Pearls of the Word

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The resurrection and life (1)

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went straight away to meet him, while Mary stayed at home" (John 11:20).

Mary was undoubtedly in the process of observing seven days of mourning for the death of her brother, according to Jewish custom, for "she was observing her shivah [seven] seated" in the house. Shivah was a period of grief when one remained sitting at home in order to receive friends’ condolences (John 11:19).

At first, it seemed that Mary was following the tradition more than her sister Martha; and Jesus had to call her to make her leave her shivah and rejoin him, "the Master is here and is calling for you" (John 11:28).

Jesus, then, wanted Mary to leave her grief to receive the news of the miracle about which He had come to talk to her, "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25). It is in this way that the Master calls us to relinquish, not only our customs and traditions, but our personal preoccupations, in order to life the resurrection and the life with Him!