7 - 9 minutes readSermon of St. Augustine for Friday of the 4th Week of Lent: Lord, Behold, He Whom Thou Lovest is Sick

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Homily by St. Augustine

49th Tract on John

Ye remember that in our last reading we learnt how that the Lord escaped out of the hands of them which took up stones to stone Him, and went away again beyond Jordan, into the place where John at first baptized. John x. 31, 39, 40- While, then, the Lord still tarried there, Lazarus was sick at Bethany, which was a town near to Jerusalem. It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His Feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore his sisters sent unto Him. We know already whither it was that they sent, for we know where Jesus was He was gone away again beyond Jordan. His sisters sent unto Him, saying: Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick, in order that, if He so pleased, He might come and free him from his sickness. But Jesus healed not, that He might afterward quicken.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem. Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to John.
Cap. XI. Ch. XI.
In illo tempore: Erat quidam languens Lazarus a Bethania, de castello Mariæ et Marthæ sororis ejus (Maria autem erat, quæ unxit Dominum unquento, et extersit pedes ejus capillis suis: cujus frater Lazarus infirmabatur). Miserunt ergo sorores ejus ad eum, dicentes: Domine, ecce quem amas, infirmatur. Audiens autem Jesus, dixit eis: Infirmitas hæc non est ad mortem, sed pro gloria Dei, ut glorificetur Filius Dei per eam. Dilegebat autem Jesus Martham, et sororem ejus Mariam, et Lazarum. Ut ergo audivit quia infirmabatur, tunc quidem mansit in eodem loco duobus diebus. Deinde post hæc dixit discipulis suis: Eamus in Judæam iterum. Dicunt ei discipuli: Rabbi, nunc quærebant te Judæi lapidare, et iterum vadis illuc? Respondit Jesus: Nonne duodecim sunt horæ diei? Si quis ambulaverit in die, non offendit, quia lucem hujus mundi videt: si autem ambulaverit in nocte, offendit, quia lux non est in eo. Hæc ait, et post hæc dixit eis: Lazarus amicus noster dormit: sed vado ut a somno excitem eum. Dixerunt ergo discipuli ejus: Domine, si dormit, salvus erit. Dixerat autem Jesus de morte ejus: illi autem putaverunt quia de dormitione somni diciret. Tunc ergo Jesus dixit eis manifeste: Lazarus mortuus est: et gaudeo propter vos, ut credatis, quoniam non eram ibi. Sed eamus ad eum. Dixit ergo Thomas qui dicitur Didymus, ad condiscipulos: Eamus et nos, ut moramur cum eo. Venit itaque Jesus: et invenit eum quatuor dies jam in monumento habentem (Erat autem Bethania, juxta Jerosolymam quasi stadiis quindecim). Multi autem ex Judæis venerant ad Martham et Mariam, ut consolarentur eas de frare suo. Martha ergo ut audivit quia Jesus venit, occurrit illi: Maria autem domi dedebat. Dixit ergo Martha ad Jesum: Domine, si fuisses hic, frater meus non fuisset mortuus. Sed et nunc scio quia quæcumque poposceris a Deo, dabit tibi Deus. Dicit ille Jesus: Resurget frater tuus. Dicit ei Martha: Scio quia resurget in resurrectione in novissimo die. Dixit ei Jesus: Ego sum resurrectio et vita: qui credit in me, etiamsi mortuus fuerit, vivet: et omnis qui vivit et credit in me, non morietur in æternum. Credis hoc? Ait illi: Utique, Domine, ego credidi, quia tu es Christus Filius Dei vivi, qui in hunc mundum venisti. Et cum hæ dixisset, abiit, et vocavit Mariam sororem suam silentio, dicens: Magister adest et vocat te. Illa, ut audivit, surgit cito, et venit ad eum; nondum enim venerat Jesus in castellum, sed erat adhuc in illo loco, ubi occurrerat ei Martha. Judæi ergo, qui erant cum ea in domo, et consolabantur eam, cum vidissent Mariam, quia cito surrexit et exiit, secuti sunt eam, dicentes: Quia vadit ad monumentum, ut ploret ibi. Maria ergo, cum venisset ubi erat Jesus, videns eum, cecidit ad pedes ejus, et dixit ei: Domine, si fuisses hic, non esset mortuus frater meus. Jesus ergo, ut vidit eam plorantem, et Judæos qui venerant cum ea plorantes, infremuit spiritu, et turbavit seipsum, et dixit: Ubi posuistis eum? Dicunt ei: Domine, veni et vide. Et lacrymatus est Jesus. Dixerunt ergo Judæi: Ecce quomodo amabat eum! Quidam autem ex ipsis dixerunt: Non poterat hic, qui aperuit oculos cæci nati, facere ut hic non moreretur? Jesus ergo rursum fremens in semetipso, venit ad monumentum. Erat autem spelunca: et lapis superpositus erat ei. Ait Jesus: Tollite lapidem. Dicit ei Martha, soror ejus qui mortuus fuerat: Domine, jam fœtet, quatriduanus est enim. Dicit ei Jesus: Nonne dixi tibi, quoniam si credideris, videbis gloriam Dei? Tulerunt ergo lapidem: Jesus autem, elevatis sursum oculis, dixit: Pater, gratias ago tibi, quoniam audisti me. Ego autem sciebam quia semper me audis, sed propter populum qui circumstat, dixi: ut credant quia tu me misisti. Hæc cum dixisset, voce magna clamavit: Lazare, veni foras. Et statim prodiit, qui fuerat mortuus, ligatus pedes et manus institis, et facies illius sudario erat ligatia. Dixit eis Jesus: Solvite eum, et sinite abire. Multi ergo ex Judæis, qui venerant ad Mariam et Martham, et viderant quæ fecit Jesus, crediderunt in eum. At that time: There was a certain man sick named Lazarus of Bethania, of the town of Mary, and of Martha her sister. And Mary was she that anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. His sisters therefore sent to him, saying: Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. And Jesus hearing it, said to them: This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he still remained in the same place two days. Then after that he said to his disciples: Let us go into Judea again. The disciples say to him: Rabbi, the Jews but now sought to stone thee, and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered: Are there not twelve hours of the day? If a man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world; but if he walk in the night he stumbleth, because the light is not in him. These things he said, and after that he said to them: Lazarus our friend sleepeth: but I go that I may awake him out of his sleep. His disciples therefore said: Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. But Jesus spoke of his death; and they thought that he spoke of the repose of sleep. Then therefore Jesus said to them plainly: Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes, that I was not there, that you may believe; but let us go to him. Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples: Let us also go, that we may die with him. Jesus therefore came, and found that he had been four days already in the grave (Now Bethania was near Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off). And many of the Jews were come to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Martha, therefore, as soon as she heard that Jesus was come, went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha therefore said to Jesus: Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died; but now also I know, that whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith to her: Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith to him: I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live, and every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever. Believest thou this? She saith to him: Yea, Lord, I have believed that thou art Christ, the Son of the living God, who art come into this world. And when she had said these things, she went, and called her sister Mary secretly, saying: The Master is come, and calleth for thee. She, as soon as she heard this, riseth quickly, and cometh to him; for Jesus was not yet come into the town, but he was still in that place where Martha had met him. The Jews, therefore, who were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary that she rose up speedily, and went out, followed her saying: She goeth to the grave, to weep there. When Mary therefore was come where Jesus was, seeing him, she fell down at his feet, and saith to him: Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Jesus therefore, when he saw her weeping, and the Jews, that were come with her, weeping, he groaned in the spirit, and troubled himself, and said: Where have you laid him? They say to him: Lord, come and see. And Jesus wept. The Jews therefore said: Behold how he loved him! But some of them said: Could not he, that opened the eyes of the man born blind, have caused that this man should not die? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself, cometh to the sepulcher; now it was a cave, and a stone was laid over it. Jesus saith: Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith to him: Lord, by this time he stinketh, for it is now the fourth day. Jesus saith to her: Did not I say to thee, that if thou believe, thou shalt see the glory of God? They took therefore the stone away; and Jesus lifting up his eyes, said: Father, I give thee thanks that thou hast heard me; and I know that thou hearest me always, but because of the people who stand about have I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. When he had said these things, he cried with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth! And presently he that had been dead came forth, bound feet and hands with winding bands, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said to them: Loose him, and let him go. Many therefore of the Jews, who were come to Mary and Martha, and had seen the things that Jesus did, believed in him.

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