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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings

Jesus Weeps

Submitted by on Thursday, 18 November 2010No Comment
jesusweepsoverjerusalem
  • Reading I:  Revelation 5:1-10
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 19:41-44

We don’t know where, but at a certain point in one’s ascent to Jerusalem, one is given a sight of the holy city from afar. At this point, pilgrims ordinarily begin to sing the Songs of Ascent1, like Psalm 122

I rejoiced when I heard them say
Let us go to the House of our God
For now our feet are standing
within your gates O Jerusalem …

Luke gives us the information that Joseph and Mary used to bring their son to Jerusalem "as was their custom." It is Luke alone who gives us the note that in one of these trips, Jesus stayed behind in the city and his mother and father had to look for him for three days before finding him in the Temple. Jesus felt some connection with the Holy City such that on his last trip to it, he wept because he knew what would happen to it.

Earlier, Jesus had pronounced a lament over Jerusalem:

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
                you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how often I have longed to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
and you were not willing.

35 Look, your house is left to you desolate.
I tell you, you will not see me again until you say,
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

(Luke 13:34-35; cf. Matthew 23:37-39)

The lament mentions the desolation of the house of Jerusalem, and this, because she rejects Him who wishes to protect her within His wings. This rejection is only the climax of a series of rejections afforded to the prophets and "those sent" to her. The desolation of Jerusalem’s house is further described in Luke 19:41-44.

"Jerusalem" etymologically means "Vision of Peace". Jesus begins his lament with this etymology in mind "If this day you only knew what makes for peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes". Jesus — He who brings peace (cf. Zechariah 9:9-10 in the light of Luke 19:28-40), or rather, "Our peace" (Ephesians 2:14), as Paul would declare — remains hidden to the eyes of Jerusalem and will be rejected by her as she had the prophets before Him. Like a brood of chicks refusing to be protected by their mother, Jerusalem will refuse "(God’s) visitation" and so she will be destroyed. The description that Jesus gives corresponds to the siege of the holy city by a foreign power — an event that will occur under Titus’ command in 70 AD. The phrase "will not leave in you a stone upon another" links this oracle to the one about the Temple in Luke 21:6. It refers to utter destruction.

Guideline for Actualization

Jesus weeps over Jerusalem as one would weep over a beloved who has brought him/herself to destruction. Jesus weeps because such a destruction could have been avoided if Jerusalem had only repented and recognized God’s visitation.

What situations or events in your own life or in the life of your society evokes the image of Jesus weeping over it?

Revelation 5:1-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written within and without, sealed with seven seals.
2And I saw a strong angel, proclaiming with a loud voice: Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3And no man was able, neither in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth, to open the book, nor to look on it.
4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open the book, nor to see it.
5And one of the ancients said to me: Weep not; behold the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.
7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne.
8And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints:
9And they sung a new canticle, saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
10And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.
Psalm 149:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: let his praise be in the church of the saints.
Luke 19:41-44
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
41And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying:
42If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes.
43For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side,
44And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.
Luke 13:34-35
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
34Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent to thee, how often would I have gathered thy children as the bird doth her brood under her wings, and thou wouldest not?
35Behold your house shall be left to you desolate. And I say to you, that you shall not see me till the time come, when you shall say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Matthew 23:37-39
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
37Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not?
38Behold, you house shall be left to you, desolate.
39For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Luke 19:41-44
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
41And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying:
42If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes.
43For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side,
44And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.
Zechariah 9:9-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
9Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
10And I will destroy the chariot out of Ephraim, and the horse out of Jerusalem, and the bow for war shall be broken: and he shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the end of the earth.
Luke 19:28-40
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
28And having said these things, he went before, going up to Jerusalem.
29And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethania, unto the mount called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples,
30Saying: Go into the town which is over against you, at your entering into which you shall find the colt of an ass tied, on which no man ever hath sitten: loose him, and bring him hither.
31And if any man shall ask you: Why do you loose him? you shall say thus unto him: Because the Lord hath need of his service.
32And they that were sent, went their way, and found the colt standing, as he had said unto them.
33And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said to them: Why loose you the colt?
34But they said: Because the Lord hath need of him.
35And they brought him to Jesus. And casting their garments on the colt, they set Jesus thereon.
36And as he went, they spread their clothes underneath in the way.
37And when he was now coming near the descent of mount Olivet, the whole multitude of his disciples began with joy to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works they had seen,
38Saying: Blessed be the king who cometh in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, and glory on high!
39And some of the Pharisees, from amongst the multitude, said to him: Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40To whom he said: I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.
Ephesians 2:14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, the enmities in his flesh:
Luke 21:6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
6These things which you see, the days will come in which there shall not be left a stone upon a stone that shall not be thrown down.

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  1. Psalms 120-134 []

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