Fifth Sunday of Lent
Jesus wept at the grave of his friend, Lazarus. Of all people, Jesus should understand eternal life and that death is not the end of us. “God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). I believe this and as a priest, I live my life by it. But I’ve struggled with the idea that if I believe this so strongly, why am I sad at the death of someone I love? Shouldn’t there be a joy within me that my loved one is experiencing eternal life? A few months ago I saw a meme (shout out to the Millennials and Gen-Zers) that sort of puts all of this into perspective. The meme was titled, “He cried.”
Jesus knew Lazarus was dead before he got the news, but still he cried.
Jesus knew Lazarus would be alive again in moments, but still he cried.
Jesus knew death here on earth is not forever, but still he cried.
Jesus knew eternity and the Kingdom of Heaven better than anyone else could. But still he cried because this world is full of pain and loss and devastation.
Jesus cried – because knowing the end of the story – doesn’t mean you can’t cry at the sad parts.
This seems to put it all together for me. Jesus cried not because of a lack of understanding or faith. He cried because he loved his friend, Lazarus. And Lazarus loved him. So when we lose someone we love and we are overcome with grief, it’s natural because we love. But our grief does eventually turn to joy when we remember the promise of resurrection and eternal life promised us through Jesus Christ.
God bless you all and have a great week!