Welling up from His Heart
November 18, 2021 (readings)
- Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
- Beth Van de Voorde
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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, recollect my heart to spend these moments of prayer with you. Come, Holy Spirit, teach me to pray and open my heart to the word which you wish to speak to me today. I believe that you are here. I trust that you are faithful. I love you, teach me to love you more. Let me enter into your heart and know you more deeply.
The Master Who Weeps: With today’s Gospel, Mother Church invites us to enter into Christ’s heart as he draws near to his Passion. Approaching Jerusalem, Jesus draws nearer to the “hour” when he will be handed over to his enemies. What he prophesizes for the city of Jerusalem, he will soon fulfill in his own person: encircled and hemmed in on all sides, smashed to the ground and raised up on a tree. Does he weep for fear of the suffering that awaits him? Or do his tears well up in desire for the salvation of every human being, even for my own salvation? Are they an expression, at once both human and divine, of God’s own “helplessness” before humanity’s freedom? This God, who loves more radically than anyone can fathom, he who is love itself, will not force upon his children the salvation they so need and he so longs to give. May these tears of Christ soften the soil of our soul.
Witnessing the Master Weep: Perhaps in these moments of prayer, the Holy Spirit invites us to pause and contemplate the Master weeping. His eyes which have seen the forming and founding of creation are glazed over with tears. Heavy, glistening drops fall gently on his beard. Perhaps we know of this event because the Apostles witnessed and later recounted it. What must it have been for them to see their Master weep? What insight into his heart did it give them? “If this day you only knew what makes for peace.” He desires peace for us. Did his Apostles learn that God comes to heal, not to break; that he wishes for our wholeness, even if it means passing first through suffering, as Christ himself would do?
His Visitation: Just as Christ prepared to visit the city of Jerusalem, he came to visit the world with his gift of redemption. So, too, he comes to visit my soul each day. Standing upon the hilltop of my life, what is in his heart as he looks upon me? Where are the places in my own life where Christ desires peace? Are there relationships he wishes to heal, wounds of mind and heart he wishes to cleanse and purify? What does this desire of Christ for peace and for recognition of his visitation mean in my own life today?
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, as you stand on the hilltop and look upon your beloved city of Jerusalem, I know you are gazing upon my soul, too, and upon the world in which I live. No suffering or trial is hidden from your eyes. Indeed, each one has already been borne in your cross and imprinted upon your Sacred Heart. You know them all. And you desire peace. You desire reconciliation. Speak this word over the sufferings in my own life, in my world today. Give us faith, hope, and love, and perseverance.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will strive to be a peacemaker in my thoughts, words, and actions.
For Further Reflection: There is a church in the Holy Land, marking the spot traditionally believed to be the place where Jesus spoke these words. This link provides some more information on the site.
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