Fifth Sunday in Lent – Cycle A
Reflecting On John 11:1-45
Ten years ago this week I went into Rose Hospital for exploratory surgery on a ten centimeter ovarian cyst. I don’t think it’s going to turn out to be anything, said my wonderfully reassuring surgeon. We’ll probably be done in an hour.
When I woke up, three hours had passed. That’s when I knew for sure that the same disease which killed my mother in 1985 now had me in its grip.
But not for long. There was no metastasis. I was one of those rare women to whom the symptoms of ovarian cancer did not whisper at all. They shouted loud enough for my husband and my friend Angeline Hubert to say, “Something is very wrong with you.”
Like Lazarus, I was dead in the tomb. Had my loved ones not pushed me to find the reason for my deep fatigue, the disease would surely have progressed to a stage beyond the scope of surgery. Kathy, come out! Jesus our Healer commanded me. And the nearly dead woman came out. I am the longest-living survivor of ovarian cancer at the Rose Rocky Mountain Cancer Center.
Lord, if you had been here my mother would never have died. How I prayed that my wonderful mom would be cured so many years before, but it was through her death that I recognized the disease when it came upon me nearly twenty years later. We don’t know, in our lifetimes, the way God will use our suffering in the future, or is using it now.
Our task, while we live, is to unbind each other until the day the Risen One removes our death clothes once and for all.
How are you helping unbind people of their suffering?
So true that we do not know the way God will use or is using our suffering. I can see how God has used past suffering to draw me nearer to him by SHOWING me how to unite my sufferings with his. Often people talk about uniting sufferings to christ or offering it up, it truly is a grace! THe most recent suffering was with regards to my daughter being diagnosed with food allergies (after several months of screaming, and us misguided parents thinking it was just colic). It led to a lot of dietary changes for her and the family which has been truly a lifestyle change (hardly eating out, challenges when eating with family/friends, etc. not to mention giving up lots of processed/convenient foods). We truly see the health benefits now, but aside from that I hope we can help others in similar situations. So to finally answer the question we hope to allow the Lord to use our past sufferings/experience to help others in similar situations like my friend who recently had a daughter who also is struggling with allergies. Mary mother of Lord, and our mother pray for us.