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Pope Francis Talks about Restoriing Life where there is Death Lazarus Angelus 29.03.20


Pope Francis Talks about Restoring Life where there is Death 29.03.20


Pope Francis   29.03.20 Angelus Apostolic Palace Library, St Peter's Square 5th Sunday of Lent Year A    John 11: 1-45

Pope Francis talks about the resurrection of Lazarus 29.03.20

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The Gospel of this fifth Sunday of Lent is that of the resurrection of Lazarus (cf. John 11:1-45). Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary; they were very close to Jesus. When He arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had already been dead for four days; Martha runs to meet the Master and says to Him, "If you had been here, my brother would not have died!" (see 21). Jesus answers her: "Your brother will rise again" (v. 23); and adds: "I am the resurrection and the life; those who believe in me, even if they die, will live" (v. 25). Jesus shows himself as the Lord of life, the One who is able to give life to the dead too. Then Mary and others arrive, all in tears, and then Jesus, the Gospel says, "was deeply moved and troubled and wept" (vv. 33.35). With this turmoil in His heart, He goes to the grave, thanks the Father who always listens to Him, opens the tomb and shouts loudly: "Lazarus, come out!" (v. 43). And Lazarus comes out with "his feet and hands wrapped with burial bands, and his face wrapped in a cloth" (v. 44). 

Here we touch with our hands that God is life and gives life, but he takes charge of the tragedy of death. Jesus could have prevented the death of his friend Lazarus, but he wanted to share in our pain for the death of loved ones, and above all he wanted to show God's dominion over death. In this passage of the Gospel we see that the faith of man and the omnipotence of God, of God's love seek each other and finally meet. It is like a double path: the faith of man and the omnipotence of God's love that one seeks and eventually meets. We see it in the cry of Martha and Mary and of all of us with them: "If you had been here!...." And God's answer is not a speech, no, God's answer to the problem of death is Jesus: "I am the resurrection and life... Have faith! In the midst of grief, continue to have faith, even if death seems to have won. Remove the stone from your heart! Let the Word of God restore life where there is death.

Even today Jesus repeats to us: "Take away the stone." God did not create us for the tomb, he created us for life, beautiful, good, joyful. But "death has entered the world through the devil's envy"(Wis 2:24), says the Book of Wisdom, and Jesus Christ has come to free us from its bonds.

Therefore, we are called to remove the stones of all that it smacks of death: for example, the hypocrisy with which faith is lived, is death; destructive criticism of others is death; offense, slander, is death; the marginalization of the poor, is death. The Lord asks us to remove these stones from our hearts, and then life will flourish again around us. Christ lives, and those who welcome and follow Him come into contact with life. Without Christ, or outside Christ, not only is life not present, but one falls back into death.
The resurrection of Lazarus is also a sign of the regeneration that takes place in the believer through Baptism, with the full integration into the Pascal Mystery of Christ. For the action and power of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is a person who journeys in life as a new creature: a creature for life and who goes towards life.

May the Virgin Mary helps us to be compassionate like her Son Jesus, who has made our pain His own. May each of us be close to those who are in difficulty, becoming for them a reflection of God's love and tenderness, which frees us from death and makes life victorious.