Nov 19 2020 Reflection
Thursday 19 November 2020
First Reading: RV 5:1-10
The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
PS 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B
Gospel Reading: LK 19:41-44
Today’s Note: Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
He saw the city and wept over it. (Luke 19:41)
It’s clear why Jesus is weeping: he knows what will happen to Jerusalem in the near future. In AD 70, the Roman general Titus and his legions will besiege the city. In the horrific days that follow, many of its citizens will starve to death. Then the Romans will kill nearly everyone else and destroy the Jewish Temple. Knowing Jerusalem’s fate must have broken Jesus’ heart!
And yet the very fact that Jesus is weeping should give us some comfort because his tears are a sign of his compassion. He’s not condemning Jerusalem; he’s lamenting over it. He sees that this destruction will be the result of the people’s sin and their rejection of him and the prophets God had sent. He knows it will happen, but he still decides to go to the cross and offer his life for his people. He refuses to abandon them. Despite their sin, he still wants to save them—and the whole world besides.
Jesus never abandons us either. But he certainly weeps for our sins because he sees the needless suffering they cause us. He sees that they keep us from our purpose in life, which is to know and serve him. He came to earth, died, and rose for us so that we could be rid of those sins and live the abundant life he intended for us (John 10:10). Even when we stray, he waits patiently for us to return to him.
Jesus doesn’t condemn anyone—and he won’t condemn you (John 3:17). He wants to save you. In fact, he has provided a way for you to experience that salvation more and more deeply—through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So don’t let your sins burden you. Take them to Confession! If you haven’t been for a while and you’re nervous about going, just remember the image of Jesus weeping. That’s how much he cares about you. That’s how much he wants to help you.
Once you’ve been absolved of your sins and have said your penance, stay silent for a moment or two. Now picture Jesus again. Imagine him smiling or even laughing with joy. He is delighted that you, his beloved son or daughter, have come to receive his mercy!
“Jesus, thank you for your boundless love and mercy.”