The Gospel Today
Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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.”
Reflection (Sem. Enrico Terrel):
In the Gospel passage, Jesus Christ wept over the city of Jerusalem. What was the context behind Jesus’ lamentation? During His public ministry, Christ preached the Kingdom of God all over Israel. He also preached to the people of Jerusalem most notably the Scribes and Pharisees. Unfortunately, they rejected Him and His teachings because they find His teachings ‘blasphemous’. They regard Jesus ‘blasphemous’ because they cannot accept Him as their Messiah just as what He will eventually admit to them. Christ wanted to save those who hated Him but He cannot impose Himself and His ways on them. Otherwise, He would be violating their volition which He will not do because that is not who He is. Out of His sadness and frustration, He just wept over Jerusalem. Moreover, He also foretell about the impending destruction of the city that will happen some years after His resurrection and ascension.
The attitude of Jesus toward Jerusalem is also the same with us. Christ would really want and love to save us from eternal banishment due to our sinful ways. In fact, He did it once and for all when He died for us on the cross. On one hand, we can choose to respond positively and lovingly to Him. But on the other hand, we can choose not to heed Him. We can choose to refuse God’s desire and act of saving us. As we choose to remain in our sinful lifestyle, it is not surprising if we find Christ weeping over us because of the stubbornness of our minds and hearts. He wanted to save us. Yet we do not want to be saved. He loves us so much. But, we act in such a way that we do not want and need to be loved by Him. We pursue other things in this world. But can they fulfil our deepest longing for meaning? Let us seek the intercession of the Blessed Mother, whose presentation at the temple, we celebrate today, that we might desire and ask for the grace to cooperate and participate in the saving plan of God for all mankind.