|"And Jesus Wept," Oklahoma City Memorial|
for the people's rejection of peace.
Jesus wept over them for their proud and stubborn hearts.
Jesus, do you weep, do you weep over me?
The above lyrics are from the refrain of "Jesus Wept" written by James V. Marchionda, OP,* and are based on Luke 19:41-42.
"And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes."
I remember when I first learned this hymn. I was a member of a small choir in an inner city parish, and it was my first Easter singing with the group. At first, it seemed no different from other Lenten hymns, until I got to the last line of the refrain:
"Jesus, do you weep, do you weep over me?"
It doesn't get much more personal than that, does it?
Perhaps you know the remorse and sorrow of hurting someone you love so deeply that it brought them to tears. It's an awful feeling, whether you have disappointed a parent, betrayed a family member or friend, or broken someone's heart. You'd give anything to undo the damage, take back the spoken word said in anger, or make a better decision. It is a true moment of humility to admit our faults and ask forgiveness of the ones we have wronged and to try to atone for the pain we have caused.
How many times has Jesus wept over me? I dare not try to count. In fact, if it weren't for his infinite mercy, the thought of it would be overwhelming. But rather than despair, we are called to hope. Let us consider the words of St. Paul:
"For our high priest isn't one who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses; he was tempted in every way we are, yet never sinned. Therefore, let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need" (Hebrews 5: 15-16).As we approach the passion and death of our Lord, we contemplate the times we have made Him weep. Yet there are ways we can finish our Lenten journey on a positive note:
- Go to Confession: This may be difficult to find a parish in your area hearing Confessions this week, but it may be possible. Or, make an appointment with a priest. I don't know too many who would say no.
- Look for ways in which you can live in solidarity with the redeeming, merciful heart of Jesus: through additional acts of charity, self-denial, and almsgiving.
- Prayer: Take extra time to spend alone with Jesus. Talk with him about those times when you may have made him weep. He knows your sorrow and longs for your love. Trust in his forgiveness.
- Say the Divine Mercy novena: The feast of Divine Mercy is celebrated the Sunday after Easter. The nine-day novena begins on Good Friday. (For a photo/audio guide click here.)
"Since through the blood of Jesus we have the confidence to enter the sanctuary by the new and living way he opened for us through the curtain–that is, the way of his flesh–and since we have a great high priest who has charge over God's household, let us approach with true hearts and the full assurance of our faith, with hearts sprinkled clean from a guilty conscience and bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the profession of our hope without wavering, for the One Who made the promise to us is faithful" (Hebrews 10: 19-23).
Through his passion, and cross, Jesus has conquered sin and death. Alleluia!
* Jesus Wept by James V. Marchionda, O.P., copyright © 1989, World Library Publications, wlpmusic.com ~ All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Photo: Lukasz Lukomski, Wikimedia Commons.
Bernadette Boguski has been a Pauline Cooperator for over 20 years. She is a member of St. Columbkille Parish in Parma, OH, where she serves as a Eucharistic Minister, cantor, and member of the music ministry. Bernadette holds a degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and currently serves as the development director for Womankind, a nonprofit agency providing free prenatal care and support services for pregnant women in need.