A reading from the gospel according to John 11:19-27
19 Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home.
21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.”
24 Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”
25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
26 and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”
Reflection: Living and Dying
Good News: Whoever believes in Jesus will never die.
Many people do not like to talk about death. It is too dreadful for them. Also, nobody wants to die now or in the near future except perhaps those who have already lost hope. Yet one thing is sure: we will all die sooner or later. It is therefore important that we should not fear death and instead be ready because it can come at any time.
In the gospel above, Jesus proclaims his divinity thus, “I AM the resurrection and the life”. He echoes the divine name given to Moses. Then He promised that anyone who believes in Him will never die. In other words, to believe in Jesus means to be saved from sin and death. People are afraid to die because they are not sure what happens next. Worse, they are worried they might go to hell! Others are afraid to die because they are worried about the people they will leave behind. Obviously, the fear of death shows the utter lack of faith in Jesus who is The way, The truth, and The life (John 14:6).
To really believe in Jesus means to have freedom from death and the fear of it because in Jesus, there is life. The life of a true believer is supposed to be filled with joy and peace of mind because he or she understands that God is in control of everything including physical death and family. The believer knows that He belongs to the eternal loving Father who will welcome him in His Kingdom when his earthly life comes to an end.
A true follower of Jesus spends his life, not in fear, but in constant awareness of the presence of “I AM” in his life. Thus, he is always full of joy though death accompanies him wherever he goes. He is also in constant awareness that every minute of life is a precious gift that should be spent in loving God and loving others. In this way, every minute of his life is just a preparation to that fateful moment – his own resurrection.
Like Martha in our reading, a believer proclaims his faith that Jesus is the Christ who will give him eternal life.