Thought for the Day – 2 November – The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)
St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”...John 11:35-36
Why do I pray for you, O my brother, who loved me so much and have been carried off from me… ? For I have not lost my relationship to you, rather it has been completely changed in my regard. Up to now, it was inseparable from the body but now, it is indissoluble from feeling. ,,You remain with me and will remain so always… Paul the apostle calls me back and places a sort of brake on my sadness with these words: “We do not want you to be unaware about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest who have no hope” (1Thes 4:13)…
But not all weeping is a sign of lack of faith or of weakness. Natural sorrow is one thing, the sadness of unbelief is another… Sorrow is not alone in having its grief and prayer bathes our bed with tears according to the prophet (Ps 6:7). When the patriarchs were enslaved, their people wept bitterly for themselves, as well. Thus tears are signs of affection and not incitements to sorrow. I confess that I have wept but the Lord also wept (Jn 11:35). He wept for someone not of his own kin, I for a brother. He wept for all men in one man – as for me, I will weep for you, my brother, in every man.
Christ wept with the feeling that is ours, not His own, for divinity has no tears… He wept in that man who was “sorrowful even to death” (Mt 26:38); He wept in him who was crucified, who died, who was buried; He wept in that man… who was born of the Virgin.