“And Jesus wept.”
A student sits in my office, his young eyes ringed by dark circles from lack of sleep. A family targeted by violence, a loved one hit by a bullet which, the doctors point out, had miraculously not hit a vital organ.
He hesitates, “people tell me there must have been an angel there.” We smile and yet, I can see that the chaos unleashed is almost too much to bear. The young siblings traumatized, the family in need of housing, food, and something resembling safety and a future.
“And Jesus wept.”
The young one struggles to understand why strangers are donating money to help them. “My mother asked me, ‘do these people know you?’” the incredulity is in his voice too. “I told her, no.”
I recognize the plight of God’s beloved vulnerable who have faced rejection so often and I search for a way to tell him that Jesus weeping is the reason people are helping. The God of Jesus never stands indifferent to our pain but enters it, accompanies us, and asks us to do the same.
“These strangers are helping because that is what they do. It is who they are,” I tell him. “We don’t get to call ourselves Christians unless we’re clear that there’s something for us to do, and that something is to love as God loves.”
Yes, Jesus wept, and then the community weeping with him saw the flowering of new life from his tears. I’m grateful that I don’t have to only talk about a loving God, but that my students can actually know this God and make God present to each other in acts of selfless love. Because God loved Creation so much that Jesus came to be with us, now, we must likewise be for each other.
- What is making you weep right now?
- What is calling you to make God present in the world in all God’s abundant graciousness?
Cecilia González-Andrieu is professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University, member of the board of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, and author of Bridge to Wonder: Art as Gospel of Beauty.
La doctora Cecilia González-Andrieu es profesora de teología en Loyola Marymount University y es la autora del libro Bridge to Wonder: Art as a Gospel of Beauty.