Mary or the Iscariot? – Good News for March 29

29 03 2010

John 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions.

So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

The Daily Path: Who will we choose to emulate today? Mary or Judas?

Church by Jonathan Burstein





Calling Lazarus – Good News for March 21

21 03 2010

John 11:3

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept.

So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

The Daily Path: Today is Sunday. Roll back your stone. Go and see the Lord.

Church by Jonathan Burstein





Seeing Lazarus – Good News for March 4

4 03 2010

Luke 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.

When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’

Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’

He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’

But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’

He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’“

The Daily Path: Last night I had the opportunity to chat with a gentleman who has achieved great “human” success in his life. He spoke openly about his life, not with ego, but with humility, to share how God has been a compass for him at various steps along his journey. When he feels his life getting off center, it’s been faith that re-opens his eyes, ears, and heart to God, thus enabling a course correction.

It’s truly amazing to experience God in this life. I don’t know what side of the chasm I will ultimately end up on, but I do know that I have been given the chance in this life to see the way to join Lazarus in the “bosom of Abraham.”

Room to Chat: Father, in this season of Lent, open the hearts of all who struggle in this life. Allow us to see Lazarus now. We know forgiveness is there for all who open themselves up to you.





Always A Judas – Good News for April 6

6 04 2009

John 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 

Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions.

So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

The Daily Path: So another truth is out about old Judas! The traitor was also a crook who had been stealing from his brothers and the poor all along. (Judas would have fit right in with our modern day banking scoundrels) Yet, Jesus knew all of these betrayals and extended His love to Judas anyway. Wow!

Room to Chat: Mary and Joseph, earthly parents of Jesus, please petition Our Lord on behalf of Michael to enable him to accept the love of family and thrive in its shelter. (See Room to Chat: Come Out – Good News for March 29)





Come Out! – Good News for March 29

29 03 2009

The dead man came out…

John 11:1-45

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.”

And when he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

The Daily Path: If you have read some of the past 174 blogs I’ve posted here you may have a sense that Jesus called out to me, just as he once did to another dead man. I was not physically dead, although God gave me quite a scare a few years back. However, I was spiritually dead. I was in my tomb for a lot longer than four days. It was more like 30 years, and I’m sure that the stench of my decay was troubling to many. Fortunately, my tombstone was eventually rolled back and a loud voice that couldn’t be missed called: “Kin, come out!” 

Room to Chat: I would like to ask the readers of Good News To-Go! to keep a young man by the name of Michael in your thoughts and conversations with God, between now and Easter. Michael leads a troubled life that finds him in and out of group homes and court ordered incarceration. His adopted parents, some of the kindest people you could ever meet, are filled with anxiety each night, never knowing what the night will bring for their son. Please join me over the next 13 days in asking Jesus to call to Michael as he once did to Lazarus.





Observation Thursday – Good News for March 12

12 03 2009

Take a moment and allow yourself to see…

Luke 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees, “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. 

The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ 

Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’

He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’

He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”

The Daily Path: I have received more than a fair share of what is good in this life. Countless blessings have come my way. Sadly, far too many have gone unappreciated.
Luke’s gospel provides pause to consider how many ways I could have provided for the family of Lazarus that even today long for the scraps of my table. As I think about the chasm I’ve dug for so many years, the gap that may ultimately separate me from Christ’s bounty, I wonder why I still don’t do more while I can. We tend to get stuck in the rut of believing this life will go one forever. It’s the culture of “I’ll do it tomorrow.” We think there’s always an endless reservoir of opportunities to start living acts of love and charity while on this earth. BUZZZZZZ! WRONG ANSWER!

I may be killed or fall over dead this very day. It might happen before I finish this blog entry. And if that happens, will I find myself looking across the chasm at those who I could have helped, even in the smallest way, yet chose not to? What am I, and so many like me, waiting for? 
Room to Chat: Today, as you go about your business, observe. Be on watch. Look for the family of Lazarus about you. Take a moment and allow yourself to see them. I think we’ll all be surprised on what we witness this day.