Thursday, 19 November 2020

Tears of Christ

 My reflection today comes from a man who is a seminarian at my former seminary in Rome, the Beda. It is about today's Gospel, and each day he uses a work of art to illustrate the gospel. 

"Jesus Himself was not immune to tears. In today’s Gospel reading we read that He shed tears. In John 11:35 we also read about Jesus weeping, at the tomb of his good friend Lazarus. Jesus was fully divine, and also fully human. So he felt pain, grief and sadness. When we shed tears, we share in the tears of Christ. 

We like to think of Jesus as always being super-confident and joyfully calm in any storm that may have come His way. But at times He did shed tears. His tears give us a glimpse into how God views our own suffering and pains. He understands them! Jesus wept for Lazarus as though he was simply a very close friend He had lost. But in our reading today, He wept for another reason: the tragedy of our sin. He simply wept that He had spent His last years proclaiming the Word of his Father, and so few people listened to Him or understood Him. As He could now see Jerusalem, as we read in our Gospel passage, he was probably also crying over his coming fate that would await him in the city.

In our watercolour on paper by James Tissot we see Jesus weeping outside Jerusalem. The people around Him probably didn’t know why He wept. For Him too, St Teresa of Avila’s words would have resonated: ‘tears water the soul, as rain waters the garden’…"

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