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Posts Tagged ‘sacraments’

Written by Sr. Lisa Megaffin, SND

Inspired by John 11:1-45

Yellow rose in garden of Notre Dame Center

Where are the roses of friendship in your life? How do they bring you closer to God?

The story of Lazarus and the words “Jesus wept” reveal God’s invitation to intimate friendship.

In John 15, Jesus indicates “I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you.”  This divine revelation includes familiarity, care, forgiveness, hope, delight and joy—all that describes authentic friendship. Through no effort on their part, the disciples experienced Jesus’ friendship and unconditional love. In turn, they must share this love.

Jesus’ tears cannot be exclusively associated with his grief over the death of Lazarus; they reveal his affection for every human person. Jesus weeps in his frustration that his offers of spiritual intimacy, unconditional love and friendship will be misunderstood and rejected.

Our resurrection is an ongoing spiritual event as we are inspired to abandon sin and to accept God’s friendship. God’s invitation to intimacy comes in many ways, including Scripture, the Sacraments and, I like to believe, the “sacramental of friendship.” As all-embracing as our relationships can be, each friendship reveals the very heart of God and helps to make the resurrection a real-life experience.

In God’s providence, this reading of the raising of Lazarus coincides with the end of my own treatments for cancer. Since last July, I have journeyed through diagnosis, chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. I will always be humbled and grateful for the graces of the “sacramental of friendship” from relatives, Sisters and Associates of Notre Dame, colleagues, medical care-givers, and friends. The Sisters of Notre Dame believe that “where one of us is, all of us are.” The spiritual reservoir of community and friendship has been a source of great strength for me in moments of anxiety and physical weakness. Words are inadequate to thank all who have journeyed with me; I ask God to give you special graces as my gratitude.

“If you believe, you will see the glory of God…” May the glory of God, as seen in the raising of Lazarus and in the graces of divine and human friendship, strengthen our confidence in His provident care.

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