Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...

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seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – John 11:1-45
1. Martha and Mary were people of faith but Jesus led them to an even deeper faith. Who were the people who led you to a deeper faith in Jesus? Remember them and give thanks.
2. Martha and Mary were struggling to come to terms with their bereavement. What has helped you in similar situations?
3. The concern of Jesus is palpable and touching. Recall those who matter to you and to whom you matter. Such love mediates God’s love, which surpasses human love with the gift of new life and Easter joy.
4. One can imagine Lazarus as a symbol of people and groups that are written off as dead (sometimes by themselves), and yet through faith come back to life again. Have you had the experience of being revived by faith? Has faith helped to free you from what held you in bondage, or was destructive of your life?  – John Byrne, OSA

The Deep End
In today’s Gospel Jesus is surrounded by a culture of death. The disciples are afraid to go back to Bethany, the Jews want to stone Jesus to death, Mary and Martha are distraught over the death of their brother Lazarus, and Lazarus himself lies bound in the darkness of the tomb. It appears as if there is no hope. Jesus weeps for his friend and for those around him.
Yet, surrounded by a culture of death and despair, Jesus gives compassion and new life to those in turmoil. It is easy to say that nothing can be done when we are faced with difficult situations in our own lives. Yet Jesus says ‘Lazarus, come forth’ and to the people he says ‘Unbind him, let him go.’ It is a message for all of us to come away from a culture of death; to help unbind one another and to allow ourselves to emerge from the tomb. We are called to take away the stone. Today’s Gospel is a story of liberation. Jesus gives a new insight into the power of faith over death. It is an active faith, one that urges us on to work for change and new life.
‘What did you do while the planet was plundered? What did you do as the earth was unravelling? Surely you did something as the seasons started failing? Surely you did something as the mammals, reptiles and birds were all dying? Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen? What did you do once you knew?’ (From Hieroglyphic Stairway by Drew Dillinger)  – Jane Mellett

(from Intercom)

 

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Today’s Mass Readings
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A Coronavirus Prayer
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Lord Jesus Christ, you travelled through the towns and villages curing every disease and illness. At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our help now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care and the love of their friends.
Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another.
Lord Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side at this time of uncertainty and anxiety.
Be with those who have died from the virus. May they rest in your eternal peace.
Be with those who care for the sick.
Be with the families of those who are sick, and protect them from illness and despair. May they know your peace and put their trust in you. Amen.
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