Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Where was Jesus when I needed him?

Ugh...today's Gospel is one of those where I want to yell, "Hey Jesus, where the heck were you when I needed you?"  I'm guessing most parents who have buried a child would like to ask Jesus the same thing.  The reading from Luke 7:11-17 is the miracle story of Jesus raising the young man from the dead.

Now, while I'd love to give Jesus a piece of my mind there is one line that stands out.  When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, "Do not weep."  

Being the theology nerd that I am, it shouldn't be too surprising that I have theology nerd friends and we get all geeked out on theology.  Years before my daughter died I had a conversation about whether God is moved by our pain.  Here's the breakdown of the debate: my friend insisted that God was not moved by our pain because God is unchanging.  She insisted that you don't want a God that is changeable (mutable, in theology speak) because that would mean that God might be different tomorrow, for example, God might not love us tomorrow.

My view was that God is moved by our pain, but not in a human sort of way.  His being moved does not change the essence of who God is.  I highlighted that Jesus was moved with pity for people, so why couldn't God (the Trinity)?  It's weird to think of God suffering, but having pity is a kind of suffering and God's suffering is because of his LOVE (in theology speak, kenosis).

When the discussion was over, we agreed to disagree like good and orthodox Catholics should when philosophizing about the nature of God.

I don't know if my position is right, but there have been a few times since I buried my daughter it felt like God whispered to me, do not weep.

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