eyes are looking around for Mary, the one who would sit at his feet and give him time, listen to him, and cherish his company. And when she came and threw herself at his feet, Jesus could not contain his tears. We all cry when we see our loved ones crying, do we not? With a sigh that came deep from his heart, he said: Where have you put him?”

Our God is not an ‘unmoved mover’ of Aristotle. He, the God of Jesus Christ, is moved every time we have pain or joy! He also likes to spend time with us, and wishes that we give him time and intimacy! More than his need, it is our need. The doctrine of Trinity reveals that he lives in eternal intimacy. He is just keen on sharing it with us!

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