Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45
Let Your Ears be Attentive
In church a few weeks ago the priest presider was sending the younger children off for their scripture study. He began his prayer saying, “Let your ears help you see God’s presence among you…” Realizing that he said ears and not eyes he repeated the sentence again using the word “eyes.”
I liked his use of the word ears in that context. How often does our most profound seeing or awakening come from our seeing with our ears?! In the gospel reading for Sunday March 9th Lazarus experienced new life through his ability to hear his name being spoken. His family and those gathered saw the power of God through the words spoken by Jesus.
I sat next to a patient the other day who felt like God had abandoned her. She didn’t feel His presence and she missed it. As we talked about this she teared up. She spoke from that deep place of longing that we hear about in psalm 42 and in the psalm 130:
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
We then turned to the psalms and listened to the words that painted that same longing and sense of absence that my patient was experiencing. She listened to the words and as she did so, she voiced feeling more at peace. The words seemed to help her see again God’s presence, experience the power of community that comes with having a common longing acknowledged through the words and faith of others.
What do I see in the words of the gospel of March 9th? Dare I allow my ears to take me places that I might not see with my eyes? This Lenten journey invites me along with the raising up of Lazarus to engage the complexity of all my senses in order that I might see with my ears the God of love who speaks to us today.