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God is not indifferent to suffering; in his loving mercy, he sent Jesus to bring healing and consolation to our broken world, which often seems so far from him.

In his humanity, Jesus was deeply troubled by Mary and Martha’s grief, even though he knew he would revive Lazarus. Their pain was real, and Jesus was moved by it. It was the same throughout his ministry. Meeting people in pain or despair, Jesus, in his divinity,  showed the face of God as one filled with great compassion and love for his people. Even when it was inconvenient or didn’t fit his timing, Jesus would stop and heal those who were suffering.

God’s Compassion

This portrayal of God’s compassionate interest in the lives of his people holds for our time as well. The evil our world suffers often is a result of human choices, of our action or inaction; it is not a sign of God’s indifference. God calls the whole world to experience his love, to know freedom from fear, to be alive.

Our Participation

Jesus told the onlookers to unbind Lazarus and set him free. This raising of Lazarus was the work of God, yet people were called upon to do the practical part. God works in us for our salvation, but we have to respond, both in our own hearts and to our neighbour. Admitting our need for God’s mercy in our lives, we let it in. Sharing that mercy with others, we allow it to transform us. Coming to new life in Christ, free of fear and healed of sin, is a process of the individual heart that begins in and is aided by the community of believers.

A Question

Have you ever helped ‘unbind’ someone? Or did others ever help ‘unbind’ you?

May we welcome Christ into our hearts and allow him to lead us to the fullness of life.