Salvation History is strewn with the storyline of humanity’s repeated struggles between allegiance to God and following the path of evil. The fall of Adam and Eve. Tower of Babel incident. The Golden Calf. Ancient Israel consorting with false Gods.
Jesus is not unmoved by our rejection. In our Gospel passage for today LK 19:41-44, we witness Jesus lamenting over unfaithful Jerusalem. St. Luke captures Jesus’ passionate outburst over the city He loved so dearly. The city Jesus has religiously visited since His parents first brought Him here at a tender age. And now, as the time of His visitation is coming to an end, He resolutely makes His way back to it, the stage for His Final Act. As He contemplates the final scenes of His Earthly visit, He is reduced to loud lamentations and tears, knowing that His ultimate sacrifice will be met with a colossal rejection. Nay, rather, a bland indifference, which is far worse. He weeps because He experiences the pain of unrequited love. Man is choosing separation from God and God laments because He cannot bear to lose His beloved.
What more can Jesus do? The good news is that God has a plan even for our human weaknesses. Where evil abides, goodness abides even more. But He relies on everyday small ‘s’ saints. Cue you and me. We are the hands of Christ. We are the feet of Christ.
The responsorial psalm Rev 5:10 reminds us that the Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
We were baptized priests, prophets and kings. We have everything we need. The Holy Spirit courses through our veins. All God wills and hopes is for us to fulfill our baptismal promises.
And really, all we have to do is step out of the way. The big ‘S’ Saints give us
He must increase, I must decrease – St. John the Baptist.
Do whatever He tells you – Our Lady
(Nothing) – St. Joseph The Worker
Jesus asks us the really important questions. We need to take the time to honestly answer them. Do we know what makes for peace? I would like to say that I spend a few quiet minutes pondering the matter, ideally before the Blessed Sacrament. I would like to say that I would rather make a careful plan to resolve the crisis. Or that I would turn it over to God and return to my daily activities. I would like to say I would follow the teachings of St. Ignatius and try to discern which Spirit is moving within me, the Good Spirit or the Evil Spirit. All too often, when the going gets tough, my serenity goes out the window, and I lose my peace. Instead, I need to cling to Him, the Prince of Peace.
Jesus warns his Jewish audience that they did not recognize the time of their visitation. Do we recognize the time of our visitation? What does that even mean? I propose that just in the case of the Jews, who didn’t recognize Jesus, we too can fall into the same trap. Do we really know Jesus? I don’t mean at a superficial level, but at deep intimate level, do we know Him? So let’s not be caught short. We can make visitations to Christ at our local church anytime we choose.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, let’s not only recognize the time of our visitation, let’s make it the pinnacle of our life. Through it, we can begin to answer the only questions that are worth answering, the ones He asks you and me.