The Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year A) has for a Gospel reading the story of the Raising of Lazarus, a tale that for-shadows the resurrection. It is a good meditation for anyone preparing for the yearly recollection of the Passion of Jesus, the Christ.
Scholars see what many call the “Book of Signs” in John’s Gospel containing as it does accounts those acts of Jesus that displayed his power and message. The first sign, is trivial in that it was totally unnecessary. A a wedding in Cana of Galilee the party ran out of wine and the mother of Jesus dumped the problem on Jesus who was clearly reluctant of get involved with the caterer’s miscalculation. However he relented and produced 120 galleons of first rate vintage. I am comforted that our Lord’s first miracle was to give joy and relief for a faux pas. It gives me home that he was willing to be concerned for something not essential.
The last of the seven signs is the raising of Lazarus the brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany. These three were special friends of Jesus. It appears that he went there to get away from the burdens of the messiah business and they allowed him to be when he was with them. I know that such relationships are precious and so when Lazarus died he came and did something about it. It also makes the point that God is master of death and that Jesus claimed to be God. This makes the case strongly of who he was and the risen Lazarus was exhibit A in the Book of Signs.