Holy Week, Monday: Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem

It’s hard to see through tears, but sometimes its the only way to see. Tears can be the turning point, the springs of renewal and to know you have been wept for is to know that you are loved. ‘Jesus Wept’ is the shortest, sharpest, and most moving sentence in Scripture.

I have a God who weeps for me, weeps with me, understands to the depths and from the inside the rerum lachrymae, the tears of things.

This sonnet, and the others I will be posting for Holy Week are all drawn from my collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press here in England. The book is now back in stock on both Amazon UK and USA and physical copies are shortly to be available in Canada via Steve Bell‘s Signpost Music. The book is now also out on Kindle. Please feel free to make use of these sonnets in church services and to copy and share them. If you can mention the book from which they are taken that would be great.

Thanks to Margot Krebs Neale for the images. as always you can hear the poem by clicking on the title or on the ‘play’ buton if it appears.

Jesus weeps


Jesus comes near and he beholds the city

And looks on us with tears in his eyes,

And wells of mercy, streams of love and pity

Flow from the fountain whence all things arise.

He loved us into life and longs to gather

And meet with his beloved face to face

How often has he called, a careful mother,

And wept for our refusals of his grace,

Wept for a world that, weary with its weeping,

Benumbed and stumbling, turns the other way,

Fatigued compassion is already sleeping

Whilst her worst nightmares stalk the light of day.

But we might waken yet, and face those fears,

If we could see ourselves through Jesus’ tears.


Filed under imagination, Poems

4 responses to “Holy Week, Monday: Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem

  1. Thank you so much. I’ve forwarded this poem to a friend who is grieving. There is so much to meditate on here. May you be blessed this Holy Week!

  2. Mina Taylor

    HI Malcolm,

    Its the fisherman’s friend and regreening bough.
    I love that there is a place to hear you read your poetry. I shared this with my friend and neither of us are sure we get what you mean in these 2 lines. Can you help us? Is it allowed to have the author help you when something is unclear? I hope so. Thanks

    Fatigued compassion is already sleeping
    Whilst her worst nightmares stalk the light of day.

    • malcolmguite

      I am playing on the term ‘compassion fatigue’ whereby people who have been constantly exposed to news reports of human suffering at a distance become bomb and despairing, incapable of a compassionate response even to situations they can change but when we lose the capacity for compassion we let evil reign unchecked ( hence the worst nightmares) the whole poem is an appeal to reawaken our own compassion in the compassion of Christ

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