“Jesus became perturbed and deeply troubled and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’” -John 11: 33-34
In this week’s gospel reading, we hear the powerful story of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead. In the middle of the gospel narrative, one line in particular jumps out: “And Jesus wept.”
What does it mean for us that Jesus, God incarnate, wept over the death of his friend? What does it mean in light of the call to ecological conversion?
In simple yet profound terms, it means that our God is not indifferent to the suffering and death of his beloved creatures. The love of Jesus for his friends and disciples while on earth reflects the love and concern of God for each of God’s creatures. In Genesis, we are reminded that “God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good.”
Pope Francis has written about the power of tears, which people have named Francis’s “theology of tears.” “The tears of Jesus serve as an antidote to my indifference [to the suffering of others],” he said. The globalization of indifference “has taken from us the ability to weep.”
The continual destruction of God’s beautiful earth deserves our tears. As we approach Holy Week, let us pray for the grace to be truly moved by what we have seen and heard out of indifference and into repentance and action.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
– Psalm 130
The Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids join with other congregations of Dominican Sisters in North America to bring you this prayer, as part of a Lenten reflection journey. This prayer and additional reflections can be found in the Lenten 2020 Guide: A Journey Toward Ecological Conversion. Special Thanks to the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns. Follow along with us each week during Lent.
Image licensed in the public domain and available http://bit.ly/Bavarianforest.