Return to God’s word for the purpose of “hearing and seeing” Christ in the text. Fix your gaze on the illumination below. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and enable you to see what God wants you to see. Be open to images, thoughts, impressions, and feelings that come into your awareness.
In this illumination, I’m struck by the burial bandages wrapped around Lazarus…bands which appear to be unraveling and coming away from his body. As I prayed with the text, the “word” that resonated for me was Martha’s response at the end: “…I believe that you are…the one coming into the world.”
As I prayed with this illumination, from Lazarus’ perspective it appears that a figure highlighted with gold is approaching…it appears that Jesus is ‘coming into his world.’ My sense is that the more we allow Jesus to come into our world…our very self…the more our own unique ‘burial bands’ start to unravel and fall away. What are these bands? Could they represent aspects of ourselves that hinder our walk with God? My experience has been that the more I allow Jesus to show me what is actually in my heart, as opposed to what I think is there or what I want to believe is there, the more inner freedom I enjoy. We might assume that these revelations of our own inner truths will be necessarily painful to see…but not always! Sometimes God reveals to us our own authentic goodness that we carry – a true goodness that was covered over with ‘burial bands’ of a false or outdated concept of self. We are then invited by God to embrace this more accurate view of self. How freeing this can be! Truly, the more we can let Jesus break into our lives, our inner core, and let his presence heal us…let his presence show us to ourselves – the more these bands fall away, and we sense a greater capacity to see and enjoy the abundance of life within and around us.
During this Lenten season, what ‘burial bands’ are you discovering that hinder your walk with God?
©Raising of Lazarus, Donald Jackson 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.