CHRIST: THE RESURRECTION AND LIFE
????Ezek 37:12-14; Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7b-8 (R.v.7b); Rom 8:8-11; John 11:1-45
The three readings that we have in our liturgy of today center on the life which God gives to all people. While the First and the Second Readings reflect the promise of that life, the Gospel presents Jesus as that promised Life.
The First Reading falls within the division of the book of the Prophet Ezekiel that deals with the restoration of Israel. Before the three verses that form our First Reading today, the Prophet had seen a vision of dry bones in a valley with no sign of life. God made Ezekiel to understand that those dried bones represent the house of Israel, which was devasted by incidences of the destruction of Jerusalem and were saying, Our bones are dried up, our hopes are lost, and we are cut off (Ezek 37:11). It was to that situation of despair that Ezekiel made the prophecy in our First Reading. So, the graves being referred to there is the state of hopelessness while the resurrection refers to the restoration of their lost glory.
We can equally employ that understanding to the Gospel Reading of today. We are able to make this imposition, given the character of the Gospel of St John that allows for multiple interpretations. So, the fact that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days, and Marthas comment to that fact give us a clearer vision on the kind of hopelessness that Ezekiel presents to us. Our understanding of the human body metabolism proves to us that by the time the body had spent up to four days in the tomb, its decomposition would have gone farer and thereby make resuscitation doubtful. But while we think about this, remember that Jesus had earlier told Martha, I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).
Notice the use of definite articles in that statement of Jesus. He does not want to put this identity of his under speculation. This is because the miracle he had come to perform in Lazarus, like other miracles in the Gospel of John, serves an important purpose as a sign. First, a sign that points out the glory of God (cf. John 11:15; see also John 20:30-31, and the connection with Ezek 37:14).
However, one important catalyst required for the manifestation of this glory of God is FAITH. That is why Jesus asked Martha, Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? (John 11:40)
Jesus is equally asking all of us that same question. Whenever we seem to have reached the end of the tunnel and there appears to be no other way of survival, remember that God is capable of creating a way where there seems to be none (cf. Isa 43:16; Exod 14:16).
May he make a way for you. Amen. Peace be with you.