When I get to a Gospel reading that I have heard many, many times - especially one that has a pretty clear message like today's Lazarus story - I try and find a new perspective.
I usually look at the Lazarus story as a microcosm of our larger Faith story. Jesus raises a man from the dead, much like He will be raised from the dead shortly thereafter. His Apostles and other followers start to believe even more after watching the unthinkable happen right before their eyes... much like millions more will over the centuries that follow. Jesus talks about walking in the Light - a metaphor for all of us to follow the path that He illuminates for us.
And so on and so forth.
Today I looked at this passage through a different lens - time.
One of the things that struck me today was that both Martha and Mary say the same thing to Jesus ... basically that "if only You had been here our brother would be alive".
In their view of the world, Jesus was not there when they wanted Him to be. He was "late" by their clock. Likewise the near-term outcome was not what they wanted either. In their all-too-human plan, Jesus is with them when Lazarus falls ill and prevents him from dying.
(On a side note, twice in this reading John tells us that Jesus was "perturbed". That word really struck me.)
Jesus knew that not only were they going to get the outcome they wanted, but because it happened on HIS time, and not theirs, there would be an even greater good. They - like us - were thinking much too myopically.
In God's plan, this was a moment in time that could not only bring those present closer to Him, but one that would resonate for eternity.
I hope you are having a Blessed Lent.