Thursday, November 19, 2015 ~ Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Holy Gospel: Luke 19:41-44 As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
Meditation: When Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the multitude of homes surrounding the holy temple, he wept over it because it inhabitants did not “know the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:42). As he poured out his heart to the Father in heaven, Jesus shed tears of sorrow, grief, and mourning for his people. He knew that he would soon pour out his blood for the people of Jerusalem and for the whole world as well. Why does Jesus weep and lament over City of Jerusalem? Throughout its history, many of the rulers and inhabitants had rejected the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord because of their pride and unbelief. Now they refuse to listen to Jesus who comes as their Messiah – whom God has anointed to be their Savior and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
Prayer: Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God, the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy the author of all that is good. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: When God visits his people he comes to establish peace and justice by rooting out our enemies – the world (in opposition to God), the flesh (our sinful cravings and inordinate desires), and the devil (who is Satan the father of lies) who enslave us to fear and pride, rebellion and hatred, envy and covetousness, strife and violence, and every form of evil and wrong-doing. That is why God both judges and purifies his people – to lead us from our sinful ways to his way of justice, peace, love, and holiness. God actively works among his people to teach us his ways and to save us from the destruction of our own pride and sin and from Satan’s snares and lies. Are God’s judgments unjust or unloving? Scripture tells us that “when God’s judgments are revealed in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9). To pronounce judgment on sin is much less harsh than what will happen if those who sin are not warned to repent. The Lord in his mercy gives us grace and time to turn away from sin, but that time is right now. If we delay, even for a moment, we may discover that grace has passed us by and our time is up. Why would we want to delay any opportunity to confess our sins, seeks God’s unbounded love, mercy and forgiveness, and have our baptismal graces renewed?