Pain. Loss. Betrayal. Dying. Death. Sorrow. Mourning. Every human being experiences the raw hurts of life and grieves them. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. He experienced the range and depth of crushed human emotions, physical pain, mental anguish, and spiritual abandonment.
The Gospel Account
This Rosary Reflection, “Praying with the Griefs of Jesus” contains selected Gospel verses that depict several grieving moments of Jesus. You can read the full account of the Scripture passage by looking up the chapter of the specific Gospel.
The Five Decades
When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from the passage in the Gospels. Read the Gospel verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.
First Decade: The Grief of a Friend’s Death (Lazarus) (John 11:32-35)
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord if you had been her, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept.
Second Decade: The Grief of a Friend’s Betrayal (Judas at the Last Supper) (Mark 14:18)
And as they reclined at table and were eating, Jesus said, “Amen I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”
Third Decade: The Grief of Sorrow (The Garden of Gethsemane) (Mark 14:33-34)
Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John and began to be troubled and distressed. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch.”
Fourth Decade: The Grief of Rejection (The Trial of Jesus) (John 19:14-15)
It was preparation day for the Passover and it was about noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!” They cried out, “Take him away, take him away. Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
Fifth Decade: The Grief of Feeling Abandoned by God (Jesus on the Cross) (Matthew 27:46)
And about three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, eli, lema sabachtani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
What to Remember
Jesus and his mother Mary lived fully human lives and experienced a variety of moments of grief. Jesus understands the depth of human suffering and is with you in every trial or adversity you face. Mary stood in front of her son during his darkest hours, dying on the cross. Mary stands in front of you, with love and prayers in your darkest hours.
As a follower of Jesus, and a child of God, you have access to the prayers and presence of Mary when you pray the rosary. You can ask Mary to pray for you now and at the hour of death – for yourself, your loved ones, and those you don’t know.
What to Pray For
- For faith, grace, and support to work through your grief without being overrun by despair.
- For those grieving the loss of security, employment, home, or other physical loss.
- For those grieving the loss of health, friends, relationships, trust, or love in life.
- For those grieving the death of a spouse, parent, child, family member or friend.
- For those grieving the wrongs of others.
Feel free to pray the rosary using these Scripture verses for deeper compassion with those grieving.
* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website, https://usccb.org/bible