Jesus Wept

Yesterday I read a trivia question: What’s the shortest verse in the King James version of the Bible? Of course the answer is “Jesus wept.” Two simple, yet very powerful words. I’ve read those words hundreds of times, yet I’ve never truly embraced what they mean.

Jesus wept. His emotions were so strong that they overtook his body.

”Crying is a natural emotional response to certain feelings, usually sadness and hurt,” said Stephen Sideroff, PhD, a staff psychologist at Santa Monica–University of California Los Angeles & Orthopaedic Hospital. “People also cry under other circumstances or occasions. They are letting go of their guard, their defenses, tapping into a place deep inside themselves.”

I often have to remind myself that while Jesus is the Son of God, he was also human. His emotions were part of his everyday life. Just like you and me.

The verse “Jesus wept” is found in John, Chapter 11. As I read this chapter, I also read the chapter before and the chapter after. I imagined what Jesus was going through and the reasons behind His emotions.

  • In Chapter 10, Jesus is telling a gathering of people: “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.” Strong words to express to a crowd. He has a great deal of responsibility.
  • In Chapter 12, it is the coming of Jesus’s Hour: “Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.” He knows that His death is coming soon.
  • Chapter 11 is the death of his friend Lazarus. While Jesus knows he will raise Lazarus from the dead, the emotion of the moment with Martha and Mary overtakes Him.

The human side of Jesus has a lot to experience in a very short period of time, He has a lot to digest. So what does he do? He lets Himself be human and He cries.

Then He immediately trusts that His Father will guide Him.

I always feel vulnerable when I cry. I feel like I’ve lost control. But in reality, it’s my body releasing the emotions that have built up inside of me for so long. The struggles, the pain, the anxiety…the unknown, they all come out in my tears.

Those are the moments when I am reminded to calm my body, close my eyes and pray one simple prayer, “Guide me, God.”

And He does.

 

Dan Herda is an editor of theROCK.

 

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Who is Jesus?

A Message from Deacon Greg Diciaula

In Mark’s  Gospel, we learn some interesting details about Jesus’ early life. He’s known to be a carpenter, probably learning this trade from Joseph. Strangely, Mark describes Jesus as “the son of Mary.” This is unusual since adult males were typically identified with the name of their fathers. Brothers and sisters of Jesus are also mentioned. Scripture scholars are divided on how to interpret this.

As Catholics, we believe that Mary was and always remained a virgin, thus we don’t believe that this refers to other children of Mary. Some scholars suggest that these family members might be Joseph’s children from a previous marriage. Others explain the words brother and sister often referred to relatives, including cousins or nieces, and nephews.

The theme of Mark’s Gospel is: who is Jesus? The townspeople of Nazareth might know the carpenter, the son of Mary, but they don’t know Jesus, the Son of God. We’re told that Jesus is hampered from performing miracles in Nazareth because the people lack faith. Mark is foreshadowing Jesus’ rejection by his own people, the people of Israel. While many of the first Christians were Jewish, Christianity took hold and flourished in the Gentile communities. Mark is writing for a mostly Gentile community, who may have been experiencing persecution. By showing that Jesus himself was rejected, Mark consoles and reassures his first readers.

He is also alerting us of the possible consequences of Christian discipleship. By living as disciples of Jesus in an increasingly secular world, are we willing to accept ridicule, criticism and possible rejection?

God bless you!

 

Deacon Greg Diciaula

Our Tekton

“Is he not the carpenter,* the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” -Mark 6:3

When Jesus was on Earth, we referred to Him in the early part of his life as a “Carpenter.”  We pictured him as a man sawing, hammering and assembling pieces of wood. A craftsman.

Many scholars, however, point out that the word “Carpenter” may not be entirely accurate.

First of all, the majority of homes in Jesus’ time were constructed with stone. Jesus and Joseph would have created most of their projects by chiseling or carving the stone or stacking building blocks.

Secondly, Jesus was actually referred to as a “Tekton,” a Greek word that when translated to English is “Carpenter.”

According to experts, a Tekton was known as a person who repaired things. When you had something that needed mending, redesigned or built, he was the Man to call. He was what we would refer to as “Mr. Fix-it.”

So isn’t it remarkable that 2000 years later, in the middle of the holy season of Lent, that we’re still calling upon our Tekton? We’re asking Him to repair our lives. We’re praying to Him to mend our souls.

We’re acknowledging that we need His help to fix what we can’t fix on our own.

Share your thoughts with us. What has Jesus repaired in your life?

The Joy is Growing!

Joy marks the third week of Advent. We light the pink  or rose candle, as this week is meant to bring rejoicing. The time of preparation is halfway over. The joy is growing!

Jesus, our Savior, is near. Not just in the day of Christmas but in the reality that He will come again. Joy in knowing that working on our relationship with Him will bring us closer to heaven. Joy that working on this relationship with others will bring heaven closer to earth. Joy that all will be made well for those who place their trust in Him.

As you ponder faith and joy, I share this passage from You: God’s Brand New Idea, a book of reflections that draws from other texts, to inspire and motivate you as we draw closer to Christmas. Have faith! Rejoice!

God has never taken his eyes off of you. Not for a millisecond. He’s always near. He lives to hear your heartbeat. He loves to hear your prayers. He’d die for your sin before he’d let you die in your sin, so he did.

What do you do with such a Savior?

Don’t you sing to him? Don’t you declare, confess, and proclaim his name? Don’t you bow a knee, lower a head, hammer a nail, feed the poor, and lift up your gift in worship? Of course you do.

Worship God. Applaud him loud and often. For your sake, you need it.

And for heaven’s sake, he deserves it. (Cure for the Common Life)

 

Jill Fischer is Principal of St. Dominic Catholic Parish