"Jesus wept." (John 11:35)

What was so moving as to cause the King of the universe to weep? John seems to indicate that Jesus was moved by the sight of Mary and the other mourners (John 11:33). Is it possible Jesus wept because he saw a group of people over whom death seemed victorious?

Here was a crowd consumed by the hopelessness and finality of death, while the Resurrection and the Life stood right in their midst!

Jesus came to offer the promise of resurrection to everyone who will believe and trust in him. Just as he wept before the tomb of Lazarus, he weeps over all those who are either unaware or unwilling to believe in the eternal life he offers. He is grieved when those he came to rescue from death remain bound in their fears and do not experience freedom or hope.

Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live. . . . Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).

Jesus wants to ask each one of us: Do you believe this? Do you believe that I have overcome death? That I can bring freedom in place of bondage to sin? Hope in place of despair?

If you do believe,

then know that you can entrust to Jesus
every area of your life that is wounded,
despairing, or sinful.

He has the power to raise up and bring life to something that seems dead and decaying

. Even in the most hopeless situations, the light of Christ can penetrate the darkness and bring deliverance.

All Jesus asks is that we proclaim with Martha, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God” (John 11:27).

All he asks is that we come out of our graves by confessing our sin and asking him to cleanse us and lift us up to the Father’s throne.


“Jesus, I praise you for restoring what was dead in me
and for raising me up to new life!
Yes, Lord, I believe in you. I want to rise with you.
Let me know your presence today.”

I only ever attempt on Sundays something that may, with luck and Grace, approximate somewhere near a Lectio Divina - I am very much the amateur - in fact closer to say I am somewhere below a beginner!!!
I hope you will be able to glean something from what I am quoting below. I am still very much trying, God Willing, to put it all together.

The Lectio Divina from the Daily Prayer and Liturgy Thread for today makes some great reading with excellent background info on today’s Gospel:

Lectio for Today


Also, I am reading (thank you InLight!) and just commenced really compared to the overall document the encyclical on Hope by Pope Benedict. His encyclicals do make great reading as even a very ordinary lay person can understand them. He has some important things to say in this encyclical which can be tied into the raising of Lazarus Gospel, Jesus coming into His Glory and also on eternal life and judgement. I am only quoting very small portions and I am only very slowly reading this encyclical. Pope Benedict is working on his third encyclical which will be on our social doctrine.

Encyclical Spe Salvi – Pope Benedict on Hope

Opening comments: “SPE SALVI facti sumus”—in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24).

Paragraph 3 - We who have always lived with the Christian concept of God, and have grown accustomed to it, have almost ceased to notice that we possess the hope that ensues from a real encounter with this God

His Holiness does explain how eternal life is not something we are looking forward to i.e. that does not begin until some later point after death. rather eternal life is living in us now in the Presence of The Blessed Trinity and Grace.

Paragraph 10 - **Eternal life – what is it? - **We have spoken thus far of faith and hope in the New Testament and in early Christianity; yet it has always been clear that we are referring not only to the past: the entire reflection concerns living and dying in general, and therefore it also concerns us here and now. So now we must ask explicitly: is the Christian faith also for us today a life-changing and life-sustaining hope?

Paragraph 44. To protest against God in the name of justice is not helpful. A world without God is a world without hope (cf. Eph 2:12). Only God can create justice. And faith gives us the certainty that he does so. The image of the Last Judgement is not primarily an image of terror, but an image of hope; for us it may even be the decisive image of hope. Is it not also a frightening image? I would say: it is an image that evokes responsibility, an image, therefore, of that fear of which Saint Hilary spoke when he said that all our fear has its place in love[35]. God is justice and creates justice. This is our consolation and our hope. And in his justice there is also grace. This we know by turning our gaze to the crucified and risen Christ. Both these things—justice and grace—must be seen in their correct inner relationship. Grace does not cancel out justice. It does not make wrong into right. It is not a sponge which wipes everything away, so that whatever someone has done on earth ends up being of equal value. Dostoevsky, for example, was right to protest against this kind of Heaven and this kind of grace in his novel The Brothers Karamazov. Evildoers, in the end, do not sit at table at the eternal banquet beside their victims without distinction, as though nothing had happened. Here I would like to quote a passage from Plato which expresses a premonition of just judgement that in many respects remains true and salutary for Christians too. Albeit using mythological images, he expresses the truth with an unambiguous clarity, saying that in the end souls will stand naked before the judge. It no longer matters what they once were in history, but only what they are in truth: “Often, when it is the king or some other monarch or potentate that he (the judge) has to deal with, he finds that there is no soundness in the soul whatever; he finds it scourged and scarred by the various acts of perjury and wrong-doing …; it is twisted and warped by lies and vanity, and nothing is straight because truth has had no part in its development. Power, luxury, pride, and debauchery have left it so full of disproportion and ugliness that when he has inspected it (he) sends it straight to prison, where on its arrival it will undergo the appropriate punishment … Sometimes, though, the eye of the judge lights on a different soul which has lived in purity and truth … then he is struck with admiration and sends him to the isles of the blessed”[36]. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31), Jesus admonishes us through the image of a soul destroyed by arrogance and opulence, who has created an impassable chasm between himself and the poor man; the chasm of being trapped within material pleasures; the chasm of forgetting the other, of incapacity to love, which then becomes a burning and unquenchable thirst. We must note that in this parable Jesus is not referring to the final destiny after the Last Judgement, but is taking up a notion found, inter alia, in early Judaism, namely that of an intermediate state between death and resurrection, a state in which the final sentence is yet to be pronounced.

If you can find a few minutes here and there and if you have not read as yet the encyclical, it is certainly worth a read!