Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: Easter Sunday The Resurrection of the Lord – The Mass of Easter Day & St. Lazarus, March 27,2016
“Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being; the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is answered. Through Jesus we do know ‘the room where exiled love lays down its victory.’ He himself is this place, and he calls us to be with him and in dependence on him. He calls us to keep this place open within the world so that he, the exiled love, may reappear over and over in the world…. God exists: that is the real message of Easter. Anyone who even begins to grasp what this means also knows what it means to be redeemed” (Pope Benedict XVI).
“Lord Jesus, you have triumphed over the grave and you have won new life for us. Give me the eyes of faith to see you in your glory. Help me to draw near to you and to grow in the knowledge of your great love and power.” In your Name, I pray. Amen.
Acts 10:34a, 37-43 – We ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”
The word of the Lord.
Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
“The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
Col 3:1-4 – Seek what is above, where Christ is.
Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.
1 Cor 5:6b-8 – Clear out of old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough
Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast,
so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
The word of the Lord.
Jn 20:1-9 – He had to rise from the dead.
Bishop Robert Barron’s Homily: Three Easter Lessons click below:
On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection 1 – Breath of new life
Dr. Scott Hahn’s Reflection click below:
The prophet Daniel in a vision saw “One like the Son of Man” receive everlasting kingship (see Daniel 7:9-14). John is taken to heaven in today’s Second Reading where He sees Daniel’s prophecy fulfilled in Jesus, who appears as “One like a Son of Man.”
Jesus is clad in the robe of a High Priest (see Exodus 28:4; Wisdom 18:24) and wearing the gold sash of a King (see 1 Maccabees 10:89). He has been exalted by the right hand of the Lord, as we sing in today’s Psalm.
His risen body, which the Apostles touch in today’s Gospel, has been made a life-giving Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 15:45).
As the Father anointed Him with the Spirit and power (see Acts 10:38), Jesus pours out that Spirit on the Apostles, sending them into the world “as the Father has sent Me.”
Jesus “breathes” the Spirit of His divine life into the Apostles – as God blew the “breath of life” into Adam (see Genesis 2:7), as Elijah’s prayer returned “the life breath” to the dead child (see 1 Kings 17:21-23), and as the Spirit breathed new life into the slain in the valley of bones (see Ezekiel 37:9-10).
His creative breath unites the Apostles – His Church – to His body, and empowers them to breathe His life into a dying world, to make it a new creation.
In today’s Gospel and First Reading, we see the Apostles fulfilling this mission, with powers only God possesses – the power to forgive sins and to work “signs and wonders,” a biblical expression only used to describe the mighty works of God (see Exodus 7:3; 11:10; Acts 7:36).
Thomas and the others saw “many other signs” after Jesus was raised from the dead. They saw and they believed.
They have been given His life, which continues in the Church’s Word and sacraments, so that we who have not seen might inherit His blessings, and “have life in His name.”
Reflection 2 – New Morning
Dr. Scott Hahn’s Reflection – New Morning click below:
The tomb was empty. In the early morning darkness of that first Easter, there was only confusion for Mary Magdalene and the other disciples. But as the daylight spread, they saw the dawning of a new creation.
At first they didn’t understand the Scripture, today’s Gospel tells us. We don’t know which precise Scripture texts they were supposed to understand. Perhaps it was the sign of Jonah, who rose from the belly of the great fish after three days (see Jonah 1:17). Or maybe Hosea’s prophecy of Israel’s restoration from exile (see Hosea 6:2). Perhaps it was the psalmist who rejoiced that God had not abandoned him to the nether world (see Psalm 16:9-10).
Whichever Scripture it was, as the disciples bent down into the tomb, they saw and they believed. What did they see? Burial shrouds in an empty tomb. The stone removed from the tomb. Seven times in nine verses we hear that word – “tomb.”
What did they believe? That God had done what Jesus said He would do – raised Him up on the third day (see Mark 9:31; 10:34).
What they saw and believed, they bore witness to, as today’s First Reading tells us. Peter’s speech is a summary of the gospels – from Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan to His hanging on a tree (see Deuteronomy 21:22-23), to His rising from the dead.
We are children of the apostles, born into the new world of their witness. Our lives are now “hidden with Christ in God,” as today’s Epistle says. Like them, we gather in the morning on the first day of the week – to celebrate the Eucharist, the feast of the empty tomb.
We rejoice that the stones have been rolled away from our tombs, too. Each of us can shout, as we do in today’s Psalm: “I shall not die, but live.” They saw and believed. And we await the day they promised would come – when we, too, “will appear with Him in glory.”
Reflection 3 – Christ is risen
Christ is Risen!
This is the day that the Lord has made, the day our Lord Jesus entered human history and changed its path and destiny. In Jesus, we were all made new and by His sacrifice on the Cross-, the condemnation of sin was annulled. The apparent triumph of evil with the death of Christ on Good Friday was reversed and overshadowed by His Resurrection. We have all been brought closer to God and made acceptable. By His passion, death and resurrection, we are all victorious and redeemed!
In the face of the death of our Lord Jesus, the glory of resurrection was difficult to find. As in any tragedy, be it the loss of a friend, a love one or an explosive drama quite close to the WTC attack, one could hardly find God and the glory of His will. All one can see is terrible pain, sorrow and suffering of people. But if we look hard enough, the way Mary did in today’s gospel, we will see God’s glory of life and the resurrection in what God has sowed into the hearts of His people.
As in the WTC tragedy, we see how love and justice won over death-in the selflessness and courage of firefighters and rescuers, in the untold numbers of concerned citizens who risked their own lives to help others escape, in the voices, heard through the rage, insisting that justice and mercy be served, in the countless people who comforted each other amidst grip of fear and terrorism. No matter how hard it is to see God’s Hands in any trying situation, our faith should always guide us that God makes everything work for those who love Him.
With our Lord’s resurrection, the glory of new life is upon all of us. Jesus Has led us to Himself as He is the Light upon our lives, the Way to our salvation, the Truth Who has set us free and the Life Who will bring us to our Father’s kingdom.
Death is not the end but a new beginning. As followers of the Risen Christ, let us bear witness to His death and resurrection and the new life that is upon us. Let us bring Christ’s peace to all those who are undergoing endless obstacles in their hope and fight for human dignity and rights, for justice and for what our faith have called us to-a life of love, forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation.
May our new found life with our Lord through the Risen Christ bring us the heart and understanding to always seek peaceful reconciliation through dialogue in any conflict that may come our way. May it fill everyone’s heart with the boldness to do what is right in the eyes of our Lord which comes only from love for our God and faithfulness to abide by His Word.
May our Victory on the Cross instill in the hearts of every man and woman of our time the same trust which prompted the prodigal son to say: “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned’”.
May we all receive the gift of forgiveness and joy and in our own day that our Father will choose for all of us and may we all appear with Christ in His glory.
May the Risen Christ bless all of us!
Happy Easter! Alleluia!
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Live for Christ alone with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Heavenly Father, give me the grace to live my life for You in the Name of your Son Jesus. In Him, I pray. Amen.
Reflection 4 – Win the war!
Happy Easter to all! Today we should rejoice! It’s time to party!
There is a story about a man who attended a great party. He enjoyed a lot and had too much to drink. So, he wanted to get home quickly and go to bed. The only way to do this was to take the short-cut – and that is the road that passes through the cemetery! But the place was dark and he fell into a freshly dug grave. The pit was so deep that he had no way of getting out. He cried for help, but to no avail. Finally convinced of the futility of his efforts, he just sat down in a corner of the dark pit to get some sleep as he waited for daylight. After a short while, another drunken man took the same road. As expected, he also fell into the same pit. He jumped and shouted for help. He did not know that somebody else was with him down there. The first guy was awakened by the noise of the terrified man. So he tried to calm him down. He touched him with his cold hands and with a deep voice said, “Relax. You cannot get out of here tonight.” In an instant, the poor guy was able to jump out of the pit! Adrenaline rush!
In the cemetery, we see various epitaphs on tombstones, some of them truly amusing. On the tomb of an atheist: “Here lies an Atheist, All dressed up, And no place to go.” On the tomb of a famous lawyer: “Here lies a lawyer who lies no more.” On the tomb of Jesus, perhaps the most appropriate words would be: “Jesus was here, but not for long, for He is truly risen!”
Jesus is out of the grave. The tomb is empty. He did not jump out of the tomb out of extreme fear and panic. He has risen from the dead. The tomb could not contain him, for he is not dead. He is alive forever, for he is God. He has conquered death, and won the victory for us.
Victory presupposes war or battle. Jesus went into battle. And he won. He fought against violence. He did not resist when he was led to the cross. He used the weapon of non-violence and forgiveness. He won. He fought against pride and arrogance. He used the power of humility and meekness. And he won. He fought against lies and deception. He just said the truth, for he is himself the Truth. And he won. He fought against death. He died but rose again. He won.
We are now in the middle of a terrible war. We are fighting a great spiritual battle. The enemies of God and of the Church are for real, and they are serious. Like Jesus who was attacked not only by outside enemies but also by those closest to him, betrayed by Judas and abandoned by the other disciples, so also the Church is attacked from without as well as from within.
There is war. And the enemy seems to be winning. The worsening economic crisis, the ever-growing threats of terrorism and violence, the increasing number of unborn infants murdered, failed marriages and broken families, the rapid spread of immorality, false teachings and blatant lies, the proliferation of drug abuse cases, and the strong influence of materialism and egoism in the minds and hearts of people – all these are telling us that we may be losing the battle. These are the reasons why many of us still continue to feel the pains and sorrow of Good Friday.
But in the midst of all these, the joyful message of Easter rings clearly: Jesus is the winner! We are assured of victory. In Christ, we shall overcome. St. Paul, in his Letter to the Romans, proclaims the message of hope. “Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For, if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection” (Rom 6:3-5).
St. Paul is not talking about winning the whole world, totally eradicating poverty and injustice, cleaning up our society from all bad elements and overcoming all problems in the world. Instead he is talking about joining Jesus in his death through our baptism, so that we may rise with him in his resurrection – “so that we, too, might live in newness of life.” It is a personal battle and personal victory he is trying to tell us.
A wise man shared his learning experience. He said: “When I was young, I wanted to change the world. After some time, I realized I could not change the world. So, when I grew older, I tried to change the people around me. And again, I realized I have no power to change other people either. Now that I am very old, I decided to give up trying to change the world and other people; instead, I will strive to change myself.”
We cannot change the world. We have no capacity to change the hardened hearts and minds of evil people and of those who hate us. But definitely, we have the power to change ourselves. Through Jesus, our victorious Lord, we have the assurance that we can win the war in our personal lives. Then our personal victories, taken together with all the others, will mean the conversion of many hearts that will gradually usher in the dawn of justice and peace in the world.
Instead of cursing the darkness of sin and evil in the world and prolonging the grief and anguish of Good Friday, let us struggle to rise up and begin our earnest campaign to convert and conquer ourselves and become beacons of light and hope in this world. Indeed, the resurrection of Jesus always gives us the reason to hope and rejoice in our own personal victory as children of God (Source: Fr. Mike Lagrimas, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Palmera Springs 3, Susano Road, Camarin, Novaliches, Caloocan City 1422).
Reflection 5 – The Meaning of Easter
The coach of a team lagging behind in score would usually yell these words of encouragement to his players on the court: “Boys, let’s do it! It’s not over till it’s over.” And this is true. The outcome of a game could be reversed suddenly at the dying seconds. And this is precisely what happened to Jesus. On Good Friday, people thought that it was over. Jesus is dead and buried. He is finished. But what they did not know was that there was one more chapter left in the life story of Jesus. “It’s not over till it’s over!” There is victory after seeming defeat; there is resurrection after crucifixion; there is life after death.
The Lord is not dead! He is risen! Alleluia!
This Sunday, Easter Sunday, the Sunday of all Sundays, I am sure some people may say, “Yeah, it’s Easter Sunday. So what?” This kind of reaction is becoming common among so many people nowadays. The impact of secularism, materialism and egoism upon the minds and attitudes of people is so strong that spiritual values are now deemed useless and obsolete. So, it is quite important to clarify and emphasize the meaning of this very important celebration. What does Easter really mean for us today? What is the connection of the resurrection of Jesus to our present life in this world?
First, we must remind ourselves time and again that everything in this world is passing away. Nothing is permanent here. Eventually everything will collapse and dissipate. What will happen then? We just cannot continue ignoring the heavenly and eternal realities. Hence, in his Letter to the Colossians, St. Paul earnestly exhorts us: “Be intent on things above rather than on things of earth … set your heart on what pertains to higher realms” (Col 3:1-4). The resurrection of Jesus tells us that there is a future in store for us; there is heaven we can look forward to when this transitory world passes away; there is life after death. Hence, we ought not to focus our attention only on this material world. For, again, as St. Paul said: “We look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory; what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor 4:18).
Second, our life in this world, aside from being transitory, is also a long, arduous journey. At some point in our lives, we have to ask ourselves: where am I heading? Ten or twenty years from now, what will happen to me? When I grow old, what will I do? When all my children are grown up and have families of their own, where will I go? And then, eventually, we face the inevitable question: when I die, what happens next? Ultimately, we have to ask: what is the meaning of my life?
In the Gospels, Jesus gives us all the answers. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Bread that gives us everlasting life. He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. He and the Father are one. He is God. He is our salvation. And all his teachings and declarations are all proven true because of his resurrection. Saint Paul declared: “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is void of content and your faith is empty too” (1 Cor 15:17).
If we are looking for answers to all of life’s questions, Jesus has all the answers, and his answers are all proven true and ratified by his resurrection. We can depend, therefore, on the absolute veracity of his teachings, which will help us find meaning and direction in life. Jesus is the ultimate answer to everything in this world. He alone gives meaning to our life. Without Jesus, we are lost…forever. With Jesus, we will find life in its fullness: “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10).
Third, every day we are confronted with our weaknesses and shortcomings, our inadequacies and failures. We look for a source of power to give us strength, encouragement and support. Jesus is the ultimate source of power in heaven and on earth. With his resurrection, he is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and he fulfills his promise to us: “Anything you ask me in my name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). This is the reason why, every time we pray at Mass and in many other liturgical celebrations, we always end with the phrase: “We ask this through Christ our Lord.”
Yes, we are weak. But Jesus is our strength. This is what he revealed to St. Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12: 9). This led the Apostle to conclude: “I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me…For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10). In Jesus, there is power, victory, and salvation.
The resurrection of Jesus, then, is not something remote and detached from our life. In fact, our life finds its source, power and meaning in the resurrection of Jesus. Hence, as God’s people, we gather to worship every Sunday, the Day of the Lord, because we joyfully celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
No matter what happens to us and to the world, we will always proclaim that immutable and wonderful truth: Jesus is alive; he is risen; he is Lord! This truth gives us hope, joy and assurance of our final victory and eternal salvation.
Happy Easter to all! (Source: Fr. Mike Lagrimas, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Palmera Springs 3, Susano Road, Camarin, Novaliches, Caloocan City 1422).
Reflection 6 – Christ and the Butterfly
In 1972, Trina Paulus published a simple but profound book entitled Hope for the Flowers. The theme as Trina puts it is “to the ‘more’ of life – the real revolution.” It is the story of two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, who are searching for real meaning in life. “There must be more to life than just eating and getting bigger,” they think. In their search they see caterpillars crawling towards a column. And when they get nearer, they notice the column was nothing but a pillar of squirming, pushing caterpillars – a caterpillar pillar. Thinking there must be something there, Stripe and Yellow join the column, stepping on others, kicking their way in every direction – just pushing upwards like everyone else. What is on top they don’t know except that every now and then they see someone being pushed off the top of the column. Finally, Yellow gets fed up with all this struggling, pushing, and stepping on others and starts working her way down the pile. As she wanders through the fields she discovers from a butterfly that there is a butterfly within her. And without butterflies there would be no flowers. But she has to go through a process of changing into a butterfly. Overcoming her fears, she completes the process and becomes a butterfly. When she flies into the air, she sees piles of caterpillars fighting their way to get to the top only to be pushed off and plunge down. She searches for her friend Stripe and convinces him that she was the Yellow he knew. Finally, Stripe works his way down to follow what Yellow did. And he, too, emerges as a beautiful butterfly. And they live happily ever after.
The Easter story is something like that. Christ went through his passion and death to bring us new life. And he shows us the way to the greater meaning of life. The Easter proclamation is “Christ is risen.” Truly Christ is risen! But what does it mean? On the surface it sounds simple enough: this man from Nazareth, who had ideas is now alive and moving around meeting with his friends. The Easter stories are strange enough, but preaching “Christ risen!” is the strangest turn of all. Nothing is easier to understand than the fact that the message of a great man lives after him. But Paul, the Apostles, the Christian Church, do not so much preach the message of Jesus. They preach Jesus, the One who is Risen. We tend to think that the Church passes on truths, the message delivered by Jesus in his life. But Jesus does not say, “I am bringing God’s truth.” He says “I am the Truth. I am the Way, and the Life.” The prophets of the Hebrew Bible proclaim truths, they told us about the will of God. But Jesus to the Christians is “greater than a prophet.” Jesus is not God’s messenger, Jesus does not just deliver God’s truth, Jesus is God’s truth. More than a prophet, Jesus is Immanuel, God-with-us, as we proclaim at Christmas. If Jesus were just a prophet, a messenger of God’s truth, then the Apostles and the Church could easily claim that the message outlives the messenger, the truth does not depend on the one who brings it. Jesus would be immortal in his message. But Christians claim something much more radical, much more extraordinary: the messenger lives on – Christos anesti (Christ is Risen). The truth passed on is Jesus, the Christ, the Risen One. This is clearly expressed by Catholic tradition in the Eucharist. We, Catholics do not look on the Eucharist as just a reminder of Jesus’ message, or a symbol of Jesus. We say that it is the “real presence” of Jesus. The Church itself is not a school of wisdom. It is the “Mystical Body of Christ.” The human meaning of “Christ is risen” involves our deepest need to have a presence for our lives, a presence as full as my life, a life companion of life. So, today we do not preach the message of Jesus as a prophet of profound truths, we preach Jesus as Christ risen. Jesus is the real presence, the life, which stands alongside our lives “as it was then, is now, and ever shall be.” Christ is risen. Truly, Christ is risen! (Read the Source:http://catholicexchange.com/christ-is-risen/#.UVhBR1VPYXk.gmail)
Reflection 7 – The tomb of Jesus
No matter what age we have reached, Easter is the world’s best reason to say, “Thank you!” Christ has conquered sin and death, showing us the way to what God intended for all eternity: that we share life with God forever: Satan’s promises are empty; he thrives on selfishness and discouragement. Are you discouraged with the empty tomb of Jesus in our gospel today?
In his documentary “The Lost Tomb of Jesus, Simcha Jacobovici claims archaeological evidence that disproves the resurrection of Christ. He says that the words, “Jesus son of Joseph” found on a burial container near Jerusalem refer to Jesus of Nazareth. He also claims to have identified Jesus’ DNA. How valid are these conclusions? The Israel Antiquities Authority calls them “nonsense.” Other secular and religious scholars agree. Jesus and Joseph were common names in first-century Judea. And Jacobovici needs DNA samples from Jesus to compare with the bones in the tomb. Obviously, that’s impossible! But there are strong arguments in favor of Jesus’ resurrection. Most compelling is that fact that every disciple except John died a martyr’s death. Central to their message was Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 2:29-32). If Christ had not been raised from the dead, why did the disciples choose to die rather than deny it?
Peter lived another 30+ years after Jesus rose from the dead. Peter died a martyr in a land far from Capernaum, the city where he first met Jesus. By the time Peter died, gentile Christians were becoming the majority among Christians.
Assault on our faith and on the Scriptures come and go. Don’t be shaken by these baseless attacks. Two thousand years ago, the disciples were eyewitnesses to the real tomb of Jesus. The angels told them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” (Lk 24:5-6). The reality of the resurrection is the central fact of our Christian faith. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Lord gives us “eyes of faith” to know him and the power of his resurrection. The greatest joy we can have is to encounter the living Lord and to know him personally.
Easter faith is the start of our journey – not its conclusion. Easter faith will stretch us in some way this week: maybe to “walk the extra mile” with someone who very much needs to be heard and to be told that he or she is still loved by God; life’s frustrations do not cancel that; or possibly to encourage someone to live more gratefully for what God has already done and is still doing in his or her life. Although God doesn’t need to receive our thanks, we very much need to offer it.
This Easter we give thanks for what God has done through Jesus Christ and what God continues to do through Jesus’ followers in the Holy Eucharist. Do you celebrate the feast of Easter with joy and thanksgiving for the victory which Jesus has won for you over sin and death?
“Lord Jesus Christ, you have triumphed over the grave and you have won new life for us. Give me the eyes of faith to see you in your glory. Help me to draw near to you and to grow in the knowledge of your great love and power.”
Reflection 8 – Resurrection of the Lord
Purpose: The direction one’s life takes living the mystery of the resurrection.
Happy Easter! Christ Jesus is Risen! This means that life takes on a new horizon. Have you ever thought of yourself as immortal? Have you ever considered that you have a “forever” to live life? The resurrection from the dead of Jesus casts a new light on our human existence. No longer are we bound by finite ends. Our life has an all new endless and brilliant horizon, and we come to share in this new resurrected and glorious horizon gifted us by Christ Jesus through our Baptism.
In Baptism, we are born into the resurrected life of Jesus Christ, a life that knows no end, nor boundaries. Death has no more hold on us. Yes, we still die, but that is not the end of our life. For not only will our souls live on past our death, but our bodies and souls will be re-united and resurrect from our graves unto the glory that we see already in Jesus, the firstborn of the dead. With this faith, we come to find that the urgencies and anxieties that death can put upon our desires for our life come to fade into nothingness as we now see that we have a “forever” to experience—all for which we could ever yearn.
Sin, likewise, loses its tempting appeal. Sins’ allure makes us believe that it can fulfill our every need in the here and now, and that there will be no greater opportunity to be so fulfilled in the future. The resurrection of Christ Jesus shows us the folly of this allure, unraveling its false logic. The resurrection shows us the opportunity for an endless future of glory and fulfillment, and that the present is not the only opportunity we will ever have to satiate our desires. For there is truly a great and majestic glory that awaits all who persevere in Christ Jesus, and with faith, put their hope in a future filled with all the love one could ever desire.
The resurrection gives us our freedom to decide our life’s direction, unencumbered by the insidious snares of the devil. The death of Christ—just like the death of all those who came before us who fought so that we may have freedom—bestows a great and ineffable dignity on our liberty to make choices in regards the direction of our life. It begs the question: “What do we use our freedom for that was purchased at such a great price?” Furthermore, the resurrection of Christ shows us a great light to guide us in our choices. It shows us a glimmer of the glory that awaits when we use our freedom to embrace, not the fading allurements of the present, but an endless glory of resplendent beauty in the future.
The glory of Easter is a future glory. It calls us to wait for fulfillment, to use our freedom to choose the greatest good—a good that lies not in any temptation before our eyes at present, but for a beauty that can only be attained through holy patience. Easter freedom is a freedom for a better tomorrow. It is, therefore, as an Easter people—by virtue of our Baptism, and nourished in the sacred food of the Eucharist—that we journey and live, not for today, but for the beauty that awaits!
Reflection 9 – Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Our Lord
Purpose: The Gospel of John and, in a way, the whole of the Christian story, ends with the promise of new life, and the fact that our life has true meaning. The Resurrection means that human life, however fragile, and even wounded, has meaning. The Resurrection means that our lives have meaning. The Resurrection means there is a destination; it means that Christ is both the hope, and the realization, of a life that has no fear, no doubts, and no end.
A pious practice which has fallen out of custom is the greeting among Christians, which I do all the time this time of year: “The Lord is Risen!” Our response to that is to say, “The Lord is truly Risen.!” I once again address you brothers and sisters in the Lord, “The Lord is Risen,” “the Lord is truly Risen.”
I visited a suffering friend who was incapacitated, and every time I went to visit her, she had me always read the same book. Visit after visit, I read from these pages, but it seemed like I would never finish it. Relieved we were getting close to the end, the next time I came to her room, she wanted to start over from the beginning. I asked her why she wanted me to keep reading from the same book, over and over again. She said she enjoyed the book but she was afraid that if she read the last chapter she would not want to read the book any more.
We got the last chapter today in the scriptures. We know how the greatest story of all time ends. It ends with the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We know how this great epic, this greatest story ever, is completed: with the good guys winning. It ends with life defeating death, with truth triumphing over lies. It ends with love winning over hate. It ends with hope over despair, and faith over doubt. It ends with Jesus over Satan. It ends with light over darkness, and life over death. We are an intimate part of this story so, in Christ, we also know how our own story is going to end. Spring always follows winter, and this morning promises that for those who wish to live in Christ, Easter will always follow Good Friday. And that is why we gather today, and every Sunday: to celebrate how Easter is not something only of the historical past, but that today, we, too, hare in is Christ’s life and Resurrection, thereby knowing how our own story will end if we stay close to him.
I guarantee that every person in this Church this morning has experienced obstacles. I guarantee that every person in this Basilica has experienced suffering, you have experienced loss, and every one of us, to one degree or another, has experienced betrayal and heartbreak. If the Resurrection is not real, then your obstacles mean nothing; if the Resurrection is not real then your sufferings mean nothing; if the Resurrection is not real then your heartbreak means nothing. But, the good news is that the Resurrection means that your life, your suffering, your promises, and your joys all mean something because you have eternal meaning. None of us are going to live for only a time, but forever. Now, we have something to hope for: a destiny that is (literally) heaven because you have been grafted onto Christ, and onto his Resurrection. You can place all of your hope in this firm foundation. This reality should bring energy into our lives, and we see this in the Gospel from St. John.
One last thing to notice here is that everybody is running. Sometimes in the details of the Gospel we find very important facts. This would be especially true of St. John’s Gospel. Notice how all the central characters are running. In the first case, we have Mary Magdalene who came to the tomb expecting to find Jesus’ corpse only, but she finds the stone rolled away. Her response is to run from the tomb in confusion. It is a typical response of the early Church to the Resurrection of Jesus.In all of the accounts of Jesus’ Resurrection there is some confusion because people do not expect this to take place. It was an unexpected event for them in their relationship with Jesus. So in her perplexity, Mary runs, but in so doing she encounters Peter, and the disciple who Jesus loved, and she described to them that the tomb is now empty. In response, they run, not away from the tomb as Mary did, but towards the tomb. There is something about the Resurrection of Jesus that brings this kind of energy and life to his disciples, to us. On this celebration of Easter, we should look at our own lives. The Resurrection does not bring us confusion. It brings us hope, but it also leads us to run, and to run with enthusiasm, in the living out our Christian life. Run with enthusiasm to others to share with them the Good News that Jesus has been raised from the dead. But remember that you never run alone: you have been made one with Christ in the baptismal promises we are about to renew. As the Father’s own beloved children, especially in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, sin no longer has a hold on you. Sin no longer defines you, for that is why your brother Jesus died, so you did not have to be stuck in sin. We are not yet perfect like him, but today we are invited to let the reality of the Resurrection change our lives, and to make the conscious decision that I refuse to let what God did this morning to be wasted on me. “The Lord is Risen!” “The Lord is truly Risen!” (Read the source: http://www.hprweb.com/2016/02/homilies-for-march-2016/ ).
Reflection 10 – Facts lead to faith
“Speak, Mary, declaring, what you saw wayfaring. I saw the tomb of Christ who is living, the glory of Jesus’ resurrection.” In these words from the Sequence for today’s Mass, Mary Magdalene speaks in the name of the whole human race. Mary as the apostola apostolorum, the Apostle of the Apostles, comes to the tomb to anoint the dead Christ and runs to be the first to announce to the Apostles that the dead Christ is not there.
She is the first to witness the great resolution of the problem of the true meaning of man, which had baffled great philosophers. Aristotle, for example, knew that the soul of man was immortal because intelligence is a spiritual action. The nature of man’s soul demands that he should “set his heart on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col 3:2). This is not only true for the soul; it is also true for the body.
Unlike Plato, Aristotle did not think the body was a prison. He also knew the soul and the body were both necessary for man’s nature, two equally important principles. He also taught that an unnatural condition cannot exist forever. How does one explain the fact then that the body dies, and that there is no power in the soul or the body to make it live forever? Aristotle had no solution to this problem.
This problem of the fact of death confronting the necessity of the body’s living forever was brought home in a graphic manner for the Apostles when they experienced the seemingly absurd conclusion to their faith in Christ – his death. They had generally accepted the fact that he would be the one to save Israel, and yet now he was dead. In both difficulties, man in the persons of the Apostles is left in a box canyon by reason.
Like the ring to a finger, when Christ is raised from the dead, the solution is given to these difficulties. In the Resurrection of the dead there is no more equivocation about the final perfection of human life: the perfection of the soul is found in the vision of God. This overflows into the body by a miraculous gift from God. Grace is given to the human race as the fruit of the passion to live in heaven while on earth. “Your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). Embraced life on earth lived in charity allows us to adopt God’s perspective. This life allows us to know as God knows and to love as God loves. This embraced life is lived with and in the body and prepares our bodies to perfectly experience the divine vision of heaven.
The Apostles, who have not understood up to that point this mystery which even we find hard with our perspective of twenty centuries, now finally, begin to understand. At the word of Mary, Peter representing authority and John representing contemplation run to the tomb. Love runs faster, though, but then waits for authority. When they both enter the simple statement is made: “He saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead” (Jn 20:8-9).
The problem of man is solved and not only for the Apostles, but also for us in their faith. If the empty tomb were enough, faith would not be based on the real physical experience of Christ’s body. There are theologians today who suggest that the empty tomb was merely the occasion which led the Apostles to invent the story of the resurrection from their faith; their need to have Christ risen to make sense of the passion led to this invention. This mystery is not about dead bodies living again. One priest theologian who was head of a national Catholic theological conference said that if they found the body of Jesus in a tomb in Israel this would not shake his faith in the resurrection because the objective fact of Christ’s body living again was not important for faith in the mystery.
This is silly. The Scripture are replete with testimonies, not of faith creating facts, but of facts leading to faith. “Now we are those witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:41). The Catechism is clear on the truth that the facts led to belief in the mystery: “Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles’ faith (or credulity) will not hold up. On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus” (Catechism of the Catholic Church,644).
It is the same with us. By our faith, born under the action of divine grace, we now know that the final completion of the problem of man is in heaven, when we shall know God soul and body. This is begun and accomplished each day, for, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad. ALLELUIA!” (Source: Fr. Brian T. Mullady, OP, “Homilies on the Liturgies of Sundays and Feasts,” Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Vol. CX. No. 6. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, March 2010, pp. 33-34; Suggested readings: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 638-658).
Reflection 11 – The Power of the Resurrection
There was a time when Greece dominated the Mediterranean world. By the time of Christ, however, it was eclipsed by Rome. Nevertheless it continued to bask in its past glory and its capital city, Athens, continued as a center of learning and culture. St. Paul came to Athens with the Gospel of Jesus Christ on one of his missionary journeys. He was not impressed – actually he was grieved when he saw the city full of idols. He began preaching Jesus Christ and one of his great sermons is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. St. Paul did not present an imposing figure, but he was an eloquent speaker and so he attracted a crowd, even some self-styled philosophers. Some of them were soon turned off and asked, “What is this ignorant show-off trying to say?” St. Paul was proclaiming the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Eventually, St. Paul brought his message to the city council, the Areopagus. When the cultured and learned men there heard St. Paul speak about a rising from death, some ridiculed him. Others said, “We want to hear you speak about this again.” Some believed.
Today, I must speak about Jesus and his Resurrection. Why? You have believed and are not like those who ridiculed St. Paul. You are like those who said, “We want to hear you speak about this again!”
The Resurrection of Jesus has been believed and disbelieved from the very first Easter morning. The apostles and disciples had their doubts at first but eventually came to believe. It was not as if they did not believe down-to-earth men they saw the logic – cynical as it was – of those who jeered at Jesus beneath the cross: “He saved others, let him save himself!” (Mt 27:40-42). They were sure he couldn’t. It seemed they were right. Jesus could not save himself.
Strangely enough it was those who jeered at Jesus who later believed the Resurrection almost immediately. They provided the sepulcher guards with a story to explain it away: “While we slept, the apostles came and stole the body” (Mt 28:13). Through the centuries others have simply denied the Resurrection and others have said it was a fraud or hoax. Still others have tried to explain it away as an illusion arising from foolish hopes. In more recent times some have sought to give a pious spin to their denials by saying it was only a “spiritual” resurrection, as if Jesus only found new life in the memories of his followers, or that it was only an apparition.
From that first Easter to this day Christians have believed and rejoiced in the Resurrection of Jesus. Although the Resurrection remains a mystery – as to how it occurred – it is a real event with evidence that is historically verified. There were overjoyed witnesses who saw the risen Christ. There was the empty tomb with the linen cloths lying there. Guards were terror-stricken. The stone at the entrance of the tomb was rolled away (Jn 20:1-9; Mk 16:1-8; Mt 28:1-15; Lk 24:1-12).
What have Christians exactly believed? First of all, that God the Father through the action of the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24). Secondly, Jesus rose in his real body but a body changed to reflect his heavenly glory. Jesus allowed himself to be touched (Lk 24:39). He ate with the apostles (Lk 24:42-43). His body bore the wounds he received on Good Friday (Lk 24:39-40). Yet Mary Magdalene first mistook him for the gardener on Easter morning (Jn 20:15). After the Resurrection Jesus clearly was not limited by the constraints of time and place. He passed through closed doors (Jn 20:19). He traveled a day’s journey to Emmaus, ate with two disciples and still, almost in an instant, joined the apostles in Jerusalem (Lk 24:13-49). Perhaps the strongest proof of the Resurrection is the fact that his closest followers, those who were so timid during the Passion Week, suddenly became very bold and in time died for declaring emphatically, “Jesus rose from the dead!” (Acts 2:22-24; 8:54-60)). So great was their joy and conviction.
Today however, preaching the Resurrection of Jesus is most often frustrated by the indifference of people who simply are not impressed. “So what?” is their attitude. This indifference arises from the frenzied lives we live. People work so hard at making a living that they come to think living on this earth is all there is. People do not heed the words of St. Paul in the second reading: “Be intent on things above rather than on things of earth … set your heart on what pertains to higher realms” (Col 3:1-4).
The second reason why people seem indifferent is that they do not see the connection between the Resurrection of Jesus and their own lives. There is a profound connection!
Above all else the Resurrection confirms the teaching of Jesus. During his public ministry our Lord often confounded his hearers, for example, when he promised to give his flesh and blood as food and drink. Many of his own disciples remarked, “This sort of talk is hard to endure” (Jn 6:60). There were many hard sayings and great promises and our Lord by his resurrection ratified them all. By rising from the dead Jesus strengthened our faith and hope in “the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” St. Paul was clear about this when he wrote to the Corinthians: “Tell me, if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how is it that some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ himself has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is void of content and your faith is empty too…. You are still in your sins” (1 Cor 15:12-17).
There is another connection. The Scriptures speak of the power of the Resurrection. What is this power? It is not a force like that which keeps the planets in orbit. It is the power of the Risen Christ seated at the right hand of the Father (Lk 22:69). There he can keep the promise he made, “Anything you ask me in my name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). All that concerns our salvation passes from God through Christ and all our worship and prayers pass to God through Christ. We end all liturgical prayers with the words, “Through Christ our Lord” for this reason.
There is indeed a vital connection between the Resurrection of Jesus and our lives. We are filled with joy! This joy has filled the hearts of faithful Christians from the very first Easter. It has led the Church to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection not only on Easter but every Sunday, and has led to the naming of the first day of the week “the Lord’s Day.”
Like those who heard St. Paul in Athens and said, “We want to hear you speak about this again,” so we too must never tire of hearing over and over again, “Jesus Christ has risen! Indeed he has risen!” (Source: Rev. George M. Franko, “Homilies on the Liturgies of Sundays and Feasts,” Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Vol. CIX, No. 6. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, March 2009, pp. 37-39; Suggested reading: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 647-655).
Reflection 12 – Rejoice and give thanks to God
Happy Easter everyone! Alleluia! Alleluia! What a joy it is to gather with all of you on this holy day — a day on which we come together in faith to rejoice in and give thanks to God for his incredible saving acts. What a God we have! To think that our God was (and is) willing to go to such great lengths — go as far as he needs to — to save us, to reconcile us to himself and to one another.
And he does so for one reason and one reason only — because he loves us more than we could ever imagine — completely, unconditionally, and eternally. Think for a moment about the person or persons you love the most. Now try to get your mind around the fact that our loving God has even more love for us than that — infinitely more — love that is beyond measure. May we never take that love for granted, but rather return that same love as best we can, not once in a while or to a few, but to every person and in every situation.
The older I get, the more I think about my life — where I’ve been, where I’m at now, and where I’ll be in the future. And one thing I think about more and more is my own mortality. Sometimes I wonder how much time I have left, or what it will be like as I (hopefully) grow old. And of course, I wonder what awaits me when my earthly life has ended.
And it this day in particular that fills my heart and soul with hope — believing in faith that the best days are always ahead, and that someday my loving God will open his arms to me and embrace me for all eternity — all made possible by our Lord Jesus. He is the One who broke into our world so that we could break into God’s, the One who showed us that love is the greatest power there is — and that even death is rendered powerless by it.
That’s the power that has been unleashed through the resurrection of Jesus, a power that knows no bounds, a power that each of us shares in. And that can bring so much solace to each of us who believes, especially those among us for whom life is incredibly difficult, or disappointing, or heart-breaking, or wearisome. Easter shows us that in the midst of life’s challenges and sorrows we can draw comfort from knowing that someday all our crosses will pass away, and through God’s grace and saving power we will live (hopefully) with and in God for all eternity. What could be better than that?
But doesn’t that seem like a little too long to wait? Must I endure one cross after another for years on end before I get to share in the joy that only God can give, share in his peace, share in the resurrection of Jesus?
My friends, the wait is over. The Easter promise is not that God pours new life into us exclusively at the end of our earthly days or that God saves us when our lives have ended. No, the promises of today are so much more than that — for the new life God has won for us — he gives to us THIS DAY; the power of his resurrection — can shape our lives THIS DAY; the victory that has been won by our Lord Jesus — is a victory that trumps our pain and sorrow THIS DAY.
In other words, Easter isn’t just about the future, nor is it about the past. The miracle of Easter is one in which God raises us up in this time and place, transforms our pain and sorrow in this time and place, fills us with new life in this time and place — so that we can continue on our journey renewed in faith, renewed in joy, renewed in peace.
And so we rejoice not only in what MAY be, but in what IS. God promises to raise us up from whatever is weighing us down or holding us back, promises to take us by the hand and accompany us on every step of life’s journey, promises to love us and comfort us and forgive us no matter what — whether we get most things right or whether we mess up over and over and over again.
That’s the real promise of the resurrection. And so, as we gather this day, let’s not simply wait for a day far in the future when we will finally be embraced within God’s loving arms for all eternity.
We’re there already.
He is risen! Alleluia, alleluia! May this day fill your hearts and minds and souls (and very lives) with a newness of life — one filled with God’s love and peace, his mercy and his joy, his comfort and his compassion. God wants nothing less.
Have a blessed Easter everyone. – Source: Homilies for Life
Reflection 13 – Son rise
“So on Sunday we all come together. This is the first day, on which God transformed darkness and matter and made the world; the day on which Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.” – St. Justin Martyr
John 20:1-10: It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,” she said, “and we don’t know where they have put him.” So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead. The disciples then went home again.
Christ the Lord: Easter Sunday, when the Liturgy presents this passage to the Church, brings Holy Week to its glorious climax. Indeed, this week, which ranks highest among the periods of the liturgical year, is made “holy” precisely by the Lord’s resurrection. Imagine how a Good Friday without Easter Sunday would alter the Christian message: Jesus would be no more than another Socrates. His teaching would perhaps be remembered, but his outlandish claims to be the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Light of the World would be invalidated. The apostles would have remained passive and frightened, and the Church would never have come into existence. The Eucharist would be, at best, a mere myth, an empty ritual. The martyrs, virgins, and other saints who have flooded these last twenty centuries with such revolutionary holiness would have remained mere citizens of the earth!
Jesus Christ was Lord of heaven. By his resurrection, he has conquered this fallen world’s reigning powers of death. Now he is Lord of heaven and earth; the Kingdom of God is close at hand: among us, in fact, through the Church, which is the Risen Lord’s body. There is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, crucified for our sins, risen for our redemption, and present through his Church. If now we embrace him there, he will make sure that we rise to embrace him forever in heaven.
Christ the Teacher: St. John’s attention to detail is meaningful. He records how he himself ran to the empty tomb faster than St. Peter, but waited for Peter to go in first. His reward: “he saw and believed”:faith. What could these minutiae have to teach us? Peter was the leader of the Twelve Apostles. Christ had dubbed him the rock upon which he would build his Church. At the Last Supper, he had commanded him to strengthen his brethren in the faith. Soon after his Resurrection, he specially commissioned him to feed and tend his sheep. St. John, the “beloved disciple,” follows Peter into the empty tomb instead of rushing in ahead of him, and he receives the gift of faith; he comes to believe in the risen Lord.
The Church is not a conglomerate of individual believers all living out their own inspirations from the Holy Spirit. The Church is the unified Body of Christ and the organized people of God. It is the New Israel, and like the old Israel, it has a structure, and God has chosen to work through that structure. When we responsibly live out our membership in the Body of Christ, we stay in step with the Church, under the guidance of Peter’s successor, the pope. We neither lag behind nor run too far ahead, and in that way Christ pours out upon us a strong and vibrant faith, just as he did for his beloved disciple, John.
Christ the Friend: He rose for us. He came to earth for us, he suffered for us, and he rose for us. Nothing in Christ was for himself. Nothing. He is all love, all self-giving, all obedience to the Father’s will for the sake of our salvation. He rose so that we might rise with him. In his Resurrection, we see what he is preparing for us. How eagerly he looks forward to that day when he will “wipe away every tear” (Revelation 7:17) from our eyes and welcome us into the fullness of life that is his eternal kingdom! The more faithful we are to him now, the more we will share in his glory when he raises us from the dead. Good friends fill our lives on earth with joy and comfort; only Christ can offer a joy that will keep growing forever.
Christ: I know it’s hard for you to feel the power and the joy of my Resurrection. You still need to grow in your faith and humility to be able to feel it. But you don’t need to feel it in order to believe in me. Think of my Resurrection often. The more you turn the eyes of your heart towards it, the more its light will illumine and warm your heart, until your whole life is gradually bathed in its power and joy. And I have given you a reminder: the sunrise. Each day, the sun comes up and brings light to the world, just as I rose from the darkness of death in order to conquer it forever with the light of my life.
Christ in My Life: I believe that you have risen from the dead, Lord, though I still tend to live as if this life were all there is; but you know that in my heart I am seeking your will and your Kingdom. Help me to seek them as I ought. Why do I keep thinking that the broken shards of happiness that sparkle in this fallen world can have any meaning “for me or anyone” apart from a living friendship with you?
Have mercy on your Church, Lord. In this day and age, it is so hard to trust in authority, even in your divinely established authority. But I want to. Teach me to discern your presence and your will in the words and indications of the pope, as all the saints have done. Teach me to see you in him, and to love you by serving the Church through obeying him. May I too become a saint!
I know that you lived your life for my sake, for my salvation, and for my instruction – and to comfort me, so that I never have to suffer alone. I want to live my life for your sake, building up your Kingdom, obeying your will, making you known and loved by everyone around me. What else would be a worthy response to all that you have done for me? With the love of your heart, inflame my heart! Read the source: http://www.spiritualdirection.com/2016/03/23/son-rise-john-20-1-10
Reflection 14 – Lazarus
Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, the brother of Martha and Mary, was the one of whom the Jews said, “See how much he loved him.” In their sight Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead.
Legends abound about the life of Lazarus after the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is supposed to have left a written account of what he saw in the next world before he was called back to life. Some say he followed Peter into Syria. Another story is that despite being put into a leaking boat by the Jews at Jaffa, he, his sisters and others landed safely in Cyprus. There he died peacefully after serving as bishop for 30 years.
A church was built in his honor in Constantinople and some of his reputed relics were transferred there in 890. A Western legend has the oarless boat arriving in Gaul. There he was bishop of Marseilles, was martyred after making a number of converts and was buried in a cave. His relics were transferred to the new cathedral in Autun in 1146.
It is certain there was early devotion to the saint. Around the year 390, the pilgrim lady Etheria talks of the procession that took place on the Saturday before Palm Sunday at the tomb where Lazarus had been raised from the dead. In the West, Passion Sunday was called Dominica de Lazaro, and Augustine tells us that in Africa the Gospel of the raising of Lazarus was read at the office of Palm Sunday.
Many people who have had a near-death experience report losing all fear of death. When Lazarus died a second time, perhaps he was without fear. He must have been sure that Jesus, the friend with whom he had shared many meals and conversations, would be waiting to raise him again. We don’t share Lazarus’ firsthand knowledge of returning from the grave. Nevertheless, we too have shared meals and conversations with Jesus, who waits to raise us, too.
Read the source: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1232
SAINT OF THE DAY
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|St. Lazarus of Bethany|
Christ Raising of Lazarus, Athens, 12-13th Century
|Four-days dead, Friend of Christ|
|Venerated in||Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Church
Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
|Attributes||Sometimes vested as anapostle, sometimes as a bishop. In the scene of his resurrection, he is portrayed tightly bound in mummified clothes, which resemble swaddling bands|
Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Saint Lazarus or Lazarus of the Four Days, is the subject of a prominentmiracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death. TheEastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions offer varying accounts of the later events of his life.
In the context of the seven signs in the Gospel of John, the Raising of Lazarus is the climactic narrative: exemplifying the power of Jesus “over the last and most irresistible enemy of humanity—death. For this reason it is given a prominent place in the gospel.”
A figure named “Lazarus” (Latinised from the Aramaic: אלעזר, Elʿāzār, cf. Heb. Eleazar—”God is my help”) is also mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. The two Biblical characters named “Lazarus” have sometimes been conflated historically, but are generally understood to be two separate people.
The name “Lazarus” is frequently used in science and popular culture in reference to apparent restoration to life; for example, the scientific term “Lazarus taxon” denotes organisms that reappear in the fossil record after a period of apparent extinction. There are also numerous literary uses of the term.
- 1The Raising of Lazarus
- 2Additional traditions about Lazarus of Bethany
- 3Liturgical commemorations
- 4Conflation with the beggar Lazarus
- 5Lazarus as Babalu Aye in Santería
- 6In culture
The Raising of Lazarus
The biblical narrative of the Raising of Lazarus is found in chapter 11 of the Gospel of John. Lazarus is introduced as a follower of Jesus, who lives in the town of Bethany near Jerusalem. He is identified as the brother of the sisters Mary andMartha. The sisters send word to Jesus that Lazarus, “he whom thou lovest,” is ill. Instead of immediately traveling to Bethany, according to the narrator, Jesus intentionally remains where he is for two more days before beginning the journey.
When Jesus arrives in Bethany, he finds that Lazarus is dead and has already been in his tomb for four days. He meets first with Martha and Mary in turn. Martha laments that Jesus did not arrive soon enough to heal her brother and Jesus replies with the well-known statement, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die”. Later the narrator here gives the famous simple phrase, “Jesus wept“.
In the presence of a crowd of Jewish mourners, Jesus comes to the tomb. Over the objections of Martha, Jesus has them roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb and says a prayer. He then calls Lazarus to come out and Lazarus does so, still wrapped in his grave-cloths. Jesus then calls for someone to remove the grave-cloths, and let him go.
The narrative ends with the statement that many of the witnesses to this event “believed in him.” Others are said to report the events to the religious authorities in Jerusalem.
The Gospel of John mentions Lazarus again in chapter 12. Six days before the Passover on which Jesus is crucified, Jesus returns to Bethany and Lazarus attends a supper that Martha, his sister, serves. Jesus and Lazarus together attract the attention of many Jews and the narrator states that the chief priests consider having Lazarus put to death because so many people are believing in Jesus on account of this miracle.
The miracle of the raising of Lazarus, the longest coherent narrative in John aside from the Passion, is the climax of John’s “signs”. It explains the crowds seeking Jesus on Palm Sunday, and leads directly to the decision of Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin to kill Jesus.
It is notable that Lazarus is the only resurrected character in the Bible (besides himself) that Jesus personally refers to as “dead.” The Daughter of Jairus, whom he resurrected at another time, was said by Jesus to have been “sleeping.”
A resurrection story that is very similar is also found in the controversial Secret Gospel of Mark, although the young man is not named there specifically. Some scholars believe that the Secret Mark version represents an earlier form of the canonical story found in John.
Depictions in art
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The Raising of Lazarus is a popular subject in religious art. Two of the most famous paintings are those of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (c. 1609) and Sebastiano del Piombo (1516). Among other prominent depictions of Lazarus are works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Ivor Williams, and Lazarus Breaking His Fast by Walter Sickert.
The Resurrection of Lazarus. Byzantine icon, late 14th — early 15th century, (From the Collection of G. Gamon-Gumun, Russian museum)
The Raising of Lazarus, 1540-1545, Giuseppe Salviati
The Raising of Lazarus, 1857, Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat
Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany
The reputed first tomb of Lazarus at al-Eizariya in the West Bank (generally believed to be the biblical Bethany) continues to be a place of pilgrimage to this day. Several Christian churches have existed at the site over the centuries. Since the 16th century, the site of the tomb has been occupied by the al-Uzair Mosque. The adjacent Roman CatholicChurch of Saint Lazarus, designed by Antonio Barluzzi and built between 1952 and 1955 under the auspices of theFranciscan Order, stands upon the site of several much older ones. In 1965, a Greek Orthodox church was built just west of the tomb.
The entrance to the tomb today is via a flight of uneven rock-cut steps from the street. As it was described in 1896, there were twenty-four steps from the then-modern street level, leading to a square chamber serving as a place of prayer, from which more steps led to a lower chamber believed to be the tomb of Lazarus. The same description applies today.
The first mention of a church at Bethany is in the late 4th century, but both the historian Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 330) and the Bordeaux pilgrim do mention the tomb of Lazarus. In 390 Jerome mentions a church dedicated to Saint Lazarus, called the Lazarium. This is confirmed by the pilgrim Egeria in about the year 410. Therefore, the church is thought to have been built between 333 and 390. The present-day gardens contain the remnants of a mosaic floor from the 4th-century church. The Lazarium was destroyed by an earthquake in the 6th century, and was replaced by a larger church. This church survived intact until the Crusader era.
In 1143 the existing structure and lands were purchased by King Fulk and Queen Melisende of Jerusalem and a large Benedictine convent dedicated to Mary and Martha was built near the tomb of Lazarus. After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187, the convent was deserted and fell into ruin with only the tomb and barrel vaulting surviving. By 1384, a simple mosque had been built on the site. In the 16th century, the Ottomans built the larger al-Uzair Mosque to serve the town’s (now Muslim) inhabitants and named it in honor of the town’s patron saint, Lazarus of Bethany.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, there were scholars who questioned the reputed site of the ancient village (though this was discounted by the Encyclopedia’s author):
Some believe that the present village of Bethany does not occupy the site of the ancient village; but that it grew up around the traditional cave which they suppose to have been at some distance from the house of Martha and Mary in the village; Zanecchia (La Palestine d’aujourd’hui, 1899, I, 445f.) places the site of the ancient village of Bethany higher up on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives, not far from the accepted site of Bethphage, and near that of the Ascension. It is quite certain that the present village formed about the traditional tomb of Lazarus, which is in a cave in the village. The identification of this cave as the tomb of Lazarus is merely possible; it has no strong intrinsic or extrinsic authority. The site of the ancient village may not precisely coincide with the present one, but there is every reason to believe that it was in this general location.”
Additional traditions about Lazarus of Bethany
While there is no further mention of Lazarus in the Bible, the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions offer varying accounts of the later events of his life. He is most commonly associated with Cyprus, where he is said to have become the first bishop of Kition (Larnaka), and Provence, where he is said to have been the first bishop of Marseille.
Bishop of Kition
According to Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, sometime after the Resurrection of Christ, Lazarus was forced to fleeJudea because of rumoured plots on his life and came to Cyprus. There he was appointed by Paul and Barnabas as the first bishop of Kition (present-day Larnaka). He lived there for thirty more years, and on his death was buried there for the second and last time.
Further establishing the apostolic nature of Lazarus’ appointment was the story that the bishop’s omophorion was presented to Lazarus by the Virgin Mary, who had woven it herself. Such apostolic connections were central to the claims to autocephaly made by the bishops of Kition—subject to the patriarch of Jerusalem—during the period 325–431. The church of Kition was declared self-governing in 431 AD at the Third Ecumenical Council.
According to tradition, Lazarus never smiled during the thirty years after his resurrection, worried by the sight of unredeemed souls he had seen during his four-day stay in Hades. The only exception was, when he saw someone stealing a pot, he smilingly said: “the clay steals the clay.”
In 890, a tomb was found in Larnaca bearing the inscription “Lazarus the friend of Christ”. Emperor Leo VI of Byzantium had Lazarus’ remains transferred toConstantinople in 898. The transfer was apostrophized by Arethas, bishop of Caesarea, and is commemorated by the Orthodox Church each year on October 17.
In recompense to Larnaca, Emperor Leo had the Church of St. Lazarus, which still exists today, erected over Lazarus’ tomb. The marble sarcophagus can be seen inside the church under the Holy of Holies.
After the sacking of Constantinople by the Franks during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Crusaders carried the saint’s relics to Marseilles, France as part of the booty of war. From there, “later on, they disappeared and up to the present day they have not been traced.”
In the 16th century, a Russian monk from the Monastery of Pskov visited St. Lazarus’s tomb in Larnaca and took with him a small piece of the relics. Perhaps that piece led to the erection of the St. Lazarus chapel at the Pskov Monastery (Spaso-Eleazar Monastery, Pskov),[note 1] where it is kept today.
On November 23, 1972, human remains in a marble sarcophagus were discovered under the altar, during renovation works in the church of Church of St. Lazarus at Larnaka, and were identified as part of the saint’s relics.[note 2]
In June 2012 the Church of Cyprus gave a part of the holy relics of St. Lazarus to a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, led by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, after a four-day visit to Cyprus. The relics were brought to Moscow and were given to Archbishop Arseniy of Istra, who took them to the Zachatievsky monastery (Conception Convent), where they were put up for veneration.
Bishop of Marseille
In the West, according to an alternative medieval tradition (centered in Provence), Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were “put out to sea by the Jews hostile to Christianity in a vessel without sails, oars, or helm, and after a miraculous voyage landed in Provenceat a place called today the Saintes-Maries.” The family is then said to separate and go in different parts of southeastern Gaulto preach; Lazarus goes to Marseilles. Converting many people to Christianity there, he becomes the first Bishop of Marseille. During the persecution of Domitian, he is imprisoned and beheaded in a cave beneath the prison Saint-Lazare. His body is later translated to Autun, where he is buried in the Autun Cathedral, dedicated to Lazarus as Saint Lazare. However, the inhabitants of Marseilles claim to be in possession of his head which they still venerate.
Pilgrims also visit another purported tomb of Lazarus at the Vézelay Abbey in Burgundy. In the Abbey of the Trinity atVendôme, a phylactery was said to contain a tear shed by Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus.
The Golden Legend, compiled in the 13th century, records the Provençal tradition. It also records a grand lifestyle imagined for Lazarus and his sisters (note that therein Lazarus’ sister Mary is conflated with Mary Magdalene):
Mary Magdalene had her surname of Magdalo, a castle, and was born of right noble lineage and parents, which were descended of the lineage of kings. And her father was named Cyrus, and her mother Eucharis. She with her brother Lazarus, and her sister Martha, possessed the castle of Magdalo, which is two miles from Nazareth, and Bethany, the castle which is nigh to Jerusalem, and also a great part of Jerusalem, which, all these things they departed among them. In such wise that Mary had the castle Magdalo, whereof she had her name Magdalene. And Lazarus had the part of the city of Jerusalem, and Martha had to her part Bethany. And when Mary gave herself to all delights of the body, and Lazarus entended all to knighthood, Martha, which was wise, governed nobly her brother’s part and also her sister’s, and also her own, and administered to knights, and her servants, and to poor men, such necessities as they needed. Nevertheless, after the ascension of our Lord, they sold all these things.
The 15th-century poet Georges Chastellain draws on the tradition of the unsmiling Lazarus: “He whom God raised, doing him such grace, the thief, Mary’s brother, thereafter had naught but misery and painful thoughts, fearing what he should have to pass”. (Le pas de la mort, VI).
Lazarus is honored as a saint by those Christian churches which keep the commemoration of saints, although on different days, according to local traditions.
In Christian funerals the idea of the deceased being raised by the Lord as Lazarus was raised is often expressed in prayer.
The Orthodox Church and Byzantine Catholic Church commemorate Lazarus on Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday, which is a moveable feast day. This day, together with Palm Sunday, hold a unique position in the church year, as days of joy and triumph between the penitence of Great Lent and the mourning ofHoly Week. During the preceding week, the hymns in the Lenten Triodion track the sickness and then the death of Lazarus, and Christ’s journey from beyondJordan to Bethany. The scripture readings and hymns for Lazarus Saturday focus on the resurrection of Lazarus as a foreshadowing of the Resurrection of Christ, and a promise of the General Resurrection. The Gospel narrative is interpreted in the hymns as illustrating the two natures of Christ: his humanity in asking, “Where have ye laid him?”, and his divinity by commanding Lazarus to come forth from the dead. Many of the Resurrectional hymns of the normal Sunday service, which are omitted on Palm Sunday, are chanted on Lazarus Saturday. During the Divine Liturgy, the Baptismal Hymn, “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ”, is sung in place of the Trisagion. Although the forty days of Great Lent end on the day before Lazarus Saturday, the day is still observed as a fast; however, it is somewhat mitigated. In Russia, it is traditional to eat caviar on Lazarus Saturday.
Lazarus is also commemorated on the liturgical calendar of the Orthodox Church on the fixed feast day of March 17,[note 3] while the translation of his relics fromCyprus to Constantinople in the year 898 AD is observed on October 17.[note 4]
No celebration of Saint Lazarus is included on the General Roman Calendar, but he is celebrated, together with his sister Mary of Bethany, on July 29, the memorialof their sister Martha. Earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology placed him among the saints of December 17.
In Cuba, the celebration of San Lázaro on December 17 is a major festival. The date is celebrated with a pilgrimage to a chapel housing an image Saint Lazarus, one of Cuba’s most sacred icons, in the village of El Rincon, outside Havana.
Conflation with the beggar Lazarus
The name “Lazarus” also appears in the Gospel of Luke in the parable of Lazarus and Dives, which is attributed to Jesus. Also called “Dives and Lazarus”, or “The Rich Man and the Beggar Lazarus”, the narrative tells of the relationship (in life and in death) between an unnamed rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus.
Historically within Christianity, the begging Lazarus of the parable (feast day June 21) and Lazarus of Bethany (feast day December 17) have often been conflated, with some churches celebrating a blessing of dogs, associated with the beggar, on December 17, the date associated with Lazarus of Bethany. However, they are generally understood to be two separate characters. Allusions to Lazarus as a poor beggar taken to the “Bosom of Abraham” should be understood as referring to the Lazarus mentioned in Luke, rather than the Lazarus who rose from the dead in John.
This conflation can be found in Romanesque iconography carved on portals in Burgundy and Provence. For example, at the west portal of the Church of St. Trophime at Arles, the beggar Lazarus is enthroned as St. Lazarus. Similar examples are found at the church at Avallon, the central portal at Vézelay, and the portals of the cathedral of Autun.
Order of Saint Lazarus
The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem (OSLJ) is a religious/military order of chivalry which originated in a leper hospital founded by Knights Hospitaller in the twelfth century by Crusaders of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Sufferers of leprosy regarded the beggar Lazarus (of Luke 16:19-31) as their patron saint and usually dedicated their hospices to him.
Lazarus as Babalu Aye in Santería
Via syncretism, Lazarus (or more precisely the conflation of the two figures named “Lazarus”) has become an important figure in Santería as the Yoruba deity Babalu Aye. Like the beggar of the Christian Gospel of Luke, Babalu-Aye represents someone covered with sores licked by dogs who was healed by divine intervention. Silver charms known as the crutch of St. Lazarus or standard Roman Catholic-style medals of St. Lazarus are worn as talismans to invoke the aid of the syncretized deity in cases of medical suffering, particularly for people with AIDS. In Santería, the date associated with St. Lazarus is December 17,despite Santería’s reliance on the iconography associated with the begging saint whose feast day is June 21.
Well known in Western culture from their respective biblical tales, both figures named Lazarus (Lazarus of Bethany and the Beggar Lazarus of “Lazarus and Dives“), have appeared countless times in music, writing and art. The majority of the references are to Lazarus of Bethany.
In literature, allusions to Lazarus are made in several notable works. A few prominent examples include Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, several novels of Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert‘s novel The Lazarus Effect, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., a short story entitled ‘Lazarus’ by Russian writer Leonid Andreyev, “A Tree of Night” by Truman Capote, “Lazarus,” by Edwin Arlington Robinson, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot, and Sylvia Plath‘s poem “Lady Lazarus“.
In music, a popular retelling of the biblical Lazarus story from the point of view of Lazarus in heaven is the 1984 gospel story-song “Lazarus Come Forth” by Contemporary Christian Music artist Carman. A modern reinterpretation of the story is the title track to the album “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!” by the Australian alternative band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Several other bands have composed songs titled “Lazarus” in allusion to the resurrection story, including Porcupine Tree, Conor Oberst, Circa Survive, Chimaira, moe., Placebo, and David Bowie (written while he was terminally ill).
Lazarus is sometimes referenced in political figures returning to power in unlikely circumstances. When John Howard lost the leadership of the Liberal Party of Australia, he rated his chances of regaining it as “Lazarus with a triple bypass”. Howard did regain the leadership and went on to become Prime Minister of Australia. Former President of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide, was termed the “Haitian Lazarus” by journalist Amy Wilentz, in her description of his return to Haiti from exile and the political significance of this event.
The scientific term “Lazarus taxon“, which denotes organisms that reappear in the fossil record after a period of apparent extinction. “Lazarus syndrome” refers to an event in which a person spontaneously returns to life (the heart starts beating again) after resuscitation has been given up. The Lazarus sign is a reflex which can occur in a brain-dead person, thus giving the appearance that they have returned to life.
- (Russian) Спасо-Елеазаровский монастырь. Russian Wikipedia.
- In 1970 a fire that broke out in Church of St. Lazarus at Larnaka destroyed almost all of the internal furnishings of the church. Subsequent archaeological excavations and renovations led to the discovery of a portion of the saint’s relics.
- In the Synaxarion of Constantinople and in the Lavreotic Codex, reference is made to the “Raising of Lazarus” – the Holy and Just Lazarus, the friend of Christ. The entry forOctober 17 in the Prologue from Ohrid also states that “Lazarus’s principle feasts are on March 17 and Lazarus Saturday during Great Lent.”
- “…Under today’s date is commemorated the translation of his relics from the island of Cyprus to Constantinople. This occurred when Emperor Leo the Wise built the Church of St. Lazarus in Constantinople, and translated Lazarus’s relics there in the year 890. When, after almost a thousand years, Lazarus’s grave in the town of Kition on Cyprus was unearthed, a marble tablet was found with the inscription: “Lazarus of the Four Days, the friend of Christ.”“
- Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ἀνάστασις τοῦ Λαζάρου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
- Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Λάζαρος ὁ Δίκαιος, ὁ φίλος τοῦ Χριστοῦ. 17 ΜΑΡΤΙΟΥ. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
- Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ἀνακομιδὴ καὶ Κατάθεσις τοῦ Λειψάνου τοῦ Ἁγίου καὶ Δικαίου Λαζάρου. 17 Οκτωβρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
- The Roman Martyrology. Transl. by the Archbishop of Baltimore. Last Edition, According to the Copy Printed at Rome in 1914. Revised Edition, with the Imprimatur of His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons. Baltimore: John Murphy Company, 1916. p. 387.
- The Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate (Comp.). The Book of Saints: A Dictionary of Servants of God Canonised by the Catholic Church: Extracted from The Roman and Other Martyrologies. London: A & C Black Ltd., 1921. p. 163.
- Tenney, Merrill C. Kenneth L. Barker & John Kohlenberger III, ed. Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House.
- William Barclay, The Parables of Jesus, Westminster John Knox Press, 1999,ISBN 0-664-25828-X, pp. 92–98.
- John 11:1-46
- John 11:1
- John 11:3
- John 11:25, KJV
- John 11:35, KJV
- John 12:2
- John 12:9-11
- For the treatment of this subject in Western European art, see the discussion in Franco Mormando, “Tintoretto’s Recently Rediscovered Raising of Lazarus, in The Burlington Magazine, v. 142 (2000): pp. 624-29.
- In The Biblical World 8.5 (November 1896:40).
- Modern Bethany, by Albert Storme, Franciscan Cyberspot.
- “Sacred Destinations”.
- The Onomastikon of Eusebius and the Madaba Map, By Leah Di Segni. First published in: The Madaba Map Centenary, Jerusalem, 1999, pp. 115-120.
- Bethany in Byzantine Times I and Bethany in Byzantine Times II, by Albert Storme, Franciscan Cyberspot.
- Mariam Shahin (2005). Palestine: A Guide. Interlink Books. p. 332. ISBN 1-56656-557-X.
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). “Bethany”. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- Chev. C. Savona-Ventura (KLJ, CMLJ, BCrLJ). Lazarus of Bethany. Grand Priory of the Maltese Island: Military & Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem. December 2009. p. 3.
- Michaelides, M.G. “Saint Lazarus, The Friend Of Christ And First Bishop Of Kition”, Larnaca, Cyprus, 1984. Reprinted by Fr. Demetrios Serfes at St. Lazarus The Friend Of Christ And First Bishop Of Kition, Cyprus
- Roberson, Fr. Ronald G., (C.S.P.). The Orthodox Church of Cyprus. CNEWA United States. 26 June 2007.
- St. Lazarus Church & Ecclesiastical Museum, Larnaca. Cyprus Tourism Organisation. p. 4. Retrieved: 2013-04-17.
- St. Lazarus Church & Ecclesiastical Museum, Larnaca. Cyprus Tourism Organisation. p. 14. Retrieved: 2013-04-17.
- St. Lazarus’ relics brought to Moscow from Cyprus. Interfax-Religion. 13 June 2012, 13:32.
- ST. LAZARUS’ RELICS BROUGHT TO MOSCOW FROM CYPRUS.Pravoslavie.ru. Moscow, June 13, 2012.
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). “St. Lazarus of Bethany”. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- “Of Mary Magdalene”, Legenda Aurea, Book IV.
- Huizinga, the Waning of the Middle Ages p147
- p. 59
- Archimandrite Kallistos Ware and Mother Mary, Tr., The Lenten Triodion (St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press, South Canaan, Pennsylvania, 2002, ISBN 1-878997-51-3), p. 57.
- (John 11:34)
- (John 11:43)
- (Romans 6:3)
- Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović. October 17 – The Prologue from Ohrid.(Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese of Western America). Retrieved 2013-04-17.
- Translation of the relics of St Lazarus “of the Four Days in the Tomb” the Bishop of Kiteia on Cyprus. OCA – Lives of the Saints. Retrieved: 2013-04-17.
- Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 978-88-209-7210-3), p. 398
- December 17, Roman Martyrology (1749).
- With sackcloth and rum, Cubans hail Saint Lazarus, December 17, 1998.Reuters news story.
- Luke 16:19–31
- Money talks: folklore in the public sphere December 2005, Folkloremagazine.
- Richard Hamann, “Lazarus in Heaven” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 63 No. 364 (July 1933), pp. 3-5, 8-11
- “History”, official international website of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
- Carman Bio, MPCA promotional material.
- Comin’ On Strong discography.
- Paulson, Michael (13 January 2016). “After David Bowie’s Death, ‘Lazarus’ Holds New Meaning for Fans”. New York Times. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- “Thoughts of a bypassed Lazarus”