Lazarus was a man whose life was filled with daily suffering. His sisters, Martha and Mary deeply loved Him. A man like Lazarus in our modern society all too often is relegated to some obscure place in society. All too often, in our modern society, a modern Lazarus is seen as being a burden on family and friends. Ironically, and very, very often the modern suffering man or woman is welcomed into the lives of others whose own frailties and suffering have produced in them immense qualities such as, but certainly not limited to, endurance, determination, courage, perseverance, and greater knowledge, greater understanding and greater wisdom of the heart.
When you or someone in your family or a neighbor, a work associate or even a stranger enters into your life, you and others will quietly take stock, observe and recognize that this young man or woman, even a simply boy or girl has a way about themselves that is well beyond the expected levels of maturity, understanding and even wisdom. Suffering will always produce perseverance, endurance, and courage. Or, suffering can create a deep sadness. Whoever is a modern Lazarus needs to choose which way to live out this one lifetime. Will suffering manage them or will they manage the suffering? Will more misery come out of their suffering or will their suffering produce greater goodness? All of us are simple, broken and imperfect frail human beings.
We all witness others’ suffering. All of us experience suffering. Trust like Lazarus. Stay close to our good Lord. Understand that the misery of the Cross was followed by the renewal and new life in the Risen Christ. If you are suffering, pray. If you witness suffering pray. In prayer, close your eyes open your heart, mind, and spirit, and allow our beloved Lord to create in you a new person…a person who gives away the Light of Christ, the Hope needed to awaken through a breaking dawn and witness the gift of His New Day and New Life in Christ. Make your choices like Lazarus. Be steadfast like Martha and Mary. In your heart prepare, sustain and welcome our dear Lord. And know He is with you now, through it all and until the holy hour of your death. Know this and in your own brokenness be humbled. And may we give thanks to our Lord. AMEN.
-Father Michael Briese