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NEWS AND EVENTS - Friday, March 30, 2018

IN ANTICIPATION OF THE FEAST:
Lazarus Saturday
Bishop Joanikije of Budimlje and Niksic

The Lord, who came to this world, performed many miracles, His salvific words He confirmed with His acts, He healed many sick with His touch, word, short prayer, He raised the dead. All of that, before the miracle we celebrate today, stands on the side. The description of the miracles of Christ in Holy Scripture, are generally short but the most room has been given in St. John's Gospel to this miracle. It is spoken the most how the women Mary and Martha served the Lord, how the Lord went to their house and the house of their brother Lazarus. This was one of those noble families that believed with their whole heart in the Lord and His word, but this still did not know all of that which will happen, their faith was not yet perfected, for faith cannot be receive its fullness without podvig, without excercise, without passing through temptation, without the Cross.

The cross of Mary and Martha was when their brother Lazarus died, an honorable, wonderful, pious man. They lived in great love, unity, but when the man died there was great sadness. The Lord Jesus Christ came only four days later to comfort the family and – as we all do – to offer His condolences, to share in their sadness. However, His arrival was special. He comes as One who gives life, and the sisters themselves said: Lord, had You been here our brother would not have died. They feel that He has the power to grant life but they still do not have the fullness of faith, and the Lord tells them: Only believe and your brother will be alive, he will resurrect.

The Lord calls Lazarus with His divine voice to stand and only at His call does Lazarus respond and rise from the dead. A moving event that happened not only for Mary, Martha and Lazarus but by the providence of God that the Disciples of Christ, who saw numerous miracles, once more be strengthened in faith.

The One who preaches the Gospel to them and who performs miracles, who grans new life and a new state of man in this world, has the power and might over life and death, especially since He knew that the temptation would come when He would offer the sacrifice, offer Himself as a sacrifice to the Lord, that many would stager and tempation would come, and so He wanted once more to strengthen His Disciples, the Apostles. This was a great event and many believed at that moment. Later, when the Lord entered Jerusalem the people awaited Him in masses and the children sang to Him as the Savior of the world, inspired by the Holy Spirit. This was a joyous event which, also, was witness to God's power that acts through His words and His acts. But the time of temptation approaches. We should say that no one can stager if they had seen such miracles, when when the time of the darkness of man came men fell and that is what Holy Week is about, which is approaching us. The Lord, as the climatic point of His work, offered Himself, freely, for us and our salvation, for the forgiveness of our sins, for our transfiguration, the renewal of this world and our human nature, He accepted death as a man, but resurrected by His divine might. His human nature resurrected which is the foretaste of the general resurrection.

With His resurrection He made us participants, communicants of His glory and victory over death. That's why our faith is always radiant even when we remember the sufferings of Christ we are filled with hope, we are renewed, for we know that His Cross is not only the sign of the death of Christ but also His three day resurrection.




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