Tears of Rejection

Luke 19: 41-44
1 Mc 2: 15-29 / Psa 50

…they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
(Luke 19:44)

If Christ could weep for all our sins
And even died for our salvation,
Should we not wonder what it means
To recognize His visitation?

As Jesus drew near and saw the city (of Jerusalem) He wept over it, saying, “If only you knew today what makes for peace! But now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will raise a palisade against you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)

Reflection

In today’s Gospel reading, Luke attributes the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD as the fulfillment of our Lord’s prediction, and as the consequence of the Jews’ failure to recognize the visitation of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Although earlier in this chapter of Luke the Jews sang His praises for the miracles that he had performed, and even laid out their cloaks along the path of the colt He rode on, Jesus knew that after only a few days the Jews would be screaming for His blood at the instigation of their religious leaders. Upon His entry into Jerusalem, the people had proclaimed, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Lk.19:38) But Jesus could only say, “If only you knew today what makes for peace! But now it is hidden from your eyes.” For there would be no peace for their murderous rejection, but only war with Rome and Jerusalem’s utter destruction.

Being omniscient, Jesus saw the terrible desolation that would befall Jerusalem forty years into the future, when the great armies of Rome would lay siege on the city and devastate it, “leaving no stone upon another stone.” His compassionate and loving nature as God and as a sensitive human being drove Him to tears, overcome with pity for the obstinacy and pride and the lack of faith of the Jews that led to their ruin. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus lamented with a similar prophecy, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets, and stone those sent to you, how often I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate” (Mt. 23:37-38).

Today’s Gospel passage reveals the passion that Jesus had (and still has) for sinners. He shed tears because the people He loved rejected Him as their Savior. Even though He had foreknowledge of His coming pains and death in Calvary, it was not because of the injustice, fear, or self-pity that Jesus felt such deep sorrow, but His great concern for the loss of so many souls. Such is the great love that God has for sinners that their impenitence literally drives Him to tears.

Jesus is both God and man. He loves more deeply, and feels more intensely than any human being can. Every sin that we commit is a painful rejection of our Lord.

Grant, Lord God, that we may never take Your great love for granted, lest we fall into the same fate as those unfaithful Jews who rejected our Lord Jesus Christ. We repent of all our sins, and pledge our lives to Your holy will. Amen.

Comments are closed.