Jesus as friend and family

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday, Memorial of Sts. Mary, Martha, & Lazarus, 29 July 2022
Jeremiah 26:1-9   ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*>   John 11:19-27
An icon of Jesus visiting his friends, the siblings Sts. Lazarus, Mary and Martha. Photo from crossroadsinitiative.com.
Glory and praise to you,
O Lord Jesus Christ who 
had come to us not just a 
family but most especially
as a friend you have stressed
during the Last Supper 
(cf. Jn.15:14-15).
And even before that evening
of Holy Thursday came, you have
been a friend to the siblings 
Mary, Martha and Lazarus so 
dear to you, visiting them often,
sharing not only in their meals but
in their lives and death, joys and
pains; what a beautiful imagery 
not only of friendship but of the
neglected ties that bind brothers
and sisters in this time when
family is being destroyed 
by new emerging thoughts
and ways of life.
In this time of the pandemic
you know how, dear Jesus,
we have finally come together 
as families free from all excuses 
of work and studies, of being far and away; 
but sadly, many have ignored and missed
the opportunities to bond together
and mend many gaps long festering
among siblings; instead of fighting and 
rivalries, may brothers and sisters
in every family emulate the love and 
respect among Saints Martha, Lazarus and Mary. 
We pray for all siblings to gather anew
as one family in prayers before you, Lord, 
like Saints Martha, Lazarus and Mary;
help them create a space anew for God in our
lives, the surest bond among us despite 
our many differences as we open our ears 
and hearts like St. Mary to your words,
to heed and fulfill them unlike the people 
of Judah who cursed your prophet Jeremiah 
when he spoke to them
of the truth.
“The Raising of Lazarus”, 1311 painting by Duccio de Buoninsegna from commons.wikimedia.org
Most of all, give us the grace
to be the presence of Jesus Christ
when our siblings are sick and burdened 
with all kinds of sufferings and miseries 
like Martha and Mary present to each other
awaiting Christ’s coming after Lazarus had died:
Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died."  Jesus told her,
"I am the resurrection and the life; whoever
believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me
will never die.  Do you believe this?" (John 11:21, 25-26)
Like St. Martha, and most likely
her siblings, too, St. Lazarus
and St. Mary who may not have
understood fully your words and teachings,
keep us open to your coming,
to your visits, sweet Jesus;
make our hearts like theirs
filled with warmth and hospitality
to let you stay and reign inside us;
most of all, like the three holy siblings
let us share with others the gift of kindness,
of being a kin to everyone in you, with you.  Amen.