Thought of the day
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Jesus called loudly, "Lazarus, come out!" (Jn 11,43)

      Among all the miracles wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Lazarus holds a foremost place in preaching. But if we consider attentively who it was who did it, our duty is to rejoice rather than to wonder. A man was raised up by him who made man: for he is the only-begotten of the Father, by whom, as you know, all things were made. And if all things were made by him, what wonder is it that someone was raised up by him when so many are daily brought into the world by his power?... 

      You have just heard that the Lord Jesus raised a dead man to life; and that is sufficient to let you know that, were he so pleased, he might raise all the dead to life. And, indeed, this is the very work he has kept in his own hands untll the end of the world. For while you have heard that by a great miracle he raised someone from the tomb who had been dead four days, "the hour is coming," as he himself says, "when all who are in the grave shall hear his voice and come forth." He raised up a body that was putrid, and yet in that putrid carcase there was still the form of human limbs. But at the last day he will reconstitute ashes into human flesh with a word . At that time, however, there was only a need to do a few such deeds so that we, receiving them as tokens of his power, might put our trust in him and prepare for that resurrection which is to be to life and not to judgment. So, indeed, he says: "The hour is coming when all that are in the grave shall hear his voice and shall come forth; those who have done good to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil to the resurrection of damnation."... 

      If we turn our thoughts to the still more wonderful works of Christ, every one who believes rises again. If we all consider and understand that more horrifying kind of death, every one who sins dies. But everyone is afraid of the death of the flesh; few of the death of the soul. With regard to the death of the flesh, which must certainly come sometime, all are on their guard against its approach: this is the origin of all their labor. Man, destined to die, labors to avert his dying; and yet man, destined to live for ever, labors not to cease from sinning. And when he labors to avoid dying, he labors to no purpose, for its only result will be to put off death for a while, not to escape it; but, if he refrains from sinning, his toil will cease and he shall live for ever. Oh that we could rouse people - and ourselves be aroused along with them - to be as great lovers of the life that abides as people are of that which passes away!