First reading Exodus 24:3-8

This is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you

Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed.’ Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’
 

Responsorial Psalm 49(50):1-2,5-6,14-15

Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.
 
The God of gods, the Lord,
  has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
  Out of Zion’s perfect beauty he shines.
 
‘Summon before me my people
  who made covenant with me by sacrifice.’
The heavens proclaim his justice,
  for he, God, is the judge.
 
Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God
  and render him your votive offerings.
Call on me in the day of distress.
  I will free you and you shall honour me.’
 

Gospel John 11:19-27

I am the resurrection and the life

Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:
‘I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’
 
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Friendship

Today, we celebrate the feast of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus, the three siblings whom Jesus loved. Each reveals valuable lessons that we can also imitate in our friendship with Jesus. In the alternative gospel of today, Mary shows us the importance of slowing time and making time to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen attentively to Him. When Jesus is at the centre of our lives, He empowers us to serve others with love. From Martha, we can learn how to be boldly honest with Jesus. In today’s gospel, she was free enough to complain, “Lord, if you had been here…”. Her friendship with Jesus was so personal that she was not afraid to express her frustration and knew He would understand. Today, we can also tell Jesus our fears, complaints, joys and dreams. We do not know much about Lazarus. We know that Jesus went to his tomb and wept, which shows the deep friendship between Jesus and Lazarus.
 
Jesus wants to have a personal and intimate friendship with us. Let these three siblings inspire us as we enter the joy of being with Jesus.
 

Reflective question:
Is Jesus my friend?

 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.