Up to Jerusalem: Resurrection–Death– Resurrection




On this Thursday before Holy Week, Jesus’s friend Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, has died and already been in the tomb for two days in the village of Bethany, about two miles outside of Jerusalem. Two days later, on Saturday, Jesus travels to Bethany and proclaims to Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). He then proceeds to raise Lazarus from the dead. It is significant to note that the passion of Holy Week the betrayal, suffering, and crucifixion, is bookended by resurrection. The Good News that OCMC proclaims is the certainty of Resurrection!

His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania often tells a story of his time as a missionary in Africa and the importance of proclaiming the message of resurrection:

We were in a remote region in the highlands of western Kenya. It was night, and we arrived at a house that was in mourning. A little girl, stricken mortally by malaria, lay on a large bed, as if sleeping peacefully…We read a short funeral prayer, and I said a few words of consolation.

That night, as the rain fell on the banana leaves and tin roof of the schoolhouse where we stayed, I reflected on the events of the day. Away in the darkness, I heard a drum beating and knew it came from the house of mourning. In my weariness, I wondered, “Why am I here?” Various thoughts about missions came into my mind—preaching, education, civilization, development, peace, love. 

Suddenly, a light flashed across my exhausted mind and revealed to me the essence of the matter. “You bring the good news—the hope of resurrection! Every human being has a unique worth, and each will rise again. Herein lies human dignity, value, and hope. Christ is risen! You teach them to celebrate the resurrection in the mystery of the Church. You offer a foretaste of it.”

As we complete the Lenten fast tomorrow, let us embrace the resurrection of Lazarus and cry out “Hosanna!” to our King on Palm Sunday. And as we enter Holy Week on Monday with our Lord, as the Apostle Thomas proclaims, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:15). It is only when we allow ourselves to be crucified with Christ that we can fully share in His resurrection. May we all live the mystery of death and resurrection in these coming days. Click below to discover more about how OCMC brings people Christ’s message of hope and resurrection, and how you can support it.


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May Gifts, One Body, For the Glory of God!