The Tears of Jesus

“As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it.” Luke 19:41

One of the most poignant moments of Holy Week comes as Jesus approaches the city of Jerusalem, on the day we call Palm Sunday.  When the city comes into sight, Jesus weeps over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.’  Luke 19:42-44

There are momentous times when one’s future is cast. A parent sees a child taking a dangerous turn, fearing where it will lead. Politicians set policy, which in turn will bring harm to their communities.  Loved ones reject Covid vaccines, leaving others to  grieve their untimely deaths.  Today, the earth is in a climate crisis. Predictions of the future our children and grandchildren are facing are terrifying. Like Jesus, weeping over the city of Jerusalem, we weep for the inevitable grief and pain inaction will bring.

For, Jesus, this is the moment. He looks out over the city that he loves, and knows that the people have chosen force and arms, instead of peace and love.  Thirty some years later, the city will be destroyed. Its people dispersed and families broken apart. Jesus weeps over what did not have to be. He weeps for pain and suffering that could have been avoided. He weeps for us, in our wrong-headed turns and in our stubborn pride, whenever we refuse to listen to the wisdom God is giving us.

May the tears of Jesus, open our hearts and turn us to God’s truth and wisdom.

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