Life Eternal

Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”
(John 11:19-27)

Scripture Study

11:22 even now: Martha’s faith fills her with confidence. Although she neither begs nor even asks Jesus to intervene for Lazarus, she knows that God’s love is more powerful than death and leaves Jesus to handle the situation as he sees fit.

11:24 the resurrection: A doctrine already current in Judaism (Dan 12:2–3; 2 Mac 7:9). Only the Sadducees denied that our bodies would live again on the last day (Mt 22:23; Acts 23:8).

11:25 I am the resurrection: Jesus places all hopes for a future resurrection upon himself. He possesses the absolute sovereignty over life and death that was always believed to be the sole prerogative of Yahweh (1 Sam 2:6; Wis 16:13; CCC 994).

Scripture Reflection

Here we have one of the most concise definitions Christ gives of himself, and which St John faithfully passes on to us: Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the Resurrection because by his victory over death he is the cause of the resurrection of all men. The miracle he works in raising Lazarus is a sign of Christ’s power to give life to people. And so, by faith in Jesus Christ, who arose first from among the dead, the Christian is sure that he too will rise one day, like Christ.

Therefore, for the believer death is not the end; it is simply the step to eternal life, a change of dwelling place. By saying that he is Life, Jesus is referring not only to that life which begins beyond the grave, but also to the supernatural life which grace brings to the soul of man when he is still a wayfarer on this earth.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.