Caravaggio “The Raising of Lazarus” 1608-09
Oil on canvas, 380 x 275 cm Museo Regionale, Messina
Friday, February 22, 2013
Darkness closes in upon the highest religious officials, their vision squeezed into the tiny, dimly lit room of their own self-interest. So is the atmosphere after the raising of Lazarus from the dead as we begin the Friday Gospels of John in Lent this year. The plot to kill Jesus is fashioned. The Scribes and Pharisees are about to succumb to the temptations of power and control, just as did their ancestors in the desert—the same desert temptations that Jesus overcame.
John the Evangelist fills the account with ironic verses, such as verse 50: “You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” God is about to use the most hideous of evil plots as a plot to glory. From the greatest evil will rise the greatest good—the resurrection.
This is the First Week in Lent, Year C.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Fridays in Lent and Easter are dedicated to the Gospel of John.