The raising of Lazarus is one of my favorite passages from the Bible (cf. Jn 11:1-45). I have meditated on this scene dozens of times and taken away a different message or insight each time. Let's take this line: “Jesus wept.”
I often suggest this passage to read when an individual who is grieving the loss of a loved one comes to me for counseling. Jesus wept over the death of his loved one too. He can empathize with us. We can relate to him. Most importantly, Jesus is with us in our sorrow. Whatever we might be feeling--sadness, confusion, anger, despair—we are not alone. Jesus wept and he weeps again with us. The scene of the raising of Lazarus can hopefully be a source of comfort to us.
Notice the line that triggers our Lord's waterworks. He asks the people where they have laid Lazarus and they respond, “Sir, come and see.” Immediately after he hears that line, Jesus begins to cry. Do you remember where that line "come and see" occurred earlier in the Gospel of John? It is at the call of Andrew and John (cf. Jn 1:35-42). The two are listening to John the Baptist when Jesus walks by. They leave the Jordan River, are following Jesus and ask him, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Jesus responds, “Come, and you will see.” Jesus invited these two men into his inner life. He invited them to be with him and experience him. These men respond and become disciples.
Now, the tables are reversed. It is as if Mary and the weeping Jews are inviting Jesus into their inner life, which is of grief at the present moment. Jesus must have recalled he used this same line to attract two disciples. Now people were using it to attract him: “Come and see.”
It's one thing for us to enter into God and experience him; it's another thing for God to enter into us and experience us. We can become disciples of our Lord; our Lord can also become disciples of us. It's an amazing reality, and I wonder if this is why Jesus wept. Come and see.
The principal search committee and I are very pleased to announce the hiring of our new principal, Mrs. Margie Marshall. My announcement and a letter from Mrs. Marshall can be found here. Margie comes to us highly regarded from St. Cyprian School, where she was principal for the past four years. Margie is energetic and dynamic, and has a passion for Catholic education. I am excited to work with Margie in taking our school to the next level of excellence and having everyone who walks through our doors experience Jesus.
Congratulations are once again in order to the students, parents, and producers of The Lion King Junior play last weekend. It was a phenomenal performance—the acting, singing, dancing, costumes, set, music, and lighting. The quality is as good as any high school theatre. The students worked very hard. I highly recommend it next year if you were not able to make it!
Congratulations are also due to all who participated in the St. Baldrick's Charity Event. The Saint Juliana team raised over $13,000! Last Sunday morning I had my head shaved with many other St. Juliana students. I hope I haven't scared too many of you.
Saturday, April 1st was a busy day for our parish. First we had our Lenten Spiritual Retreat at Marytown. I focused the talks on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and used the lives of many saints to illustrate those gifts. I spoke of The North American Martyrs, the "Teresas" (of Avila, Lisieux, and Calcutta), St. Damien of Molokai, St. Francis of Assisi, and several others. Thank you to all who attended and to the Missionary Spirit Team for putting the retreat together. We also, of course, had our Men's Club Final Four Party that evening. Thanks likewise to all from the men's club who helped put the event together.
Finally, I would like to recognize our two individuals who have been participating in RCIA over the last several months and will be entering the Catholic Church in a couple weeks at the Easter Vigil: Mrs. Debra Gidd and Mr. Cullen Flanigan. They have been very dedicated to learning about the faith and growing in their relationship to Jesus Christ and his Church. It has been a privilege to walk with them on their journey. I want to also thank Stephen Lilly for helping me with the RCIA sessions. Please keep Deb and Cullen in your prayers and be sure to welcome them to the Church when you next see them! Thank you, Deb and Cullen, for responding generously to the Lord's invitation to come and see.
Yours in Christ,