Why Jesus Wept

I’m reading author Colleen Carroll Campbell’s upcoming book “My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir” in preparation for an interview with her next week. It’s a deeply moving, deeply personal book in which Colleen shares many of her struggles, including the challenge of suffering through Alzheimer’s disease with her father.

The following passage about the moments after her father’s death is especially poignant and insightful, so I wanted to share it here:

I thought of that story in the Gospel where Jesus is told that his friend Lazarus has died. “He wept,” it says, in a line that always puzzled me. Why would Jesus – the all-powerful, all-knowing Savior who conquered death by his resurrection – weep? And why would he weep just moments before raising Lazarus from the dead?

Remembering how Dad’s broken-down body had strained violently for every breath at the end, I finally understood. Jesus wept because death is a horror – every death, even the death of a good man, even the death of someone on his way back to God. Jesus wept because death, like Alzheimer’s…was never what he wanted for us. It was not part of God’s original plan. Jesus saved us from death’s finality; he brings greater good out of its pain; but death still horrifies us because that’s the very nature of death: horrifying.

Do yourself a favor and pre-order “My Sisters the Saints.”

About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.