Let’s make a brief detour
to the familiar story of Lazarus.

He was one of the very few people
for whom our Lord performed
the astonishing miracle
of raising someone from the dead.

His was not a resurrection like the Lord’s.
It was simply a resuscitation:
When he was brought back to life,
he was 100% the same,
and just had to pick up
where he left off.
As we know, resurrection transforms us
just as it did to Jesus.

Have you wondered how Lazarus must have felt
when he came alive again?


Summoned from that distant dark
and peaceful place,
Lazarus hears Jesus calling him,
that familiar voice accompanied
by other familiar voices–
his sisters’ and friends’–
imploring him to step out of his tomb
and back into this world.

What could Lazarus have been thinking?
Did he have a choice?
Did he have to make a decision?

Historians tell us today
that tombs in those days were dug out
of the earth,
so that in order to leave the tomb,
Lazarus had to exert every possible effort
to pull himself out of it.

Rising from the dead–
that must have been the easy part.

The hard part was making the decision
to clamber out of that tomb,
the stench of flesh-and-bones behind him.

Did he welcome the idea
of being weighed down again
by the gravity of this life, this world?
Was he tempted to stay in the dark
and to remain dead?

In a strange sort of way,
we know that feeling, don’t we? 

Those of us who have experienced
a major crisis in our lives
know that the sadness and sadness
we wrap around ourselves
can at times become too comforting to shed.
It is tempting to remain in that dark place.
Like Lazarus, stepping out of our tombs
could be painstakingly effortful
and could require every ounce of our will power

Can you name the tombs in your life?

How do you feel about stepping out
of your tombs?

Tombs are the dark, hiding places in our lives
that suck out the life and energy out of us.

They keep you away from God,
away from other people,
and even away from yourself.

More than anything else,
they diminish us
making us less than we are.

Tombs stand for things
that we are attached to–
harmful habits
or unhealthy relationships.
Even if we know they do us no good,
they provide us with a strong
and addictive sort of comfort.

The strange thing is that
we feel we cannot live without them.
We feel too much at home in them
or with them.
They are a comfort zone
that we are afraid to venture out of.

But Easter summons us
to step out of our tombs.

We need to make the decision
to pull ourselves out of whatever pit
we may find ourselves in.
It isn’t fun to wake from the dead;
it may actually feel much safer
to remain in the tomb.
But the life that the Lord calls us to
is the only one that’s really worth living.

Take time now to name one or two tombs
in your life.

It may be a lifestyle, a person,
a mindset, habit, or vice,
a relationship…

Describe what it would take for you
to step out of these tombs–

and to leave them behind.

Do your reflection
at least for the duration of this music.

“Out of Roads/Hesus ng Aking Buhay” from Vespers 5. Track 6 of 15.

And share your insights below.


80 replies on “THE WAKING DEAD”

It’s comforting to read what the others have written about their tombs. I share many of their tombs. One tomb I have is my husband. Our marriage almost ended several years ago and I thought leaving him will be good for us. I stayed because he asked me to and said that he will take care of us. I thought that I should not be selfish since the kids will get hurt if I leave. He has improved his ways and stopped cheating on me. I know he is happy for I take care of the family. I am not happy. He values me as a mother but not as a wife. I can’t remember the last time he held my hand. I pray that I will be assigned abroad so I can leave my tomb and be free to love someone else.

The tomb of anticipatory anxiety, lack of acceptance of unexpected parts of the self, and difficulty forgiving my father.

The one tomb I need to get out of is indulging in my feelings of failure, of never being good enough. This fear holds me back, stops me from pursuing things I should – too afraid of being judged. Stepping out of this tomb means putting faith in God instead of being too self-focused.

My tombs are:
1. Staying in my comfort zone career and growth wise
2. My sins against purity like lust
3. Always fearing the worst or negative outcome in things I value

Lord, give me the strength to change my actions and beliefs. Give me strength to use all my gifts to serve your Will.

My tomb is self doubt and making up all excuses so I do not heed what I am called to do and finally be the person I want to be.

I will continue to try and face the threat of failure and rejection if that is how I will truly be His instrument here on earth.

I’m asking the Lord, to help me not fall back into the tomb of bad habits, being more patient with others, being less reactive, slow to anger. I’m asking the Lord, to help me be more loving and kind in my words and actions. Help me Lord to practice mindfulness.

My tomb is being drowned in debts because of the lifestyle I choose. I want to own material things and experience “lavish” lifestyle even if my means do not allow me to. And this results to borrowing from other people even if I am unsure when to get the money to pay them back. This sucks the life out of me because this has been a never ending cycle which I want to get out from. Sometimes, I don’t get to do the things I need to do because I have to think of ways to pay those people I owe money. This is very tiring.

My tomb is my anxiety about the future… I have a tendency to overthink and over-anticipate the negative or the worst thing that can happen. I have to unlearn this behavior in order to trust God more and to see His blessings more clearly. It is hard because it is as if I was born and raised into this anxiety in our household. My mother was the same way, and I catch myself behaving like her. My other tomb is materialism. Sometimes, when I feel physically and mentally drained, I feel that I must buy myself something because I deserve it even if I don’t really need it. I have to be more aware of this behavior because it is affecting my spiritual life. Lord, help me!

My tomb and I will rise from this dark tomb with guidance and inspiration of Passion of Jesus Christ
+Procrastination from using the God given gifts talents, skills and opportunity to share God’s love. The comfort zone of hiding.
+Fear in trusting and entering into relationship and build life in marriage with my own family as Mother and Wife
+Leadership, to be a Good Shepherd to the flock entrusted to me and mission.

My tombs are deep and grave. I cannot even mention them. And I have failed to live up to the task That God has given me. I don’t have any taLents, I just pretend. A sham. I am a sham. Empty.

Almost two years ago, the Lord has called me to leave a toxic relationship. And just like Lazarus, breaking up was easy. However, moving on and forward from that relationship was the hardest. It took me so much effort to rebuild myself, to regain my confidence, and to rediscover who I really am.

In the process of moving forward, the Lord has always been gracious to reassure me, allowing me to reap personal achievements in the process of rebuilding. However, I have always thought that I got them out of luck. That I did not work hard enough for them. And that I don’t deserve them at all, even if my Lord says otherwise. Why? Because I have always felt guilty of my sins. To me, I have always thought how I deserve such pain I was feeling in my heart. I have even beaten myself up for those actions. And that whatever the Lord gives me, He handed them to me out of pity. And that I was never worthy to get them.

As such, this year, when I was still abroad away from family, I pledged to take the Lenten season more seriously. Honestly I couldn’t fast on food (because I love eating!), but I decided to refrain on something that I have repeatedly inflicted on myself: the negative self-talk I have mentioned above.

But with the Lord’s constant reassurance, as of writing, I found myself back and saw myself becoming much better, kinder, and more honest. And right now, as the Easter approaches, I also feel that I have been resurrected. That after all, I am worthy of His love and blessings.

I am intending to use this renewed sense of self as a reminder to continue what I have started — to always speak with compassion not just for others but most especially to myself. And perhaps I would also need to reexamine things I need to leave behind — unhealthy social media habits, obsession for having romantic ties, and tendencies to act with so much pride.

I need to leave the tomb of my physical sloth, as He calls me to walk with Him.

Much of my screen time is a tomb that I must leave as well.

The tomb that I want to get rid is the tomb of being inpatient and looking for things that I lack and not the things that I have. May I always be remind Lord the blessings that you bestowed upon me everyday as a sign of your love. Grant me Lord the courage to let go of these tombs that buried me away from you. Amen

My Tomb looks more like a cage. With me bloodied and bruised trying to get out but with a tight rope around my waist. And on the other end, are my toxic siblings.. bound by the string of trauma bond in our family. A generational trauma (family systems perspective). Everytime I leave the cage they find ways to pull back. I am bloodied and bruised. I was able to come out of the cage/tomb. But little did i notice that i was punctured and bleeding badly.

My tomb/cage is my unhealthy relationships with my siblings. they (choose) to remain in the dark – ignorant of how their toxic actions affect others. Their actions do not portray that of love and compassion but that of judgement and abuse. This lent, i pray that i will finally tend to my punctured wounds and to look forward and move forward. To finally have the courage to cut the string that had bound me to them, that had tugged on me for years, that has been pulled back as i slowly get out of that cage full of thorns. I am now out of the cage. I pray to God for strength to finally cut the string.

Psychological and emotional abuse is the most insidious. It cannot be seen unlike physical and sexual abuse. But it happens. The worst part is if it was done to you by someone who you thought loves you – a betrayal of some sort. I pray that those who find themselves in this situation could finally have the courage to step out of their tombs and finally close the door.

Some tombs: procrastination, lack of focus, worrying about too many work tasks too much at the same time, impatience, fear about what lies ahead, etc. I can also relate with some of the other posted reflections.

Related to the “baby steps” page earlier: Always set aside a time for prayer and silence. Set aside time for developing relationships in any way. For work, learn to prioritize the most important.

My tombs are:
1. Laziness/Wasting Time
2. Insecurity coupled with pride (especially at work, as a result, I tend to work on my own rather than be open to the suggestions and help from others)
3. Insecure with my ex

My planned actions:
1. Plan the day ahead and STICK TO THE PLAN. I will take away any unnecessary distractions.
2. Have an open mind in all things (instead of internal complaining) and to faith and trust to myself and to my colleagues
3. Stop checking my ex’ social media account and pray for the person FERVENTLY.

Dear Lord, grant me the grace to do these things for me to move up from my tomb, step by step, little by little. Amen.

Lord, help me free up the tomb of anger and hatred towards my spouse. You have a great plan for me and I want to seek for your forgiveness.

1. Holding on to the painful past experiences of betrayal
2. Being envious
3. Insecurity/ Skeptic

*These may sound like simple struggles that we think we can easily let go of. But, it’s different for me. At some point, I may be able to convince myself not to worry about these things. But fear creeps in, and I end up going back to that dark room full of doubts, worries, and ill thoughts.
*I can say I have not fully graduated from this stage, but I soon will. God is helping me.

Tombs of unhealthy relationships
Tombs which reflect my low self-esteem, which ultimately cause my unhappiness.
Tombs of bad habits such as procrastination, work addiction, loneliness. They’re just not healthy nor helpful anymore. Praying for the necessary support in this one though, Lord.

1. Holding on to past pains.

2. Pride and not letting people into my life.

3. Trying to put up a mask of someone I am not…

One tomb for me is being afraid that when something good happens in my life, bad things are not far off from happening too, that bad things will eventually happen whatever I do. It takes away from the joy of the pleasures of life. I must learn to stop or lessen this habit.

I feel being in a tomb while on quarantine! Being alone in a house full of memories with no one to talk to except by phone or Internet. I just hope this enhanced quarantine will be over so we can have some social contact with the people we love the most.

Reading some of the reflections, I feel like these could have been written by me. Somehow, it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in my struggles. I pray that I am able to catch when the evil spirit starts telling me again that I am not capable of changing, of becoming better. And I pray for the strength to resist, and to continue to struggle to improve and escape from my tombs.

– isolating myself from others, thinking that I don’t belong with my friends
– bitter resentments and grudges
– impatience
– gossiping
– my own battles that I do not share with anyone

Acknowledging these and asking someone I trust to help me come out of these tombs will help me. I hope I find the strength to do so 🙁

The tombs of my life:
– worries and fears about my health and of my loved ones
– complacency in some of the things I do
– know it all attitude; pride
– jealousy and impatience
May Christ’s Resurrection bring light into the darkness of my tombs. Lord, please help me rise in your strength that I may always live and glow in your light.

Complacency, unforgiving heart and being worrisome… Grant me the grace to remove all these things in me.

Accept the things that can’t be changed. Pray for them and for yourself. Have faith and be brave. Amen.

Shattered dreams. They linger. The light at the end of the tunnel, is a beacon of another dream to be shattered. At least Jesus hasn’t left my side. The journey progresses. Someday, dawn will break.

It’s a life of trying to prove something. I’ve always been second best or third or fourth. It’s a place I always wanted to get out of, but never really wanting. Fear of losing everything. Better second than not at all. But I’ve learned that its not what I need at all, it’s just a want. Time to let go and live as God wants. To be free, allowing His will to guide me. It does not matter, as long as I am with Him. All I need is here.

My tombs: my deep anxiety over every single bad thing that can happen; my depression and lack of self-worth, that sometimes makes me feel like I am not needed in this world; my tendency to think the worst of people and inability to really, truly forgive. For me to leave these tombs behind, I need to have faith. Faith in God, that He will take care of me; faith that He loves me and created me precisely because of this love, and that I have a purpose; and faith in other people, who God loves as well, and they deserve second chances.

The time i spend in my work i want to be the best, to be the most dependable person because it is only where i feel needed, it only where i can say to myself that i am worthy. I set aside everything i compromise everything for it , i misses some of the most important and happy moments i could have been with my family and friends.
i always want to know everything , i want to please everyone ,i dont want anyone to think bad about me i dont want them to think i dont know or i cant do it i dont wNt to go feel rejected, to feel unworthy again
in Gods love and mercy He will help me to build a bridge again towards Him after this pandemic, after this easter i hope that i will be a person with a change heart

My tombs are my constant clinging to depression and my self injurious behavior. I don’t know if I will ever stop hurting myself. It is such a comfort zone.

praying for you. may you be sent people who can help you climb out of your tomb(s). praying for you as i did/ do for my children. May you be blessed and be happy, like you’ve never been happy before (a blessing given me that I pass on to you.)

-selfishness and pride
-having food and using media in excess as means of comfort

I pray that Jesus will pull me put of these tombs and lead me to the right way.

Tombs: Sliding back to the feeling that my past sins have not been fully forgiven, thus making me feel unworthy & undeserving of God’s Blessings ( instead of being thankful) – sometimes you feel that when a Blessing comes there is a trade-off that you should give up (that God may demand from you) ….
Baby step: Ask for God’s grace to accept & pray for opportunities to return His favors thru the people He sends in your life to help, to change to uplift.
In Jesus name I fervently pray?

Lord, help me get rid of my tombs:
1. lead me away from selfishness. Teach me to be selfless and care more for the others, including those outside my immediate family and friends.
2. complacency: Remove from me my complacent self that I may go beyond and reach out to those who need help the most
3. false pride: that has stopped me from reaching out
All these I ask of your Lord. Amen.

To stop being selfish & just caring for myself. I instead should use the gifts & talents given to me by God to help others. Being willingly involved in community activities is a first step in that direction.

Tombs that suck out the life and energy out of us.
They keep you away from God, and even away from yourself.
More than anything else, they diminish us making us less than we are.
It may be a lifestyle, a person, mindset, habit, vice, or relationship

My tombs and baby steps:

1. Procrastination – plan with God and take action
2. Unworthiness – love myself, believe that God loves me and wants me to do great things, positive thoughts
3. People who think they cater open communication but actually create gaps and hurt – refrain conversation with them
4. Judgmental people – be busy and be unmindful of them; remain good wherever I am
5. People who suck my life, energy, optimism and vitality – refrain and stay focused
6. Afraid to love – trust God and I welcome the love that He promised me

God’s grace lifted Lazarus. In His Grace, He will lift me up from all these.

Tomb of self doubt and unworthiness. I think I’ve spiraled into the habit of being my own saboteur. I oft find myself not trusting the goodness that God delivers. And worse, I pull others towards my repair bec of my anxiousness and worrying. But, I want to step out of this tomb and ditch these patterns with God’s grace and love.

Tomb of self-righteousness and judgement. I would like to step out of this judging stance that claims false power over the actions of others.

I find it very hard to leave from unhealthy relationship and mindset of being self-righteous. But a belief in the Easter and option to live a post-easter life with God’s grace will make it possible. Help me pray.

The tomb of procrastination. Putting off the day and time when I would have to pull out from the dark the talent that God has given me. Anonymity is comfortable and pulling myself out of it will require a constant effort to be what I know I am capable of, thanks to the gift that God has given me.
On the other hand, this same self-entrapment has made me feel sad, something that I want to rid myself of. With God’s constant mercy and guidance, I fervently pray that I will have the strength and perseverance to heed His call to Life.

The tomb of worrying so much about what people will say about things I do or did. I ask for the grace of humility to accept my capabilities.

My tomb of being judgmental. I am imposing my beliefs on others because I think my set of beliefs are the best and therefore others should follow. This makes my relationship with my offsprings somewhat strained.
Another tomb I should get out from is my being a hypochondriac. Its giving me undue anxiety.

My tombs are the following:

– Self-righteousness specially when serving and expecting results
– Fear and anxiety over the future – job security and financial stability
– Irritation with loved ones re things and expectations

Lord Jesus, may I beg for your mercy so i may be free from the tomb of pride, arrogance and self-righteousness.

Lord, set me free from my tomb of resentment. I pray for a more forgiving and compassionate heart like yours.

My Tombs
staying in a relationship even if I saw many red flags just because I became attached to the person, not knowing he cheated on me already. I stayed because I thought it was love, but I now realized that love isnt supposed to drain me, used me and all. Love should be bringing peace. Never mistake love with lust. You will know the difference. I stayed in that relationship, felt weird because I thought we did it for love but no. It was the betrayal which was very hard to accept, it still haunts me up to now.

this self-pity i felt, feeling of unworthiness and all; but those are my lessons learned.

Self righteous, impatience, arrogance, self- importance, absolute know it all… these are my tombs.
Lord, I want to get out from my tombs, call me… Give me a lift. Thank you Lord

The tomb of not being open to others ; of being jaded and disillusioned from failed relationships and wrong relationships; of lacking in trust.

I leave behind the tomb: (1) fears and uncertainties about the future, (2) lack of courage to love and to be generous, and (3) gossip and frivolities over things that do not matter.

My tomb – the tendency to be self-righteous
How to step out of this tomb – to be more patient and compassionate towards others, especially members of the family, through God’s grace

There are painful experiences that we bury deep in our mind and never to be remembered. It is difficult to open the “tomb”, bring them back into consciousness and face them again. Lord, I ask for strength and courage that I may confront these with love and forgiveness.

Lord help me get out of my tomb: a tomb wherein I think I can go through this life without any need of You.

Tomb of getting trapped in the busy world of work. Less or no time to communicate with Jesus, this happens only when praying on the way to work and Sunday Mass.

This community lockdown gave me the opportunity to pray with the family everyday. Dear Jesus, please help me to be able to continue to have time with you to share my thoughts and fears and to than you for all my blessings.

Another tomb is my being impatient with co-workers may the message of Easter help me to have more patience and not to distance myself from them.

The tombs I need to step out of:

1. The tomb of control and anxiety for the future – I should learn that God is not a co-pilot. I must let Him be God and submit to His will in my life

2. The tomb of regret and bitterness over my Mom’s death – My mom is already with the Lord but I still feel pangs of regret and bitterness over it. Help me heal, Lord.

3. The tomb of procrastination – This is a bad habit I need to get over with. Help me use my time and talent wisely for the good of others.

4. The tomb of overconsumption – whether social media, food or clothes.


I guess the darkest tomb in my life is my codependency and my chronic inclination for people pleasing. I’m so afraid that I truly speak my mind or act upon my beliefs, especially my faith, that I will offend, be rejected, judged, misunderstood, or even lose friends. It’s these in voices in my head telling me lies that I’m a fool for believing in myself, for believing in Jesus. But dear Lord, I cry from the depths of my heart, to save me from my fears, and silence the voices of the lies in my head that I may hear your voice telling me who I really am, your beloved.

be at peace with the death of my brother last year. drop the anger and hatred. rejoice in his joining the Lord in the Resurrection .

Dearest Lord, you have made things clearer to me. Getting out of this tomb will be very difficult as my reality was shattered because of it. Getting out of the darkness means going through the pain all over again so I may reach the light. It is almost easier to stay where I am, living through this pain. But you call me, Lord. And I will answer. All I ask is for you to continue holding my hand through it all. I’m terrified, but with you I am at peace. Allow me to finally heal from this dear Lord, so I may finally live the life you have known for me.

Lord, release me of the tombs of the past. 1. The desire for self preservation . Help me release that, unleash the power of possibilities and positivity. Help me be more generous of my time, talent and resources. 2. The tomb of control and anxiety over the future. Let me always know that You are in control. You love us. And that all we need to do is respond to that love and all will be well.

Fear for the future is a tomb. Henceforth, I will endeavor to let go of this fear, and to have more trust in the Lord. More than being afraid of what life may bring, I pray that my faith in God grow stronger everyday by being reminded that He is Love, and all that entails. I should look at the future with hope – as one more chance to encounter His Love.

Lord, free me from past hurts that continue to haunt the present and affect the future. Help me let go of the “BLAME GAME”. Help me re-read the past and change my perspective in the same way that GODISNOWHERE can be read in two different ways. And from there move on and live in the light.

Lord, bless all who are with us in this triduum retreat. Bless our desire to come closer to You and live in your love. Amen.

Lord I heard your voice. I wanted to be with you. My tomb is dark and lonely. I wanted out. It has been a long and difficult climb. I know I am not completely out of it. Please Lord, let your voice be my guide and my strength in my struggle to get out. Do not stop calling until you see me walking, running to you, and you have me in your embrace.

Anger, impatience, arrogance, self- importance, absolute know it all… these are just some of my tombs.
Fear of what lies ahead, my job, my work which absolutely consumes my waking hours.
I surrender them all to you Lord. Call me out of darkness and into your wonderful light.

Help me Jesus to forget my sins I committed intentionally when I was a student. I don’t know why I did them…Have mercy Jesus please heal me,help me get out of the forget.
Thank you so much Jesus.

I am guilty of choosing to stay in my tomb because I’m afraid and tired of trying to get out. Every time I try to break free, something or someone would bury me deeper in a pit of hopelessness. I am just waiting for our Lord to finally come and save me.

The tomb of believing that this is the best my life could get, when I feel in my heart that it could get better… the fear of disappointment and failure if I try to pursue the direction I feel the Lord is telling me to take.
The tomb of impatience and resentment toward my husband and children.
Help me Lord to choose to make the effort to come out of these tombs each time I am tempted to stay.

Letting go of “past ghosts” – unforgiving moments, moments that I have dreaded that continued to haunt me today

Letting go of sinful habits, thoughts, attitude & lifestyle: desires of the flesh, pride, selfishness, self-entitlement, being unproductive, not taking care of oneself – health, deceit and dishonesty, fatalistic thoughts, postponing doing a good act today for tomorrow, lip service, false worship, seeking always for “what is in ‘it’ for me

Letting God be – being more sensitive to God’s promptings, standing firm for Christian values, refusing the enticements of the evil one, learning to pick oneself up each time I fall, believing that God loves me and showing that in my life

Lord, free me from past guilt and failures that has kept me in my “tomb” for the longest time and raise up those whom I have caused to be kept in their own “tomb”.

Lord Jesus, I beg you to please help me step out from my tombs of fears, anxieties and negativity of all sorts.

I need the Lord to guide me with crucial and important decisions that need to be made to ensure myself of a peaceful and worry free life.

My Jesus, help me get out of the tomb of the evil habit of harmful self-talk made up of a concoction of self-pity, self-righteousness, pride, false humility, illusions of grandeur and daydreams of escapism. I need your grace to comfort me with your unconditional love, and strengthen me with your mercy so that I may face an unchanged world with calm, meekness and courage that is anchored on the security of your enduring love for me and for all.

One of my tombs is a bad habit. I try to rationalize that i do not harm anyone with it and it gives me comfort. But i realize now that it is keeping me away from Jesus.

I need to take ownership of my feelings more. Take responsibility. Not just pass it off as “wear and tear”. Have Gods passion at the back of my mind always and use it to inspire me to see myself through but with Jesus in control. I need you Lord. Heal me and my loved ones.Amen

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