"The followers of John the Baptist took away his corpse, buried him, and went and told Jesus" (Matthew 14:12).
“John has died. He was beheaded by Herod.” Are these the words they spoke? Did they choke down sobs as they broke the news? Were their eyes filled with tears? Their fists clenched in anger?
Did our loving Lord, reading the body language of the approaching men, anticipate the news being brought to Him before they spoke? Did His Sacred Heart sink in His chest as He heard their words and saw their sorrow?
Was it silent as they all felt the weight of the sorrow?
Did Jesus weep in front of them? Did they comfort one another with hugs? Did He think of Elizabeth and Zechariah?
Was His mother with Him when He heard the news? Perhaps Mary’s eyes brim with tears as she remembered John leaping in his mother’s womb all those years ago (see Luke 1:41).
We know that after Jesus was told about John’s death, He took a boat to a deserted place to be alone.
I can picture Him: well-off from shore, putting the oars down. The boat bobbing in the water and the gentle breeze blowing His hair. The silence as He felt the weight of His sorrow over the violent death of His dear cousin.
Grief is not new and it is not unknown to God. It is real. It is hard. And it has been redeemed.