Fifth Sunday of Lent

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist]

The story of the raising of Lazarus begins with an odd statement: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was.” Jesus remained where he was, allowing Lazarus to die, because he loved him and his sisters. When he returns to Bethany, Martha meets Jesus: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” And Mary says the same thing to him a little later. Finally, at the house of the siblings, some of the crowd gathered wonder aloud, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”