When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’” vs. 32John 11:17-32
Mary reacted exactly as Martha had when she came out to greet Jesus. They had such great love and respect for him, and both believed that he could have laid hands on Lazarus and healed him. And both were deeply disappointed that he hadn’t come while Lazarus was still alive. Many of us can empathize with the sisters. We too have had family members or relatives who were gravely ill, and often we have prayed fervently for their healing–and sometimes nothing happens. Our loved ones die! And it hurts, and some of us wonder why Jesus didn’t intervene. It isn’t likely that we’re concerned about the afterlife–most everyone now, as in Mary’s time, believes in resurrection. But we mourn because we’re going to miss them. Their deaths leave big holes in our hearts, and the emptiness is palpable. The pain is real and that’s why Mary wept–and that’s why Jesus wept. He felt her pain, and he feels ours too. What a blessing it is to have a Lord who understands, who isn’t lost in remoteness, but who stands with us in every time of sadness and sorrow, and who then reinforces our hope in new life. And before we know it, in the presence of Jesus, smiles and laughter return.
Thought for the Day: What brings me consolation when death comes near?