Monday of Holy Week: Witnesses to a God Who Weeps

BY AMIRAH OROZCO | March 29, 2021
Monday of Holy Week – Today’s Readings

After a rather dull year, I chose to (for the first time in my life) focus on the hope of the Resurrection during Lent this year. I aimed to frame it not as a naïve optimism, but as a challenge to continue to believe in a light that conquers darkness so that when Easter came around, I might have prepared my heart to believe more than ever that Resurrection was possible.

Witnesses to a God Who Weeps

Today’s Gospel gives names and descriptions for a lot of characters. Especially noteworthy here is Lazarus whose death in the chapter before provokes some of the most powerful words in our Gospels: “Jesus wept.” (Jn 11:35) It is the only time in the Gospels that the Greek word edákrysen is used. Jesus is so moved by their grief that, in praying to his Father, he beckons Lazarus from the tomb where he lay. In our scene for today, Lazarus sits at the table with Jesus, and the writer reveals that the chief priests are looking to kill him because, “many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.” (Jn. 12: 11) 

Through the lens of hope, I can’t help but take note of these people mentioned in the final line. The revival of Lazarus had given them so much hope that those who dared not to hope felt threatened. In watching Jesus himself be moved by the grief of these sisters who had lost their brother, the unnamed people came to know a God who feels the pain of those who suffer. They had witnessed a God who breathes life into those who appear at once dead. (Cf. Is 42: 5) They remind us that God is a God of deep compassion.

As we celebrate the victory of life over death this year, let us then act as witnesses to the God who weeps for the 2.5 million people and their families who have lost their life to coronavirus. Let our hope sustain us in the fight for justice as we join to create a world post-coronavirus that is more compassionate and filled with love than the one we had before.

For Reflection: 

  • Where are you finding hope in your days? 
  • How can you channel this hope to rejoin a world that is more compassionate and filled with love?
4 replies
  1. M Naylor
    M Naylor says:

    When I responded this morning to a friend several hundred miles away, that I am praying about her problems –there’d been 3 email msgs. about choices she needs to make, family problems — I told her, ‘I care for you — but God cares so much more!’
    don’t know why I said that last part, except I felt the inadequacy of ‘my’ caring, my praying, but such a certainty that Our Lord Does Care!

  2. Dr Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    During Lent I especially meditated on the agony in the garden. Both Jesus’ mental anguish, my own and the angush and anxiety of most of the people I met during Lent was exponential in its outreach. People were worried about their families, their jobs, their income, their children’s schooling and other issues. I thought of Jesus pondering His death and the fact that His friends were not very interested in trying to support Him. In fact, His friend, Peter, denied Him 3 times, the others slept and Jesus is calling out to His Father to take this burden of sinfulness away from Him. Through prayer, He was made peaceful. The Holy Spirit knew what needed to happen, This did not deter the mental anguish that went on for hours. He endured out of love for all of us.God. He compassionately cares for each one of us in all the anguish and anxiety we have. He wants us to reach out to one another to soothe the pain. He is there with each one of us and all of us in solidarity and compassion.

  3. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Thanks Amirah for these beautiful thoughts. We are privileged, for our God is full of compassion, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

  4. Valerie
    Valerie says:

    Jesus died not only for the people in the entire world — He died for you — personally.

    We can get lost in the great number of people in the world, and think we are so insignificant. But to God, each one of us is his Child; the individual He wanted in his family.

    Imagine Jesus looking at you right now — telling you He loves you completely, unconditionally, and is about to go to the cross for your salvation — your personal entry into Heaven.


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