We are living in very trying times. The uncertainty generated by the Covid-19 virus is upsetting for all of us. There are many things over the centuries that have upset people. This was true in Jesus' time. At the time of writing John's Gospel between 100-120 AD, the social structure had fallen apart. In Jerusalem there was chaos. In Rome, where the gospel was written, the Roman society was showing fractures. There was an attempt to find scapegoats. The young Christian Church was under some persecution as being the reason for the chaos.
In the midst of this, the church writer was reflecting and metaphorically pointing to the past that had separated itself from God and the way of God as presented by Jesus. John symbolizes the old way in Lazarus. The old way of approaching God was dead. Jesus loved Judaism and was close to it but it like Lazarus was entombed and dead. The way forward, as John sees it is to have new life through Jesus way of love and reconciliation. Allow Jesus to breath new life into our lives and we shall live.
We are in a similar time. The dislocation of our day-to-day life by having to stay at home, the closing of stores and restaurants, the resulting unemployment and the fear of catching the illness with no known medical defences at this point is shocking and mind-bending. We are afraid and somewhat defenceless. Every sneeze we make or hear of someone else's sneeze or cough and we wonder-is it covid-19 stalking in our home? How do we cope? My advice is to calm ourselves through prayer and meditation, write out in a journal your concerns, when done, close the book until tomorrow. Listen to good science based advice and commit yourself to follow the love advice of Jesus-love your neighbour and resist calls or urges to wall yourself in from life and seek a whipping boy. There are no magic pills. Stay vigilant but mindful and connected with others as we are all in this together. We are the Whole People of God on a Journey. May God Bless us all!