Jesus wept

Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 in Faith | 1 comment

I was feeding my baby, Hazel, this evening and I was trying to think of something to think about. Funny, to think about what I should be thinking about but nursing a baby takes some time and I’d rather focus my thoughts than let them drift from pointless unmemorable thought to unmemorable thought that will vanish within moments of something actually worth thinking about coming into my head. I had already said my Rosary today and while meditative or contemplative prayer would be great, it would be interrupted soon by either another child or my husband or those unmemorable thoughts that would creep in and I wanted to focus. So I thought I’d meditate on some verses from the Bible. Not having a Bible in arm’s reach I started to think of verses randomly and John 11: 35 popped into my mind.

Now those of you who are Protestant, and maybe some really exceptional Catholics will jump on this verse as being famous for something silly actually, but fun when you’re a child and bragging about all things ‘Bible’ that you know. Yes, John 11: 35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. It is at least, for the King James Version and other versions have a variation, but for my purposes, we’ll go with it being the shortest. The longest verse in the Bible, should you be wondering, is Ester 8: 9 and children will often tout that they know the shortest and longest verse of the Bible and recite the shorter and then hem and haw when you ask them to recite the latter. It is long, and no. I do not know it.

But I do know the shortest verse. John 11:35 – Jesus wept. That’s it! Jesus wept. The verse is talking about Jesus’ reaction to the news that his dear friend Lazarus has died. I love the simplicity of this verse. It is a verse all on it’s own and has no other information in it. It is a simple statement. Women would have written that Jesus lamented the passing of his dear friend and cried this much and that long, but John, the Beloved Apostle, wrote this Gospel, so naturally the details are brief. Had there have been more detail, it’s significance may have been lost.

In the milisecond that I had to actually ponder this short verse before being interrupted by a toddler wanting milk (and not the baby I was nursing) I thought of the powerful impact of those two words. Jesus – The Son. Our Lord and Savior. Jesus of Divine Mercy. His most Sacred Heart. He cried. Now crying is most often associated with girls. Or emotional women. Children cry. Dogs cry. But grown men rarely cry. At least not in public anyway. And this Jesus, who we model our behavior, love, our actions and hope after, cried for the loss of a friend.

Think back to the last time you cried. The last time I cried I was in a crisis. A personal crisis involving severe stress and anxiety. Everything worked out ok in the end, but that agonizing grief that struck me and caused me to break down in front of others, maybe even needing to be hugged, held, supported, or cried with…that same emotion struck Our Lord.

I often struggle with the humanity of Jesus. It’s a lofty thought sometimes. I think, ‘Well, Jesus didn’t have children. He wouldn’t know.’ or ‘Jesus didn’t have to worry about his phone ringing constantly and his weekends booking up too fast to actually get some rest in.’ These things being said usually during a fit of self pity, for which I will be sure to confess during my next visit to the priest. But sometimes these thoughts do creep in and I think He (Jesus) couldn’t possibly understand.

I find myself relating more to Mary, the mother of Our Lord. Our Lady suffered greatly. She was a mom, a wife, a friend. Her cousin, Elizabeth, was pregnant and she traveled to go help her with her pregnancy and new baby so I like to think she was a good friend. But John tells us of this particular time that Jesus cried. He had friends like us. Mary, Martha and Lazarus seem ┬áto be lofty ‘friends of the Divine one’ but really they were probably just good people. Think of some of your good friends and how you love them. Think about what you would feel if one of them suddenly was in a terribly tragic accident. You would be grief stricken. Jesus’ humanity is so apparent in those two short words. They clearly help us (and me, in this one, brief moment of pondering) that Jesus felt. Jesus cried. Jesus loved. Jesus laughed. Jesus probably danced. I know Jesus drank wine. (Don’t you love being Catholic?) He was just like us. And if He can make it through this world, with all our human emotions and passions and feelings, then so can we.

Next time you’re feeling unloved, unappreciated or even lose something precious, like a friend, remember that Jesus did it all too and through Him, we will all make it through.

One Comment

  1. I received a blessing here today! Thank you Nancy!

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