“I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25
The last few years have been filled with a lot of loss in our family- my father-in-law, a dear friend from grad school, my husband’s aunt, my friend’s daughter, two friends from our parish, and a much hoped for baby. Many times in the last two years I’ve found the words of Mary and Martha in this bible story- “Lord if you had been here…” Both sisters know that God could have spared them this pain and don’t know why he didn’t. But Martha’s next sentence is truly inspiring- “But even now, I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” A few moments later Jesus gives her the promise of this I am statement: resurrection and life.
To truly understand and believe the promise of Jesus’s words, I need to have Martha’s faith first. Even now, Lord, I believe. Even in the pain, I believe. Even in the uncertainty, I believe. Even in the heartbreak of loss, I believe. The hope of eternal life is an incredible promise, and certainly a large part of how I see this I am statement. But I think Jesus also promises that we will have resurrection and life in the present moment. Through the loss of my friend, I reconnected with many amazing people who I hadn’t seen in years. It resurrected old relationships I didn’t even know I was missing. God gave our family new life in a baby due at the end of the summer. I’ve seen the people I love building lives around the empty spaces left by their losses and ministering to so many in the process. Jesus really is the resurrection and the life, both in this life and the next.
As I go through the rest of Holy Week alone at home with my family, I am going to keep both sets of words with me…even now I know that in this time of sickness, pandemic, fear and lonliness, you are here, bringing resurrection and life. Already I’ve seen a new level of appreciation for my neighbors and neighborhood. Already I’ve seen new life breathed into struggling relationships as we seek to connect with one another. I am looking forward to celebrating the Resurrection at the very first mass I can attend after quarantine. Even now Lord, I believe that you are the resurrection and the life.
For today: I will reach out and call, text or write to someone in my life who is experiencing a loss. I will pray for all the lives being loss to sickness, hunger, and violence throughout the world. I will pray for those who are struggling with doubt in the face of grief.