Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead

by Andy Alexander, SJ, Maureen McCann Waldron

The following reflection is based on John 11:1–45.


Martha speaks profound sorrow at the death of Lazarus, but it is tinged with blaming Jesus: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Francesco Trevisani - The Raising of Lazarus - WGA23058

Where do I resent the losses in my life and somehow blame God for them?

Even when Jesus tells Martha, “I am the one who raises the dead to life!” she finds it hard to believe. Where do I doubt that Jesus can bring life?

Jesus stands before the tomb weeping. He places no barriers to his feelings about death. Could he be staring at and facing the tomb of his own death? Can I be with him there? Can I stand before and face the tombs in my daily life?

Jean-Baptiste Jouvenet - The Raising of Lazarus - WGA12033

Jesus shouts the liberating words of life, “Lazarus, come forth!” How is he shouting that to me today?

The grace will come when I experience how my “deaths” will not end in death but in giving glory to God. When I experience how entombed I have been, tied and bound, no longer alive, dead for a long time, I will sense the power of the command of Jesus that I “come forth.”

For an artistic interpretation of this Gospel story, see Arts & Faith: Lent.

This is from Praying Lent by Andy Alexander, SJ, and Maureen McCann Waldron.
 Andy Alexander, SJ

Andy Alexander, SJ

Andy Alexander, SJ, has spent many years of his priesthood in pastoral and ministry work.

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 Maureen McCann Waldron

Maureen McCann Waldron

Maureen McCann Waldron graduated from Creighton University with a degree in journalism.

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