Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’ (John 11:25-27 NRSV).
Jesus gives new hope to Mary and Martha in today’s Gospel story. They already demonstrated their courageous faith. Their belief in who Jesus was, enabled them to believe that if Jesus had been there when Lazarus was dying, He could have prevented his death. Mary and Martha’s faith and hope in Jesus was evidence of their openness to more than what they saw by sight. Jesus responds by proclaiming that He is the resurrection and the life, and follows His claim up by raising up Lazarus’ body. I believe that all of what we read about in John’s Gospel today is faith becoming visible and tangible. There are new opportunities, because faith opened the flood gates.
This is where the contemplative experiences the presence of Jesus in which no words are necessary. As contemplatives, we know that all we have to do is crack open that barrier just a little, and The Holy Spirit will gush in the holiness of God in abundance. If we believe just a little bit that Jesus can change what is right in front of us into a moment of resurrection and life; we will experience this new life in the mystical moment of God’s grace.
In chapter 35 of The Life and Miracles of St. Benedict, is the story of how he was standing at the window of his monastery before the night office. He was so deep in his watching, that he had the experience of a great light through which he could see all the world in that one moment of light. The mystical experience was so transparent for St. Benedict, that he saw the soul of Germanus ascending into heaven. Just a little bit of openness and watching, and Benedict saw resurrection and life in front of his eyes.
What is the barrier you are willing to open just a little, so that Jesus can be resurrection and life for you?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB