Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Saturday 13 April 2019
Gospel: John 11:45-56
The Gospel today gives the last part of the long episode of the resurrection of Lazarus in Bethany, in the house of Martha and Mary. The resurrection of Lazarus is the seventh sign (miracle) of Jesus in John’s Gospel and is also the high and decisive point of the revelation which He made of God and of himself.
The small community of Bethany, where Jesus liked to go, mirrors the situation and the life-style of the small community of the Beloved Disciple at the end of the first century in Asia Minor. Bethany means “The House of the Poor”. They were poor communities and a poor people. Lazarus means “God helps”. The community which was poor expected everything from God. 
After the resurrection of Lazarus (Jn 11:1-44), there is the description of the repercussion of this sign among the people. The people were divided: many of the Jews believed in Him. But half of the population of Jerusalem depended completely on the Temple so as to be able to live and to survive, thus, some of them went to the Pharisees to denounce Him. 
The news of the resurrection of Lazarus increased the popularity of Jesus. The Jewish Passover was drawing near. At this time of the year, the population of Jerusalem tripled because of the great number of pilgrims. This is why the religious leaders convoked the Sanhedrin to discern. They were afraid of the Romans. In the case of Jesus, the Roman reaction could have lead to the loss of everything, even of the Temple and of the privileged position of the priests. Thus, beginning at that moment, because the chief priests were concerned Jesus’ authority was growing, and being motivated by the fear of the Romans, they decided to kill Jesus.