News
Lenten Reflection, Week of April 2

En español

And Jesus wept. (John 11:35)

As a Jesuit novice in the midst of the full Spiritual Exercises I was assigned a meditation on the story in John’s Gospel of the death of Lazarus. I was eager to get to the dramatic finish, but for some reason I could not get past verse 35 (which I later learned is the shortest verse in all of Scripture). Why did Jesus weep when he knew that in a few moments he would raise Lazarus and restore him to his grieving sisters? This question nagged at me through several meditations and beyond. 

Over time, I began to understand that a consideration of a single verse can only bear fruit in the light of the whole of the Gospels. Here Jesus’ most persistent message is that I am called to love God through love of my neighbor. But, like the testing lawyer, I define neighbor to my own benefit.

Jesus places no such limits on the neighbor question. Jesus demands connection with all of God’s children. Jesus calls me to reach beyond the narrow confines of the acceptable to embrace the tax-collector, the sinner, the prostitute.

Jesus also warns that this path will frequently be hard, it will often be rocky, it will sometimes get thorny. Martha’s practical concern is valid; yes, there will be a stench, but it is the stench of my indifference. It is the corruption of my lack of connection.

Jesus makes clear that I cannot be reconciled until I recognize that I can only be connected to God through others. Lent gives me the strength to roll back the stone which separates me from love of all my neighbors. Lent calls me to deep reflection on the sheep and the goats in my life. When did I see You?

When I look at my phone, do I see the coltan dug by the hands of child slaves in Congo?

When I shop at the mega-store, do I see the poorly paid workers gathering the carts off the clock?

When I see some expressions of love do I exclude them from divine approval?

When I eat a salad, do I see the “illegals” who picked the low-priced ingredients?

When I vote to lower taxes, do I see the schoolchildren and elderly shut-ins who will not eat that day?

When I hear about a gun death do I determine if that life mattered?

When did I see You and not love you?

And Jesus still weeps.

Fr. Jeffrey HarrisonReflection by Jeffrey Harrison, SJ

Father Jeff Harrison, SJ, teaches history at Regis Jesuit High School in Denver






Recent News

June 13, 2018 — Jesuit organizations, including the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology, are "appalled at this ill-conceived decision."

This year, five Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province will be ordained to the priesthood during two liturgies, one in St. Louis and one in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

May 31, 2018 — The Jesuits of Canada and the U.S. join our brother Jesuits and the Nicaraguan bishops in denouncing recent violence in Nicaragua.

The Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern (UCS) Province have joined with the Jesuit Conference and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities to endorse the Catholic Climate Declaration.

May 26, 2018 — Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S., discusses some of the highlights of the provincials’ time with Father General.

May 25, 2018 — Yesterday, Fr. Sosa continued his 12-day trip in Canada with a full day in Montreal.

May 24, 2018 - Ronald Rebore will become the next associate provincial assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education for the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province. He replaces Pete Musso, who has served in the role for the past four years.

view all news

Search news

Publications






Manresa House of Retreats
Manresa House of Retreats is located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Convent, La., midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.