“and Jesus wept…”
Jesus, upon finding that his friend Lazarus died, wept. He didn’t just feel a solitary tear roll down his cheek; he didn’t just feel sad; he didn’t just cry. Jesus wept. The Son of God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity wept over the death of his friend, Lazarus.
Perfectly human, Jesus experienced the emotions that you and I deal with every day. Remember his experience with the money changers in the temple? I’d say he got pretty angry there, though he was justified, but that’s another reflection. And here, in today’s Gospel, Jesus experiences a level of sorrow that far too many of us experience in our fallen world.
But here’s the good news in all this: we as Catholic Christians have a God who knows all too well what it means to be human. Our God can relate to us when we experience that level of sorrow. Jesus Christ knows what we mean when we tell Him of our heartbreak, sorrow, and all the other trials that we face in this life.
And not only does He know and understand all of these things, but He sanctifies them in Himself. The Church Fathers very often would use the phrase, “that which is not assumed is not saved,” when speaking of Christ. Because Jesus assumed our human nature, He has saved it; He sanctifies it. Rather than shy away from humanity or the emotions that come with it, He took them on, experienced them in their intensity, and perfected them in Himself.
So, my friends, we have hope. We have hope in the One who wept at the tomb for His friend. We can trust in His incredible love for us that led Him to take on our human nature, even with all the emotions that come with it. We can hope in Him who takes our human condition and elevates it with His grace.
So the next time you find yourself in a less-than-ideal spot, experiencing the sorrows of a fallen world, turn to the One who assumed our humanity so as to perfect and sanctify it. Turn to Jesus.
André Escaleira, Jr.
Seminarian, Diocese of Bridgeport
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