Have we forgotten how to weep?
Have we become numb to the suffering of others, unfeeling, unconnected,
machine-like in our consciousness and intellect?
Have our hearts become deadened, complacent, indifferent to the point that we close our eyes and turn the other way, pretend we don’t notice the evil, the darkness, the absence of authentic love, the promotion and celebration of immorality during our times, maybe even hope it will go away all by its self.
Jesus weeps when he arrives at Jerusalem, the center of religious life for the people of God.
Jesus has a deep love for this people. Herein lies his heritage.
In this great city that has a name which means “peace”, the plan of God is to be fulfilled.
But what Jesus finds and encounters greatly distresses his spirit.
The religious leaders have become hypocritical and devoid of love.
Jesus calls them to repentance, but they do not listen.
The very people God chose as his own, freed from slavery, promised to be and to remain “their God”, remained faithful through the years…saves them from national destruction over and over again;
this very people rejected His son. They reject the greatest gift God bestows.
Jesus weeps for he foresees the consequences of such rejection.
Those who listen to Jesus, who accept him as Son of God, who accept him as King of peace,
those who recognize and accept God’s gift…become the new people of God, the new Jerusalem.
They become participants and benefactors of the new covenant
God makes with the people of the earth through Jesus:
the Church, the Body of Christ, the community of the faithful.
Now, two thousand years of history later, when Jesus sees his Church does he weep?
Does he weep at the division, the separation, the inability and unwillingness to remain unified?
Does he lament the lack of spiritual discernment,
smug satisfaction with a faith that is disoriented because of erroneous theological views?
Does he lament the tendency of Christians/Catholics
to acquiesce to the promptings of the culture instead of to the promptings of the Holy Spirit?
Does he lament the secularization of the Church?
Does he lament the grave forms of injustice Christians participate in and promote?
Does he lament the lack of openness to life, the lack of respect for life?
Let us ask, this morning, for the grace to weep;
to weep over our own and our world’s indifference; to weep over the cruelty;
to weep over the lack of foresight and absence of compassion where decisions are made
that benefit a few and cause tragedy to many;
let us weep over the fact that even though we believe Christ is with us and among us,
we fail to see what makes for peace….not totally, mind you, but frequently enough.
These realities rightfully stir the human heart to sorrow.
But let us never conclude, nor let the world concede, that our sorrow is hopelessness.
Our sorrow is pervaded by the certainty of divine grace and the power of the Word of God.
We remain open to a hope that is permeated by faith.
We do not mourn because peace in the Church and on earth is impossible.
We mourn because the mission of Jesus Christ remains unfinished.
Our prayer for today: “O Lord, open our eyes that we might see and understand that Jesus Christ, that his example and his word, make for true peace. Open our hearts that we might receive with joy the grace that transforms us and our world. Grant us new patience as we await the fulfillment of Your promise, and new resolve to be active participants in the work of salvation. Amen!”
Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Have we forgotten how to weep?