Tuesday 20 September 2016

Thursday 33rd week Jeudi 33e semaine

“If only you had known the moment God had visited you!” We ask for the grace to hear Jesus’ tears, to enter into the Knowledge of God’s Infinite Love.

Lk.19,41-44

Thursday 33rd Week

“As Jesus drew near and caught sight of the city he shed tears over it and said, ’If you too had recognised on this day the way to peace! But in fact it is hidden from your eyes!”

Jesus’ tears take on their meaning as if a personal prayer and a prophetic predication. Jesus weeps over what Jerusalem ought to weep : a lost opportunity to encounter his God : ’If you had only understood, on this day, what leads to peace!’

We contemplate Jesus weeping before Jerusalem. This revelation of tenderness move us more than its ’strength’ which raises the dead.

God tries to join us, to touch us in all sorts of ways. ’Today will you listen to my voice?’ This ’powerlessness’ of God something mysterious, He respects our liberty! He sees how hard our heart is!

What brings tears to Jesus’ eyes is the violent contrast between God’s offer, Jerusalem, splendid and powerful and Jerusalem’s response which doesn’t recognise the One sent by God.

Jesus instantly perceives the disciples’ enthusiasm who acclaim him as he comes down from the Mount of Olives. ’Blessed is He who comes!’ And at the same time he sees in front of him Jerusalem stuck in her ramparts and refusal.

The mystery of our freedom, of our self love, of our own will which manifests our ’self’!

In many many ways we have the experience of this impetuous resistance which has God fail.

“Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side.”

The Messiah Jesus came with his message of peace, with his hands stretched out for healing, and his own town didn’t recognise in Him the Peace of God which was offered to humanity in the face of the Man Jesus. It was ’hidden to his eyes’, because she turned her face away from what God had her see ; and

she lacked the favourable time she had been hoping for centuries : ’You didn’t recognise the moment you received a visit.’

The Peace Jesus offers is not just concord, materialistic security or the absence of worries ; it always includes an end and a fullness that can only be received in harmony with God.

Sometimes we hear parents speak to their children this way : ’For goodness sake, listen to what I’m saying!’ And the child doesn’t listen but goes towards disaster. It is mysterious how God can fail when we disobey. Jesus will show this on the Cross, he will however overcome by His Love. We are there before God’s desire for God is Love.

Jesus has strong words, he has powerful gestures when he chases away the merchants in the Temple.

In our own lives there are also places where God acts with strength. But from experience we know that conversion doesn’t necessarily follow.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the master of discernment, will say that it is ’the enemy of human nature at work in our wrong decisions.’

“If only you had known the moment God visited you!”

It is very surprising how our poor sinful state allows all sorts of possibilities for the devil to take hold of us. The one who accusers his sisters and brothers never sleeps! At these times of incertitude and questioning, the images used by Jesus to describe the distress in his town, find a strange resonance in our inner countryside : encirclement, paralysis, crushing, demolition, dispersion.

It is the drama lived by families and communities which feed secretly on bitterness, distress, with so many feelings of failure. There will not be left stone upon stone of what we built for the Lord in praise of the Lord. However ’everything serves for the good of all whom God loves.’ And the experience of dismantlement we have in our communities and in ourselves can be the point of departure of a new reconstruction. Out of our ruins, a new temple can surge up, which will not be made from men’s hands. It will no longer be what we are proud of, or our need for security. It will be a temple made out of living stones, a temple to which the Holy Spirit Himself will give a bursting energy and cohesion : a fraternal temple for Jesus’ visits.

To work for Peace in the world, in our families, in our hearts means to take on an attitude of recognition of God’s passage. God passes, he tells us of his presence in a thousand ways we can open up our heart to him again.

We ask for the grace to hear Jesus’ tears, to enter into the Knowledge of God’s Infinite Love.