The Gospel reading for this coming Sunday is the raising of Lazarus, John 11:1-45, an episode that pre-figures Jesus’ own death, burial, and resurrection.
Verse 34 reads, ‘He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”’
I am struck by the echo of John 1:35-42, John’s account of the very first people to follow Jesus. ‘They said to him, “Rabbi...where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.”’ (verses 38, 39).
From beginning to end, the call of the Gospel is to embrace dying to self, in order to enter into life.
In both the passages above, this process involves the loving support and witness of others: whoever had opened their home to Jesus, and the grave to Lazarus; the disciples of John the Baptist, and the friends of Mary and Martha...You cannot die to self in your own heroic will to live!