Lenten Journey with Mary

Lazarus raised.
by Virginia M. Kimball, S.T.D. | Source:

Lazarus Raised

(including an ancient legend from Mount Athos)

She was there, mourning and wondering …
in Bethany, knowing this family,
wailing when Lazarus died
although he was so ill.

She knew Mary and Martha--sisters
who seemed quite different …
both calling her son to come,
telling him:
“the one you love is dying.” (John 11:3)

Two long days passed before Jesus,
returning there to Judea knowing
some wanted him dead by stoning,
found Lazarus dead, sleeping
in the grave, not sleeping but
placed in a dug limestone grave,
lying there:
behind the stone for four days.

His mother remembered her son’s words:
“If they do not hear Moses and the prophets
and believe, neither will they be convinced
if someone should rise from the dead.” (Luke 16:41)

He called to beloved Lazarus--bound in linen,
shrouded hand and foot, death’s face wrapped,
“Come out!”
Dead man rising, untied, he came out alive.

Lazarus' Tomb in Bethany
Icon of the Raising of Lazarus
Miryam stood silently by, as she could
with prayer in her heart, fear pounding
in mother’s veins, hoping her son’s word wouldn’t
die without hope: “I am the resurrection
and the life.” (John 11:25) A sign, she knew--a sign!

Will they see Lazarus now walking, risen
from the dead?
No, the chief priests plotted to kill him again. (John 12:10)
Lazarus, El-azar, “who God helps,” fled, hiding
for new life in Cyprus … soon Jesus, who gave
him life, was crucified, rose himself but didn’t stay.

Lonely now, scared Lazarus dared to write, calling
the mother to come, sail to safety and visit where
violence couldn’t touch her, maybe staying there.

The storm roared,
strangely steering the boat to shores further away.
Legend tells the tale how Miryam found firm land …
safety given by the God she’d birthed, an island
tipped with mountain, a place she called her own,
a time to stop and pray and wonder why alone
with only John called “beloved son” at her side,
she dared sail more missions of love and truth, ride,
back home,
wait until she, too, saw death in a tomb beneath a stone.

Check out the all the
Lenten Journey with Mary meditations.

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