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The most difficult puzzle in life involves the mystery of dying. Who among you here want to die soon? Those who do not wish to die though, die early. Those who want to die, make it to old age. Death is a deep mystery we fear. There are Asian customs that remind people to refrain from any reference to death in occasions of merriment, lest it spoil the fun and the good luck.

Death rivets our attention to God. In moments of death, even the non-religious turn solemn and reflective. The dying learn to pray and the ones left behind find answers by returning to their religious roots.

Death also makes us question God. Why did God allow this to happen? Why to a young person full of potentials? Why now, when we need Dad so much? Why this way involving much pain and suffering? The gospel echoes this sentiment: could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?

Today as we reflect on God’s response to death, we must also recall that all of us die each day, not physically, but in many other paralyzing ways. Some experience the collapse of their hopes. Some see their relationships going towards irreparable destruction. Some feel that they are dying deep inside, overcome by a sadness or resentment that would not go away. Some are simply dead within their hearts, living aimlessly.

How does God, in His Son, deal with death? The gospel today shows us some illumination. Jesus weeps at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. He did nothing to prevent his death, but he showed something even more convincing and touching. Jesus wept. In desolation, remember how much God grieves with us. We often think that God does not share our feelings. But he does. When we experience death, physical or spiritual or emotional, God is with us in a real and mysterious way. We need only to be sensitive. No experience is alien to our God, even our tears become His.

Then Jesus raised up his friend Lazarus. With a shout, Jesus says: Lazarus, come out! Jesus explains why he did not prevent the death of his friend: did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God? He means that even in the face of death, something beautiful will still come out. The power of God will shine through and break through. The dead will rise again to a new life! Just believe in the power of Jesus to bring life from the ashes of despair.

Jesus can bring you out of your anger. Jesus can heal the wounds of your past pains. Jesus can remove the guilt and slavery of your sins. Yes, he can restore your hope and ignite passion in heart again. He can reconcile you with your enemies. But again, you must believe. You must ask. You must approach him to experience his power.

This Lent, not only the dead enter new life in heaven. We who are dying daily also see glory of God. But do you believe this? Dare to believe and live again!