Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I See Dead People. Don't You?

The Sixth Sense (1999) Spyglass Entertainment
Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette

From The Holy Gospel According To John
[11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-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 [Lazarus] was ill, Jesus 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.
Remember that movie, The Sixth Sense?  In that movie, there’s a little boy who says, “I see dead people.”  Well, you know what?   I see dead people, too.  I see them all the time. As a matter of fact, you may be one of those dead people.

     Nowadays, many people have become the "living dead" -- they have allowed something to die inside.  Irma Bombeck, that humorous news columnist, once said, "If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead."

I think she’s on to something!  Let’s follow that line of reasoning:

  • Let’s consider people who have a good job and a comfortable life, but will not take a Saturday morning off to see their son pitch in Little League? 
  • Or people who will not take an evening off from work to see their daughter perform in a dance recital? 
Shouldn’t these people be certified as dead?  For all practical purposes, aren't these people dead to their children?
  • How about people who never take a few hours to visit their aging parents?
  • People who make no effort to comfort sick or lonely friends or neighbors? 

Aren't they dead to those people needing comfort and support?

  •  Or people who are too busy / too tired / have more important things to do / blah-blah-blah, and so they simply “cannot” go to worship God at Sunday Mass?
  •  Or people who even will not make time to pray?

 Aren’t these people behaving as if God is dead?

     When you think it over, you can really see -- these people all have something in common with Lazarus.  Like Lazarus, they have been buried.  

     However, the big difference between Lazarus and them, is that Lazarus was medically dead and was buried by others: the people in our time have buried themselves... alive!   They have chosen to become dead: Dead to God, dead to their spouses, their children, their families, friends and neighbors.  They are dead because no one can share life with them. 

     Like I said earlier: I see dead people. I  see dead people all the time. And so do you! Nowadays, many people have become the "living dead"!   They have allowed something to die inside.   Spiritually, they have become entombed, buried alive –  by hopelessness, by selfishness, by their own plans and schedules.

     You and I can become obsessed with our own blind pursuits of money, ambition, security, popularity, power, pleasure, or sex.  We can obsessively chase after relaxation, entertainment, diversions, escapism.   We can crave these things so much, that we allow them to bury us.  And, then, we become absent, missing, "dead" to the people and to life existing around us. 

     In the Gospel, Our Lord Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.  Our Lord commanded Lazarus to return to life. And Lazarus emerged from the tomb, still tied-up in the burial wrappings. Then Our Lord Jesus called out for the bystanders to untie Lazarus from the wrappings of the dead.   To be freed.  To resume his life once again. 
     We are called by Christ to be exhumed, disinterred from the decisions and things that we allow to make us dead inside -- from the attitudes that we allow to overwhelm our souls, and which keep us from loving God and others, and from being loved by God and by others.
            Christ wasn’t calling only to Lazarus.  He is calling to all of us!  Listen!  Jesus Christ is calling us – to free us from what is dead and lifeless – to return to living and loving God and one another. 
     Listen: He’s calling you personally,  telling you, “Dig yourself out of your tomb!  Come out!  Come back to life!”

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.