3.09.2008

the risk of love

Last Saturday I went to a day of prayer at St Francis of Assisi parish in Manhattan. The leader of the day was a young Franciscan brother (not yet a friar) who focused on the Sunday Gospel readings in Lent and their message of conversion. It was a wonderful experience.

During our personal reflectiton time last Saturday, I focused on today's Gospel reading - the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Something struck me as if for the first time in the passage ...
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.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
Jesus answered,
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.”
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
“Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”
Todays' reading is from the 11th Chapter of John's Gospel. In Chapters 8 & 10, Jesus (and one presumes his followers) narrowly escapes being stoned to death by people who find his message hard to hear. No wonder the disciples look at him like he's crazy when he says he wants to go back there and help his friend who he loves. Perhaps Thomas called Didymus is not being overly dramatic when he says, "Oh, allright, we might as well go die with you."

Like I said, when I reflected on this Gospel last Saturday this bit jumped out at me. We are called to risk, especially in the name of love. An obvious message perhaps, but one that really jumps out at me today. There is so much suffering, pain and death in our world. It's so overwhelming at times that we think we can't possibly do anything about it. But I wonder, how much of our inaction comes from our own fear to risk our own safety and comfort to help others?

1 comment:

Paulinespirit said...

YES, "We're called to risk, especially in the name of LOVE" Thanks for your post.
Blessings :)