The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial)

 

He saw the city and wept over it. 

 

Today’s Gospel (Luke 19:41) makes it clear that Jesus experienced the full range of human emotions.   He didn’t just comment on Jerusalem’s lack of faith, and he didn’t just make his disapproval known by reciting a list of indictments.   He shed tears of deep sadness over the state of the holy city.   Many of his own people wouldn’t accept him as the Messiah.   Jesus had come to share with them “what makes for peace,” but they rejected him (Luke 19:42).   He could see that by remaining in their sin, they were bringing disaster upon themselves and their Temple.   And that made him weep.

In his mourning over Jerusalem, Jesus joined a long line of prophets who also lamented over God’s people.   Elisha wept when he saw that the king of Aram would destroy Israel (2 Kings 8:11-12).   Nehemiah wept when news reached him of the desperate state of his people in a burned-out Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:4).   And Jeremiah, known as “the weeping prophet,” shed bitter tears “over the great destruction which overwhelms . . . my people” (Jeremiah 14:17).

It’s not just Jesus or the ancient prophets though.   Many of us have wept over someone who has lost their faith.   Maybe they see no need for God, or doubt his mercy, or are angry with him.   Whatever the cause, their suffering pierces our hearts, and we grieve for them.   We want nothing more than for them to taste the peace and mercy that we know.

How comforting to know that Jesus weeps with us!   He longs for their healing and reunion even more than we do.   That’s who Jesus is.   Look what happened after his lament of Jerusalem.   He continued to preach and teach and offer his mercy to every person who was willing to accept him.   Then he gave his very life on the cross for our salvation.

Day after day, God continues to reach out to his children.   Every day is a new day of his visitation.   Every moment, he offers your loved ones—and you—a fresh opportunity to return to him.   And he will never stop.

“Thank you, Lord, that you love __________ even more than I do.   Draw them closer to you today.”

1 Maccabees 2:15-29
Psalm 50:1-2, 5-6, 14-15

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