Gospel of John Chapter 11

raising of LazarusCan you believe it? We have a whole week off, during which we will all be so busy that there will be little time to think about our friends in Bible study. Karen and I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving “hootenanny”. Remember that we do not have class on Tuesday November 25th. As much as Karen and I love being with all of you, we will not be at St. Rita’s on that Tuesday morning.
Since we are all so busy for the holiday, I just wanted to leave you with one idea to ponder on your own, while you stir a pot or wash a plate, and a little exercise – certainly not strenuous – to encourage you to relax and spend a moment with the Lord.Ponder this: Jesus tells His disciples that Lazarus is asleep, when Lazarus is really dead. In the first letter to the Thessalonians of St. Paul, we read of “brothers who have fallen asleep.” Is that how God thinks of our deaths – that we have just fallen asleep – until that glorious moment when He wakes us in heaven?

The little exercise: As I sat in the Adoration Chapel this afternoon reading Chapter 11 of John’s Gospel, the following verse caught my attention: “Now Jesus loved Martha….”. I have seen myself often, as we all have, in Martha, in her dedication to her home and the comfort of her guests, and in the way that she worried and fussed about everything. (Luke 10:38-41) I wondered if I could replace my name in that verse from John’s Gospel, so that it would read: “Now Jesus loved Franciene….”? Do I believe that Jesus loves me? I can readily reply when asked, “of course, He loves me”, and list all the reasons why I know this to be so. But do I really believe that He loves me?  Go ahead and ask yourself that question. Do you believe that Jesus loves you? Really believe it? Place your name in that statement from the Gospel of John and say with certainty, “yes, I know deep in my very heart and soul that Jesus loves me”.  We often sing the hymn in Church which begins “Lord, I know You are near, You are always at my side.” So some time this holiday week, after all the food is cooked and eaten, dishes washed and leftovers safely stored, go sit in a peaceful place by yourself, put your feet up, close your eyes, quiet your breathing and relax. Then ask the Lord, who is near and always at your side, “Do you love me?” and wait expectantly for His reply.
Karen and I look forward to seeing you once again on December 2nd. There are several questions in the workbook which are personal share questions. You will not be required to answer those in class, unless you want to do so. Don’t avoid answering these questions, as you may find them interesting and useful.  As always you may call us, if you have any questions or concerns.
May God bless you and your families during this special time. You are always in our prayers.
Lots of hugs and smiles,
Karen and Franciene