November 19, 2020 (Thursday of Week 33 Year II)
He wept over it
Dear friends in Christ,
In the gospel of today (Luke 19:41-44) Jesus came in sight of the city of Jerusalem. The approach from the Mount of Olives presents a spectacular view of the city. Straight on from the mount, one could behold the splendour of the Temple across the valley, on the Temple Mount. The impregnable wall of the city was visible, coupled with people going about their business in and around the city; something that would have been a delight. What about children playing and having a good time? From this view, one sees it all. Beyond this is the fact that Jesus has come to the location, where he will spend his last hours before his arrest. Looking out to Jerusalem at this time, he could see the enormous task that lies ahead. The city is renowned for many good things but also for being the place where prophets are punished and brutally treated. So, he could see the road in and out of Jerusalem, he could smell the trouble that he was about to go through, beginning with the cleansing of the Temple on the following day. He could see through the intentions of those, who had waited this long to get him trapped and bring an end to his ministry.
There is one more thing, Jesus could see into the trouble that awaits the city. The women and the children will be the most hit, as in the case of every war. That brought him tears. As Luke puts it, “When Jesus drew near and saw the city he wept over it…” The reason for his tears is that, the city of Jerusalem had failed to recognise that which makes for peace. In a few days, it will demand the death of the Prince of Peace, and ask for the release of a criminal. Violence will reign in the city until the Romans will put it all to rest, by bringing about the destruction predicted, without leaving a stone on another in the city. The people and their leaders failed to see the problem of the city, they were chasing shadows by seeking an end to the life of Jesus. Jesus however could see the political build-up, that would one day culminate in the complete destruction of the city and the Temple, which was built as a constant reminder of the presence of God in the land.
Are we looking in the right places today in terms of our spiritual journey? Will Jesus have to weep over our inability to recognise the saviour, or to listen to that which makes for peace?
Let us pray: Lord make us instruments of your peace and give us the grace to spread that peace everywhere. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.