Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Rabbi, already there is a stench because it has been four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
As we recall from last Sunday Martha’s intense conversation with Jesus in just the previous verses, we may call to mind that phrase from the Markan story of the healing of a child, and the cry of the father for faith: “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
Martha has testified to her belief in the power of God, embodied in Jesus over life and death, indeed, in and out of time, eternal. And yet, as the prospect of the stone’s removal becomes immanent, even Martha’s default is to doubt. How much more so us? How much more so in these times?
We believe; help our unbelief!
To what extent do we still have to give ourselves to this Gospel and this Way? What are those tombs that the Holy longs to open in us and in our communities and in the Church?
Sunday Readings: 7th Sunday of Easter: Acts 18:24–27 † Psalm 111 † 1 Peter 1:3–9 † John 11:28–44
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