Daily Reflection for Thursday, July 29, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38
Responsorial: Psalm 84:3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11
Gospel: John 11:19-27
Alternate Gospel: Luke 10:38-42
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
“Do you believe this?” John 11:26b
Jesus certainly knows how to ask the hard questions.
In today’s Gospel reading we see that Jesus purposely delayed coming to his friends, knowing that Lazarus would die before he got there.
In today’s alternate Gospel reading we see Martha caught up in serving food while Mary sits at Jesus feet listening to him. But now in the aftermath of their terrible loss, the sisters’ roles seem to be reversed. While Mary sits at home caught up in her bereavement, Martha brings her hurt and disappointment to the Lord. seeming to rebuke him for not getting there before her brother died.
Jesus responds, “Your brother will rise.” John 11:23b
And Martha immediately discounts what he tells her by pushing Lazarus’ resurrection off to the end of time. “Yes, he will rise someday but I am sad and hurting today, right this minute and I wouldn’t be suffering this way if you had come when we sent for you.”
Sometimes, we, like Martha question and rebuke God at the death of a loved one, particularly if it is tragic or unexpected. It is difficult for us to view death the same way God does. Too often despite what we say we believe; we see death as the end. We see death as the worst possible outcome.
The death of a close Christian friend brought this home to me. It was sudden and unexpected. Everyone who knew her was deeply shaken. My own reaction was that regardless of what my hopes and dreams had been for her, she was now enjoying the rewards and comforts of the next world. She was with the Lord. No doubt she was ecstatic. And I was happy for her. When I dared to voice this opinion, I was accused of being cold and insensitive.
Psalm 116:15 says, Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. When faithful people die, they are in the Lord's presence and the Lord is glad because they were faithful, and they are now with Him.
Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the life. whoever believes in him, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in him will never die. Do you believe this?
As you read today’s Gospel and reflect on how you view death, I pray that the Lord will grant you insight and comfort.
Peace be with you, my friends,