And Jesus Wept

Blog Published: March 31, 2023
By Sister Rejane Cytacki, SCL
Empty Tomb

Praying with the Sisters—March 27, 2023
This reflection was shared during our Praying With The Sisters live-streamed prayer on Facebook. A Nun’s Life was joined by guests Sisters Leslie Keener, CDP and Trish Doan, CSJ of Orange.

(The video recording of our prayer can be found below the blog.)

Reflection on John:  11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

Oftentimes in John's Gospel Jesus reveals his true self to people who are dealing with difficult situations and hard emotions, and a transformation happens!

One example is the 3rd Sunday of Lent’s Gospel story of the woman at the well.

It was in shame and guilt:

That a stranger, the Samaritan woman, comes to the well in the blazing heat of midday for water and finds instead healing and wholeness through a conversation with Jesus.

The Samaritan woman said, “I know that the Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” She ran and left everything to proclaim him to her neighbors.

Today's example is the 5th Sunday of Lent’s Gospel story of the raising of Lazarus from the tomb.

It is in sorrow and grief:

That Jesus’ friends, Martha and Mary, seek him out because of their brother Lazarus’ illness and death. Both saying to him “If you had only been here, he’d be alive.”  Then they both have different reactions.

Martha professes her faith in Jesus amidst her grief, "I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

When Mary comes to Jesus, she falls at his feet and weeps.

 And Jesus wept.  These three simple words always give me comfort because it shows Jesus' compassion and empathy for Mary and Martha. Jesus' humanity shines through his tears.  If Jesus can be with them in their sorrow and grief, then he will be there for all of us in our difficult times and emotions.

And in the midst of Martha, Mary and our difficulties, Jesus said and still says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Out of the darkness of death comes Lazarus emerging from the tomb, foreshadowing Jesus’ own Easter Resurrection. If we allow Jesus to sit with us in our vulnerable inner spaces, he gently transforms our pain and suffering to new life and opportunity.

Reflection Questions:

1. When has Jesus been there for you in a difficult situation and difficult emotions?

2. When has a difficult situation been transformed into an opportunity or a way forward?

NOTE: In this episode of Praying with the Sisters the topic of suicide is discussed. If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call 988 for resources or go to

Here is an article from the Leaven Catholic Newspaper on the Catholic Church's pastoral approach to those who die by suicide and their family members.


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