1 Now there was a certain man sick, named Lazarus, of Bethania, of the town of Mary and Martha her sister. 2 (And Mary was she that anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair: whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 His sisters therefore sent to him, saying: Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
Augustine: They did not say, Come and heal; they dared not say, Speak the word there, and it shall be done here; but only, Behold, he whom you love is sick. As if to say, It is enough that thou know it, Thou art not one to love and then to desert whom Thou lovest.
Chrysostom: They hope to excite Christ’s pity by these words, Whom as yet they thought to be a man only. Like the centurion and nobleman, they sent, not went, to Christ; partly from their great faith in Him, for they knew Him intimately, partly because their sorrow kept them at home.
Theophylact: Great devotion and faith is expressed in these words, Behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick. Such was their idea of our Lord’s power, that they were surprised, that one, whom He loved, could be seized with sickness.
4 And Jesus hearing it, said to them: This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God: that the Son of God may be glorified by it.
Augustine: This death itself was not to death, but to give occasion for a miracle; whereby men might be brought to believe in Christ, and so escape real death. It was for the glory of God, wherein observe that our Lord calls Himself God by implication, thus confounding those heretics who say that the Son of God is not God. For the glory of what God? Hear what follows, That the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Chrysostom: The sickness sprang from natural causes, but He turned it to the glory of God.
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. IV (London: Rivington, 1845).