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The Journey to the Cross and Resurrection of Christ

Saturday of Lazarus

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him, whereas Mary sat in the home.  Martha mentioned 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 mentioned to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha mentioned to Him, “I know that He will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  Jesus mentioned 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 mentioned to Him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”  John 11: 20-27

 

Good morning Prayer Team!

Today we start the journey of Great and Holy Week.  Over the course of the subsequent week we are going to hear dozens of scripture readings and tons of of hymns.  Through these we are going to relive and relearn the story of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, and then use this expertise as an event to reaffirm our religion and tighten our focus in order that when Pascha has come, we’re invigorated in our journey to holiness.  Each day, we shall be invited to do one thing.

Today’s invitation is to come back and hang around with people who find themselves similar to you.  In at this time’s Gospel studying, we learn the story of the elevating of Lazarus.  Lazarus was a good friend of Christ.  Mary and Martha had been his sisters.  When Jesus visited Mary and Martha in Luke 10: 38-42, Mary sits on the toes of Jesus, listening to Him communicate whereas Martha is working round serving.  Martha, wired by her home chores, complains to Jesus “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Tell her then to help me.”  Jesus solutions her “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”  This is a narrative the place folks have a tendency to decide on sides.  Some disparage Mary for simply sitting round and not working.  And by extension, they disparage Christians for “just sitting around and praying.”  Then there are those that disparage Martha for being a busy physique and forgetting the needful factor.  And by extension, many Christians are fast to complain about people who find themselves “good” however by no means come to church.  Common arguments amongst frequent folks, from the time of Christ till now.

In at this time’s Gospel, we learn concerning the demise of Lazarus, and the grief of his two sisters.  It appears that Jesus purposely delayed coming to go to them, despite the fact that He knew Lazarus was very sick.  It was a part of His plan to let Lazarus die, in order that He may increase him from the lifeless, to indicate folks His full divinity.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she ran to satisfy Him.  This time, it was Mary who stayed behind.  Her greeting is a typical grievance—“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  In different phrases, “Why didn’t you do something to save Him?”

Jesus mentioned to her “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha answered Jesus with religion, despite the fact that she was crammed with grief and sorrow.  She mentioned “I do know that he’ll rise once more within the resurrection on the final day.”  Again, it is a frequent assertion made by individuals who lose family members, whether or not they truly consider it or not.

Jesus answered 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?”  Now, that is the crux of the Christian message.  That whoever believes and lives in Christ won’t ever die, that they’ll reside eternally in Christ within the Kingdom of heaven.

I’ve misplaced a mother or father, so I’ve been in grief earlier than.  On the day my father handed away, nobody got here and preached to me, so I can’t say how I’d have obtained a message about God’s Kingdom.  Would I’ve been indignant?  Would I’ve been unable to take heed to it?  This is the frequent concern of a typical particular person.

Martha’s reply exhibits a really mature religion.  She mentioned to Jesus “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”  Her reply says “I am still sad about the loss of my brother.  I believe if You were here, the outcome would have been different.  I don’t understand the delay in You coming.  But if that was part of Your plan, I accept it.  And YES, despite my pain and sorrow, I still BELIEVE.”  And in entrance of Jewish leaders and different mates, she confessed Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God.

I like this story of Mary and Martha, as a result of whereas they had been mates, and additionally loyal followers of Jesus, they nonetheless had fears, emotion and unhappiness.  And but they’d religion.  Indeed, they’re frequent folks, with frequent considerations, however they’d an unusual, mature religion.

The main lesson from at this time is that Christ was absolutely God (He raised Lazarus from the lifeless) and was absolutely man (He wept on the tomb of His good friend).  But simply as vital, we study from Martha that now we have to belief God, even when His plans don’t match ours, and even when it looks like they make no sense.  Our confession of religion, that we consider that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, He who’s coming into the world, that is, and ought to be, our guiding gentle in occasions of triumph and sorrow.  For He is the Resurrection and the Life, and if we consider, once we die, we will reside, and whoever believes and lives in Christ, although He die, but shall He reside.

You took pity on the tears of Martha and Mary, and You ordered that the stone be rolled away from the tomb, O Christ our God.  And then You referred to as the lifeless man and resurrected him; and by him, O Giver of Life, you assured the world of its resurrection.  Glory to Your dominion, O Savior; glory to Your authority; glory to You who established all issues by Your phrase.  (Kathisma, from the Matins of Saturday of Lazarus, Trans. by Fr. Seraphim Dedes)

I invite you to come back and meet Mary and Martha, folks similar to you and me.

 

+Fr. Stavros

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With Roger Hunt offering at this time’s Daily Reading: Listen Now

These readings are underneath copyright and is utilized by permission. All rights reserved. These works will not be additional reproduced, in print or on different web sites or in another kind, with out the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the united statesA. and utilized by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

 

Photo Credit: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church

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