In the homily at Mass today, Fr. John referenced Star Trek and Tim McGraw. I mean, how cool of a priest do we have that he would use such references to talk about life and death. The scripture reading was of the death of Lazarus and Jesus using it as tool to show, not only the power of God, but that Jesus is God’s Son and messenger. Though I have heard the story multiple times (at least once every church calendar year) it never occurred to me until today that Jesus LET Lazarus die! He very easily could have left for His journey sooner and been there before Lazarus died. He hung around for 2 more days after hearing of His dear friend’s illness rather than sprinting to his side. Jesus could have healed Lazarus as he had done for numerous others yet allowed nature to take its course, Lazarus to die and the burial rite to occur. Why would Jesus allow this beloved man to suffer? Jesus did it for those around Lazarus. Jesus used the death as a teaching tool. He not only wanted for the men and women to see the working of God by raising Lazarus from the dead, He wanted them to be forced into thinking about death.
It is our human nature to avoid thoughts of death. As a mother, I worry about thing that could happen to my husband, my children or my family. Mother’s are natural born worriers. However, to function through my days and to allow my children to grow up as normal functioning members of society and not the next set of Adrian Monks, I push though worries to the back of mind and simply listen closely for warning bells. Believe me, I have contemplated many times wrapping my children in bubble wrap or never allowing to do anything without full pads and head gear, maybe a mouth guard… oh that thought crosses my mind on a regular occasion. However, the point of my story is not to think regularly of all the many ways you can injure yourself or worse yet die. The point of the story is live life as if each day may be your last. Who knows, it might be!
Now, I don’t say this meaning you should run out and live recklessly or break the law because “hey, she said we should live each day like it is our last!” It is like the Tim McGraw song Live Like You Were Dying. The man in the song slowed down. He did thinks he had wanted to do but wouldn’t take time for. He was nicer to those around him, more attentive to his loved ones and more understanding. It took a death sentenced for him to finally live. Jesus used Lazarus’s death to push those around him to think about their own death without having to be dying themselves. He needed the people to open their eyes to possibility of death. I believe we need to do the same. Open our eyes, our hearts and our minds to be the type of person God wants us to be all of the time. We shouldn’t wait until we KNOW we are about to die in start living a great life. SLOW DOWN, say hello to your neighbor, excuse me when you bump into someone (instead of the “I can’t believe you just bumped into me” look even though you are actual at fault), play with your children, chat with your husband/wife, send birthday and get well cards, make dinner for a friend just because, read a book, take a walk just for the scenery. Life moves too fast to miss it!