Read the text below, preferably aloud. As you hear the word, “listen with the ear of your heart” for a word or short phrase that God has for you this day.
John 11:17, 20-27
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days…When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
In this initial part of Visio Divina, we are asked to “listen with the ear of [our] heart” for a word or short phrase that God has for us this day.
The “word” that was most prominent for me in this time of prayer was: “while Mary stayed at home.” I’ve been there. There are times for me when initiating connection with Jesus, and further building relationship, just seems more than I can do. Perhaps I’m afraid of what I will hear, discover, or experience, if I intentionally spend time with him. Mary was a true disciple of Jesus: she spent much time sitting at this feet, listening to him teach, and just taking in his presence, passion, spirit, and love. She deeply loved Jesus…and her brother. Perhaps in the swirl of her grief, and all the people present, she needed a little more time.
What I find consoling about this is that, because of the Resurrection, and because of Pentecost, even when we find ourselves unable (or unwilling) to initiate connection with Christ in some intentional way, Christ still comes to us. Even when we feel too tired, or angry, or overwhelmed, or maybe just feeling apathetic about everything “spiritual,” we are still not alone. I know from experience, Jesus waits for us. He respects our need for space, but never abandons. Jesus always meets us where we’re at…even in our own unique “tombs.” In that space, words are not even necessary.
Where is Jesus meeting you today?
©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.