Homily for Thursday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: JESUS WEEPS FOR THE CITY, He Laments for our sins today!
By: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
1 Maccabees 2:15-29
Jesus, in today’s gospel, weeps and laments for Jerusalem. Why does Jesus weep? He weeps because they would not listen to Him. He weeps because they would not open their hearts to Him. He weeps because He desires their happiness and salvation and they wander far from the shepherd who longs to lead them to verdant pastures. He weeps because they do not understand God’s word of judgment because of pride and unbelief. And yet Jerusalem is the dwelling place and throne of God (Jer. 3:17); the place which God chose for his name to dwell there (1Kings 11:13); and the holy mountain upon which God has set His King (Psalm 2).
*HOW MANY TIMES DID JESUS CHRIST WEEP IN THE GOSPELS?*
There are two places in the four gospels where Jesus is portrayed as weeping, at the tomb of his friend Lazarus in the gospel of John and just before the enters the city of Jerusalem for the last time in the gospel of Luke, today’s gospel reading. His tears at the tomb of Lazarus express his sorrow at the death of a beloved friend and the devastating impact of Lazarus’ death on his sisters, Martha and Mary, who were also friends of Jesus.
*WHY JESUS CHRIST WEPT ACCORDING TO TODAYS GOSPEL READING*
The tears of Jesus in today’s gospel reading express his sadness over the failure of a city to welcome him as the bringer of God’s peace. Both set of tears spring from love. We weep over those we love and care about. Jesus had a deep love for the city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants.
*WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM. THE GOSPEL READING OF TODAY*
Dear brethrens, 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.
God did not promise a rose garden during our lifetime. Jesus was being honest in telling us that because of Him, followers will go through a lot of pains and tribulations. The devil will be very active in subjecting Christians to temptations so as to lure them away from the Lord. But the Lord gave a promise that if they persevere in their faith, they could stand erect and raise their heads in victory and anticipation of the coming redemption.
Have a Blessed Thursday!
Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA