Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, is founding director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is an internationally known retreat leader, lecturer, and author. His latest book, Wondrous Encounters, is designed to transform us into our original image and likeness, the image of God. Each meditation is composed of a title summarizing the theme, a brief mediation, key passages from the day's readings, and a starter prayer.
On Ash Wednesday Rohr calls us to pray for the desire to desire. Holy Thursday, he writes is "an honest day of very good ritual that gathers all the absolutely essential but often avoided messages--necessary suffering, real sharing, divine intimacy, and loving servanthood." In the Holy Saturday meditation, he reminds us that "biblical hope is the certainty that things finally have a victorious meaning no matter how they turn out."
His meditation on the Raising of Lazarus (Fifth Sunday, John 11:1-45) touches first on our anxiety over death. Jesus speaks of light and darkness and tells the disciples he will awaken Lazarus, who is only sleeping. The story is familiar, but Rohr emphasizes a point not commonly mentioned: Jesus involved others in bringing about the resurrection of Lazarus. Onlookers were invited to roll back the stone and unbind Lazarus. Jesus woke up Lazarus and the onlookers and portrayed the role of all disciples in creating a culture of life and resurrection. We are to see the world bathed in light and help others to do likewise. The stone to be moved away, Rohr writes, is fear of death and "any blindness that keeps us from seeing that death is merely a part of the Larger Mystery called Life."