Today’s Reflection from Father Dave

Another advantage of “Shelter in Place” is that you can accomplish chores not otherwise possible. So borrowing from the School morning assembly, I have a Fun Fact of my own: There are 31,317 verses in the Bible. I will let you figure out what version of the Bible I used for this little known tidbit.

Today I have been reflecting on the shortest verse John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” Two words encompass the entire verse. Why were there tears? Lazarus had died, and Jesus truly loved Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary. They were his “go to” friends whenever He was in the neighborhood, that place where He could relax and enjoy good company. He grieved, as any of us would grieve the loss of such a friend.

Did He weep because even after all this time His closest friends did not seem to get the message of His mission? Just the chapter before Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” It was not just to live more years, but how to live those years we have.

Or maybe He wept looking at the tomb, and saw His future and what lay before Him. Were they tears of anguish for what awaits Him in Jerusalem? Did He see the fulfillment of His mission? The whole purpose of His life, His mission, was to fulfill the Father’s dream to save His people. But the cost would be great.

So, I begin to wonder if these are tears of sorrow, or tears of joy? Lately, when I am not counting scripture verses, I have been reflecting on what it will be like when things return to “normal,” and I do believe they will. I try to imagine what it will be like when the church once again has people gathered and praying together. What will it be like to extend a hand and not have to pull it back? To embrace someone and not worry about it being a death grip. To hear and see the laughter and play of children once again on the yard. I must admit, tears begin to well up in one’s eyes at such moments. (Which is another good thing about walking early in the morning, because in the daylight people might think the Padre has lost it completely.) But these are happy tears!

During these days there is a great deal of anxiety, stress, isolation, and I dare say tears. Tears worried over our loved ones, tears that maybe we have not lived life to the fullest, or have taken the Lord’s lessons too lightly. Tears of the unknown struggle still before us. Yet, maybe they are tears of love and joy, the comfort of knowing that there is someone who knows all that range of emotion that is present at this time, and is by our sides, in Him and through Him we have faith. Yes, I find myself looking to the day when “normalcy” returns to life.

Your Wandering Padre,

Father Dave