As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Jesus weeps over Jerusalem in today’s Gospel, which is toward the end of Luke 19, and following Jesus’ entry into the city. Jesus laments that Jerusalem cannot see that salvation has drawn near. All the prophets and Scripture have pointed to this time and moment when the Messiah arrives in the city, greeted with crowds singing “Hosanna” and strewing the path with palms for the teacher who is seated on a donkey.
Jerusalem’s failure to see is in contrast to Zacchaeus, the wealthy tax collector, whose story opens Chapter 19 in Luke. Zacchaeus is short of stature, and he cannot see Jesus, so he climbs a sycamore tree. Zacchaeus does what is necessary to see that salvation has come. And, indeed, Jesus affirms him with the words, “Today salvation has come to your house.”
Judgment comes to Jerusalem, which should see but does not; salvation comes to Zacchaeus, who cannot see but does. We have choices.
Do we have a deep-down desire to see with eyes of faith like Zacchaeus, who longs for salvation and the coming of the Lord? If so, salvation comes. Or, have we shut out our deep desires and closed our eyes to the coming of the Lord? If so, judgment awaits.
—Ted Munz, S.J., Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
Mother of the silence that preserves the mystery of God, deliver us from the idolatry of the present, to which those who forget are condemned. Purify the eyes of pastors with the balm of memory:that we might return to the freshness of the beginning, for a praying and penitent Church.
Mother of the beauty that blossoms from fidelity to daily work, remove us from the torpor of laziness, of pettiness, and defeatism. Cloak Pastors with that compassion that unifies and integrates: that we might discover the joy of a humble and fraternal servant Church.
Mother of the tenderness which enfolds in patience and mercy, help us burn away the sadness, impatience, and rigidity of those who have not known what it means to belong.
Intercede with your Son that our hands, our feet and our hearts may be swift: that we may build the Church with the truth in charity.
Mother, we will be the People of God, on pilgrimage towards the Kingdom. Amen.
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