The WORD in Other Words by Fr Roderick Salazar SVD (Philippines) for Thursday 30th Week in Ordinary Time
It is such an arresting and intimate image of Your love for Jerusalem that You paint in the Gospel today, dear Lord: a hen gathering her brood of chicks under her wings. But as compelling is Jerusalem’s rejection of You: “but you would not, were unwilling ..to join me.”
Six chapters later, (in Luke 19, 41-44) You enter the same Jerusalem, but this time You are so saddened by Israel’s lack of recognition, appreciation, and acceptance of Your visitation, that You actually weep.
You loved Israel then, and to this day still do. I know and am confident that You love me too. My prayer today is that I do not make You weep by my stubbornness, my sins, my failure to recognize Your coming, my refusal to come to You. Let me be alert to Your arrival in my life through the many persons and events that come my way. May I love and serve You by loving and serving them.
And that verb that You use to describe Your feeling for Israel – YEARN – speaks volumes. To yearn is to long for, to reach out to something or someone from the depths of one’s self. That was how You felt towards Israel. That was how the Psalmist felt when in Psalm 42 he says, “like a deer that pants for water, so my soul pants for You, O God. This is the feeling at the heart of what St Augustine said, “our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
Teach me, please, to feel the same with You. Teach me to love. Teach me to weep when I have to, where and with whom and for whom I need to. Place me under the constant protection of Your wings. –
Fr. Roderick Salazar, SVD (CKMS, QC)