When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Sir, come and see."
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, "See how he loved him." But some of them said, "Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?"
So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him, "Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?"
So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me." And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, "Untie him and let him go."
– John 11:32-44
One of the miners, Mario Sepúlveda, gave an interview shortly after he arose from the land of the dead - like Lazarus. In it he describes an ordeal with the devil.
"I was with God and I was with the devil. They fought over me. And God won, because I took hold of the better hand - the hand of God."But I'll tell you this. When they were underground – separated from the temptations of society – they were much closer to God than to the devil. But now that they are back in society, the devil will be all around them. This is how it is for all of us whether we realize it or not. We are surrounded by temptations. Society no longer feels that it has a responsibility to protect its citizens from sin, in fact we are encouraged to engage in sin.
If you take a close look at the CNN report on the miracle of the butterfly what you will find is that it not only attacks the faith in God of the Chilean people, it attacks the Catholic Church and Christianity itself. The CNN reporter frames the event in such a way that faithful Chileans are seen as superstitious.
The whole rescue is portrayed in such a way that it reinforces the secular world view. The rescue capsule is called "the Phoenix" – a mythical bird representing death and rebirth – rather than something like "the Lazarus" which would call attention to the resurrection of Christ. We are supposed to give thanks to man and his science, rather than God who created Man and gave him the faculties to do wondrous things.
We are supposed to ignore the simple faith of the miners that allowed them to survive for the first 17 days without any real reason to maintain their hope that they would be saved. During those first days they had to ration among themselves the food and water at their disposal, but how did they come up with a reasonable rationing plan when they had no idea how many days they would be without help from the outside?
According to news reports, the amount of food and water should have been enough to last just a few days. And yet the obvious analogy to the miracle Jesus performed with the loaves and fishes is never drawn in the mainstream press. Why not? Isn't this a wonderful opportunity to remind their audiences of the relevance of the story of Christ to modern day living? Surely this could not offend any non-Christian viewers, any more than the reminder of the mythical phoenix could be viewed as offensive by non-pagans.
Then the 33 miners had to endure many more days of living in cramped quarters; separated from their loved ones; in a world of darkness and despair. There was nothing to sustain their spirits except their own faith. Any number of things could have gone wrong with the rescue effort. They did not know how long they would have to endure their subterranean imprisonment. And despite the best efforts of their would-be-rescuers, there was always the chance that their last breaths would be taken in their shared living tomb - buried under 700 meters of rock.
But the secular press tells us we should ignore all the prayers of those buried underneath the ground and their loved ones above. We should instead focus on the marvelous technology that was used to free the miners from their live burial.
Any talk of a miraculous rescue should be instantly ridiculed. Faith should be depicted as superstition founded on ignorance. We should believe in the power of science not only to achieve a technical solution to the rescue, but to rescue us from our antiquated beliefs. And we should learn to fill that spiritual longing in our souls with material goods. Buy. Buy. Buy!
Buy, to keep the advertisers coming. Buy, to keep the economy humming. Buy, to bury our emptiness in our purchases.
In my last post, I ended with the parable of the persistent widow from Luke chapter 18, which illustrated how we should pray always in order to maintain our faith. But our secular society replaces pray, pray, pray with buy, buy, buy. We are kept constantly diverted by the next gadget, and the next, and the next; like a hamster in its cage, amused by new toys.
And as the Pharisees plotted to kill Jesus, so today the secular society is plotting to kill Christianity – not by crucifying its followers, but by smothering us under an avalanche of temptations. We are unknowingly buried alive under the rubble of our possessions, and Jesus is shouting to us "Lazarus, come out!"
Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.The Catholic bishops of Chile, remind us that we should not stop praying for the 33 miners now that they have been brought to the surface. In their statement they said, "May this re-encounter with life be an opportunity for them and for all of us to appreciate the most precious things we have: life, our dignity as children of God, faith, the treasure of the family." These are things we often take for granted.
So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, "What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation."
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish."
He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.
So from that day on they planned to kill him.
– John 11:45-53
UPDATE: I was over at the Vigilant Citizen website, where he has an article mostly about the occult significance of the number 33 as it relates to the miners. I don't happen to agree with his analysis on this one, but here is a link in case you're interested.
One of the commenters left a link to this YouTube video which shows that there is a biblical message on the back of the T-shirts the miners wore when they came to the surface. The quote is from Psalm 95 verse 4.
Porque en su mano están las profundidades de la tierra,(BTW, if you want to see how badly a politically correct translation of the Bible can butcher a verse, take a look at this "gender neutral" version of this verse from the American Bishops approved New American Bible: "Whose hand holds the depths of the earth; who owns the tops of the mountains." It sounds like it's asking a question rather than making a statement. No wonder that the NAB version of the Psalms has not been accepted by the Vatican. This shows to what extent the American Bishops have been swayed by the American feminist movement.)
Y las alturas de las montes son suyas
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
One more comment on the T-shirts. I noticed right away what appeared to be an inverted star on the front of the T-shirts, which appeared to be an occult symbol. I'm sure this was unintentional given the use of Biblical references all over the rest of the T-shirt. The star is clearly part of a stylized version of the Chilean flag.
|Stylized Chilean flag on T-shirt|