Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 500. Revelation 5:1-10. Psalm 149:1-2.3-4.5-6.9.
Luke shows us how much Jesus loves Jerusalem. As he sees the holy city he
weeps not tears of joy but sorrowful tears. The people, the leaders, the
Romans are not friendly to him when he brings his prophetic message to
them. Prophets are never well received in their own country; we know that
well from the Prophets themselves. Jesus is a prophet as well. He
foresees the destruction of the holy city Zion (Jerusalem) with the Roman
ramparts surrounding it and everything being crushed to dust by weapons of
war. We know this all too well as we see it happening even today in Iraq,
Iran, and the Middle East. Jesus therefore weeps and displays his human
side all too well.
The long journey to the city is always described as going up to it. He and
his disciples are now there and the formal teachings of Jesus given to them
is coming to an end. They have had a full course on what it means to be a
disciple of Jesus and Luke has captured it in his magnificent narrative
called the JOURNEY NARRATIVE (chapters 9:51-19:44).
This final scene of the journey helps us to see how real and human Jesus
is. We do not have to theologize about this dimension if we read Luke
carefully. We must experience him as a person who loves us so much that he
gives his life unconditionally especially for those of us who are sinners,
outcasts, marginal people whom others avoid. Jesus does not do that.
Instead he invites us like he did Zacchaeus.
His prediction of the destruction of the holy city will not happen for two
generations or about forty years later after his death, yet, he weeps. He
probably intuits that he will end his life just outside its walls where
criminals were crucified by the Romans. If he is the Messiah, he will
suffer not reign here on earth. All are called to look at the Cross and
see Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews in their own language and their own
way of pondering over such a powerful scene of Jesus dying on the Cross.
Everyone at that time was addressed in Latin, Hebrew and Greek. We were
all covered so too speak.
Jesus probably remembers his many journeys to the holy city with Mary his
mother and Joseph. He recalls the incident of being lost to them while he
is at home within his Father’s house. Feasts were happy occasions for him:
Passover, Sukkoth, Pentecost where he laughed and did not weep. Now it is
different and time fades away so swiftly for the King of the Jews. No
wonder he weeps.
These simple patterns of his life that Luke has developed and narrated are
helpful for our own journeys in life. The journey theme is at the heart of
our own following of the Lord. We laugh, we weep, we pray. His humanity
helps us to be more divine like without it being mentioned either for him
or for us. Luke moves on with the rest of the story. We continue to go up
to Jerusalem each day praying some of the ascent hymns of our own or of the
Church. These are simple tunes like our prayers are and they nourish the
soul that is thirsting for the Lord.
Let us not forget the “time of our visitation” to the holy city. Our being
with Jesus on the journey gives us the lessons in life that we need to hear
and must assimilate. The time we have is relatively short event though most
of us will live twice over the life-span of the Lord Jesus. We continue to
wait patiently with enduring and constant hope for the Coming of the Lord
(Advent, the Parousia). Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, come! Amen.