Thursday, November 23, 2017
1) Opening prayer
Father of all that is good,
keep us faithful in serving you,
for to serve you is our lasting joy.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel reading - Luke 19:41-44
As Jesus drew near and came within sight of the city, He shed tears over it and said, “If you too had only recognized on this day the way to peace! But in fact it is hidden from your eyes!
Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all around you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side; they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you, because you did not recognize the moment of your visitation.”
• The Gospel today tells us that Jesus, when he saw Jerusalem as he approached, began to shed tears and to pronounce a very dark future for the city of His people.
• Luke 19, 41-42 Jesus sheds tears over Jerusalem. At that time, Jesus was near Jerusalem, and when He saw the city, He shed tears over it and said “if you too had only recognized on this day the way to peace! But in fact it is hidden from your eyes!” Jesus sheds tears because He loves His homeland and His people, the capital city of His land, and the temple. He sheds tears because He knows that everything will be destroyed because of the fault of His people who were not aware of the call made by God through His ministry. People were not aware of the way to peace (Shalom). In fact, it is hidden from their eyes. This affirmation recalls the criticism of Isaiah to the person who adored idols: “He adores ashes, his deluded heart has led him astray; he will not save himself, he will not think. What I have in my hand is nothing but a lie!” (Is 44, 20). People became incapable of perceiving the truth. As Saint Paul says: “But for those who out of jealousy have taken for their guide not truth but injustice, there will be a fury of retribution” (Rm 2, 8). It is truth that remains the prisoner of injustice. On another occasion, Jesus complains that Jerusalem did not know how to become aware of God’s visit nor of accepting it: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! Look, your house will be left to you, it will be deserted” (Lk 13, 34-35).
• Luke 19, 43-44 Announcement of the destruction of Jerusalem. “Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all around you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side; they will dash you and your children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you, because you did not recognize the moment of your visitation” Jesus describes what will happen to Jerusalem. He uses the images of war which were common at that time when an army attacked a city: trenches, killing of people, and total destruction of the walls and houses. In the past, this is the way Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. The Roman legions used to do this with rebellious cities, and this is what will be done again, forty years later, to the city of Jerusalem. In fact, in the year 70, Jerusalem was surrounded and invaded by the Roman army. Everything was destroyed. Before this historical background, the gesture of Jesus becomes a very serious warning for all those who pervert the Good News.. They should have listened to the final warning: “Because you did not recognize the moment of your visitation” In this warning, everything which Jesus does is defined as a “visitation from God”.
4) Personal questions
• Do you weep over a world situation? Looking at the present day situation of the world, would Jesus shed tears? The vision is dark. From the point of view of ecology, we have already gone beyond the limit. The vision is tragic.
• In Jesus, God visits His people. In your life, have you received some visit from God?
5) Concluding prayer
Sing a new song to Yahweh:
his praise in the assembly of the faithful!
Israel shall rejoice in its Maker,
the children of Zion delight in their king. (Ps 149,1-2)