Fifth Sunday in Lent

Kneeler 137

Psalm 126

When the Lord turned again the fortunes of Zion:
then were we like those restored to life.

2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter:
and our tongue with singing.

3 Then said they among the heathen:
'The Lord has done great things for them.'

4 Truly the Lord has done great things for us:
and therefore we rejoiced.

5 Turn again our fortunes, O Lord:
as the streams return to the dry south.

6 They that sow in tears:
shall reap with songs of joy.

7 They that go out weeping, bearing the seed:
shall come again in gladness, bringing their sheaves with them.

"God accompanies his children into exile. This is a central theme of Midrashic and mystical thought in Jewish tradition. Just as the people of Israel's solitude [?] mirrors the Lord's, so the suffering of men finds its extension in that of their Creator. Though imposed by God, the punishment goes beyond those upon whom it falls, encompassing the Judge himself. And it is God who wills it so. The Father may reveal Himself through His wrath, He may even sharpen His severity, but He will never be absent. Present at the Creation, God forms part of it. Let atar panui minei is the key phrase of the Book of Splendour, the Zohar: No space is devoid of God. God is everywhere, even in suffering and in the very heart of punishment. Israel's sadness is bound to that of the divine presence, the She'hina: together they await deliverance. The distress of the She'hina seems unbearable to the children of Israel, so Israel's torments rend the heart of the She'hina." From Elie Wiesel "All Rivers Run to the Sea"
p103 God's Suffering: What the Commentaries Tell Us.