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Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, increase my faith that I may witness to your love in the world so many others will know, love, and follow you and discover the peace that only you offer.
- Jesus Wept: Luke’s Gospel places the lament over Jerusalem after Jesus’ triumphant and regal entry into the city as a sign of his messianic kingship. He revealed himself in humility, aware that his Kingship would bear fruit not in human glory, but in human ignominy. But even among those in the crowd who praised and exalted him, who honored and flattered him with the waving of branches and laying down of their cloaks, were those who would soon cry out for his crucifixion, betraying him. Of those, some would repent and others would not. Jesus wept for them. In his humanity he felt the weight of rejection. But it was not rejection that he experienced due to the desire to preserve his human respect. His divine heart was pierced with sorrow as he felt the weight of damnation for those who would be lost. Does Jesus weep today? Do we weep with Jesus as a means to intercede that not one be lost?
- “What Would Bring You Peace”: Today, on a hill of the Mount of Olives outside the old city of Jerusalem, you can visit a modern church, architecturally designed in the form of a tear. It is called Dominus Flevit, meaning “The Lord wept.” It commemorates the moment when Jesus wept as he stood looking upon the great city of Jerusalem, conquered by King David around the year 1000 B.C. David’s son Solomon built a Temple to honor the Lord. While Jesus wept, he looked upon the city of Jerusalem and the Temple that stood as a sign of people’s faith and devotion through worship to the one true God. The name Jerusalem literally means “city of peace.” Jesus foresaw that the key to their peace was hidden from their eyes. Two thousand years later, it continues to be a place of conflict, as Jesus weeps for those who still have not found true peace that only salvation in the Lord can give. In our own lives, when we can not find peace, let us examine our hearts to discover if Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is hidden from our eyes and, if so, what obstructs the view.
- They Will Not Leave One Stone Upon Another: Jesus prophesied the destruction of the Temple. Even today, archaeologists have discovered stones that could be the platform upon which the Temple stood, but there are no remains of the great Temple itself, destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 A.D. But like so many things that he said, there is a literal and a spiritual significance to Jesus’ prophecy. The ultimate destruction of peace is lack of faith in the One who offers us eternal peace. Let us pray for our own faith and the faith of those with whom we have contact every day, that we will build a solid foundation that cannot be torn down, no matter what enemies attempt to besiege it.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you, but increase my faith. Grant that I may fix my gaze on you, the eternal Prince of Peace. May I trust in your grace, present to me in multiple ways throughout the day. Help me to discern how to facilitate peace among my brothers and sisters, a peace that only you can offer.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will examine my faith and see where I can make greater acts of faith in your ultimate victory over my life and over the lives of those whom I love.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and “Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”