Ezekiel 37.1-14.
The prophet Ezekiel has a vision of a valley full of dry human bones. The Lord tells him to prophesy to the bones, and so Ezekiel tells them to come back to life. This is a symbol of how the people of Israel will be restored by God; although all seems to be lost, God will bring them out of exile, back to their country.

Psalm 130.
This psalm is inspired by deep suffering. Out of the depth of his misery the poet cries out to God. He knows that he does not deserve it, but trusting in God’s love and forgiveness he eagerly waits for God’s redemption, ‘as the night watch looks for the morning’, and he encourages his people to do the same.

John 11.1-45.
Jesus is summoned by his friends Martha and Mary to come and heal their brother Lazarus, but when Jesus arrives, Lazarus has passed away. He promises Martha that Lazarus will rise again, and makes himself known as the resurrection and the life. They go to the tomb together, and although Jesus knows that he will raise Lazarus up from the dead, he is still deeply distressed. But then he tells them to move away the stone, for they will see the glory of God, so that they will believe in him. He calls Lazarus’s name and the dead man comes out of the tomb.

POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION, BASED ON THE READINGS:

- It is especially during times when all hope seems to be lost and we feel helpless, that we have to pray and pay attention, because it is precisely then that God will do great things.

- Our society is in crisis at the moment. Let us pray this psalm several times over the coming week, in solidarity with all who suffer.

- Confronted with the vulnerability of our lives and our bodies we may suddenly realise that it is more challenging than we thought to live as people of life and love. Let us pray that, amidst the general fear of illness and death, Jesus’ victory over death will shine forth in our lives.
Scripture meditations