Daily Meditation: "If only today you knew the ways of peace!"
Gospel text (Lc 19,41-44):
When Jesus had come in sight of the city, He wept over it and said, "If only today you knew the ways of peace! But now your eyes are held from seeing. Yet days will come upon you when your enemies will surround you with barricades and shut you in and press on you from every side. And they will dash you to the ground and your children with you, and leave not a stone within you, for you did not recognize the time and the visitation of your God".
"If only today you knew the ways of peace!"
Today, the image presented by the Gospel is that of Jesus "who wept over" (Lk 19:41) for the fate of the chosen city that did not recognize the time and visitation of its Savior. Knowing, as we do, the latest news about this city, it would be easy to apply this lamentation to the city which —is both— holy and a source of separation.
However, looking at it further beyond, we may identify that Jerusalem with the new chosen people, which is the Church, and —additionally— with the world where this Church must carry out its mission. If we proceed like that, we shall find a community that, having achieved the highest summits in the field of technology and science, groans and weeps over the fact it lives surrounded by the selfishness of its members, because it has erected around it a wall of violence and moral disorder, and because it hurls its sons all over, dragging them with the chains of a dehumanizing individualism. In short, what we shall find is people that did not know how to recognize the God visiting them (cf. Lk 19:44).
However, we Christians cannot just be stuck with our mourning, nor can we be misfortune foretellers, but rather, men of hope. We know the end of the story, we know Christ has tumbled down the walls and broken the chains: the tears He is shedding in this Gospel anticipate the blood, which He has saved us with.
In fact, Jesus is present in his Church, especially through those who are more needy. We must assume his presence to understand Christ's tenderness towards us. St. Ambrose tells us that His love is so transcendental, that He has made himself small and humble so that we can be great; He has accepted to be diapered like a new born baby, so that we can be liberated of the chains of sin; He has accepted to be nailed to the Cross so that we can appear amongst the stars of Heaven... This is why, we must thank God and discover amid us He who visits and redeems us.
Fr. Blas RUIZ i López
(Ascó, Tarragona, Spain)
Audio: Thursday 33nd in Ordinary Time