|Church of Lazarus|
Today was another truly blessed day. We had the opportunity to visit the Church of Lazarus, which sits above the tomb of its namesake. This holy church is both meaningful and impactful for our future priestly ministry.
We were able to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in this Church, which in beautiful mosaic form depicts the Gospel story of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42). This story holds a special place for me and my brothers as it offers us three things for meditation: our Lord teaching and preaching in the home of His close friends, Mary sitting at His feet and contemplating His message, and finally Christ showing compassion to Martha in her time of struggle.
As I sat in this magnificent church, I meditated on these three elements of the story, aided by beautiful artwork that surrounded me. My thoughts drifted toward my future ministry, following in the footsteps of Jesus through preaching the Gospel and comforting the sorrowful. And as my gaze shifted back to the altar, I could not help but feel the blessing God had bestowed on us in the Mass we had just celebrated. Did we not, like Mary have the blessing of sitting in our Lord’s presence to ponder His very words and teaching?
Our homilist also reminded us that Martha, Mary and Lazarus, would have been intimate friends of Christ. He probably visited their home whenever He travelled to and from Jerusalem, for their home was situated just outside the city in the town of Bethany. We can infer from the Gospels, that these were people whom Jesus loved dearly and cherished as friends.
In the evening, we too celebrated the gift of friendship by gathering as a class for a social/game night. I think it would be fair to say everybody had a great time watching our brothers try to act out some pretty challenging words and phrases as we played a round of charades. All in all, today was truly blessed and fun - Praise God for His marvelous deeds!