4/10/11

And Jesus Wept. - John 11:33-35

Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.

Fellow-Feeling

Readings:
Ezek 37:12-14; Rom 8:8-11; John 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

Scripture:
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. (John 11:33-35)

Reflection:
The terms are many, the reality is the same. The terms? Compassion, empathy, sympathy, kindness, concern. The reality? Fellow-feeling. Jesus felt deeply the sorrow of Mary and Martha. The loss of their brother brought tears of sadness to their heart and anguish to their soul. The mystery of death overwhelmed them and the future held much ambiguity. Jesus felt the sorrow, the anguish, the ambiguity, and he wept along with them.

Another occasion when Jesus wept arose again out of his compassion and empathy. Viewing the city of Jerusalem from a distance and realizing how many people were confused and lost, Jesus broke down and cried. Jesus knew that his mission was one of universal salvation. For anyone to be lost, much less a whole population, was just too much. These tears reveal to us the infinite compassion and concern of our loving, redeeming God.

What is at issue here is that radical sense of solidarity. We are one family; we are one people, all on the same journey back to the Father. What happens to one affects everybody. The great delusion is to think that we are autonomous creatures, self-reliant and able to go it alone. Nothing could be further from the truth. We come to God together or not at all. We have responsibility for our sisters and brothers.

“And Jesus wept.” These are startling words and words that are to be taken with utmost seriousness. While our faith continually reminds us that Jesus is divine, that same faith tells of the humanity of Jesus. He experienced all that we do, except sin. Thus, we have a Lord and friend who knows what we are going through. Surely, Jesus wept for joy at Cana; surely, Jesus wept when Peter and Judas denied him; surely, Jesus wept, if only interiorly, when the adulterous woman was brought before him for stoning. Why else did he keep his head down while writing in the sand?

Meditation:
Why is it important to keep our tear ducts open? What is the level of your fellow-feeling? What makes you weep? What makes you laugh, laugh with tears of joy?

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, you know our inner pain at the loss of loved ones. Your tears at the death of Lazarus remind us of your tender compassion and rich empathy. Transform our minds and hearts to live deeply the reality of human soli­darity. May no one stand alone. May we weep with those who weep; may we laugh with those who laugh.
Sing Hallelujah to the Lord   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeAIKgv1430

2 comments:

Ed Sousa, Sr. said...

The resurrection of Lazarus showed Christ’s victory over physical death, but Jesus' crucifixion defeated the “spiritual death” of sin, said Pope Benedict XVI at the Sunday Angelus.

Death, the Pope said, is like "a wall" that impedes man from seeing what lies beyond. "Our heart pushes out beyond this wall, and even if we cannot know what it hides, we still think about it, we imagine it, expressing ... our desire for eternity."

Christ, in his resurrection, destroyed this "wall of death.
Pope Benedict

Teresa said...

Amen!