Saturday, April 27, 2013

"One earth steals another."

Mystagogy on "What Happened to Lazarus After He Rose From the Dead?"

Lazarus was a close friend of Christ, from Bethany, about three kilometers east of Jerusalem. He lived there with his sisters Mary and Martha, and they often gave hospitality to Jesus (Luke 10:38-40; John 12:1-3).

John the Evangelist informs us (John 11) how one day Jesus was notified of the death of Lazarus. Four days later He arrived in Bethany, not only to bring comfort to Lazarus' grieving sisters, but to show the power of God and perform His greatest miracle by raising him from the dead, in anticipation of His own resurrection.

The resurrection of Lazarus brought short-lived great admiration and fame to Jesus, as evidenced by his triumphant entry to Jerusalem, but it also provoked great anger among the teachers of the Law. Now they wanted both Jesus and Lazarus dead. Lazarus escaped, but Jesus did not. But what happened to Lazarus?

According to St. Epiphanios of Cyprus (367-403), Lazarus was thirty years old when he rose from the dead, and then went on to live another 30 years following his resurrection. Another tradition says that Lazarus fled the anger of the Jews and took refuge at Kition in Cyprus around 33 A.D.

While in Cyprus Lazarus met the apostles Paul and Barnabas, as they were travelling from Salamis to Paphos, and they ordained him the first Bishop of Kition. He shepherded the Church of Kition with great care and love for eighteen years until the end of his life.

There are traditions which say he was sullen and never smiled after his resurrection, and this was due to what he saw while his soul was in Hades for four days. Some say he never once laughed, except one time when he saw a man steal a clay vessel, and he uttered the following saying: "One earth steals another".

Other Traditions About Lazarus

Another tradition connects him with Aliki in Larnaca (today's Kition). In Aliki at that time was a large vineyard. As the Saint was walking by he saw an old woman filling her basket with grapes. Tired and thirsty, the Saint asked the old woman for a few grapes. However, she looked at him with disdain and said:

"Go to hell, man. Can you not see that the vine is dried up like salt, and you are asking me for grapes?"

"If you see it dried up like salt, then let it become salt," responded Lazarus...

Complete article here.

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