The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Oliver Quilab (Switzerland)
Thursday 33rd Week in Ordinary Time
Image source: Wikimedia Commons, Jesus weeps overs Jerusalem
In my pilgrimage to Israel last year, a highlight was the visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, also called the Wailing Wall, where I joined thousands of pilgrims, Jews and non-Jews alike, in reciting our private prayers. The wall, considered sacred by the Jews, is what remains of the Second Temple of Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
Jesus cried over Jerusalem as a Jew. In his lamentation, Jesus criticized his compatriots, so he practiced some form of Kulturkritik. “If you only knew what makes for peace!” The weeping Jesus makes me think of the strife that has reigned for generations in the Holy Land.
This magnificent, holy city, Jerusalem, destroyed and rebuilt many times over, has suffered numerous wars and civil unrest in its history. It is a mirror reflection of the world’s divisions. In recent years, apartments have been violently demolished overnight, leaving Arab Palestinians homeless. Unexpectedly and suddenly, tank raids and explosives attacks can break out in this city, as if peace could come through brute force.
“If you only you knew what makes for peace!” remains Jesus’ haunting appeal to all of us, Jews and non-Jews alike. People in the world weep because they are desperate; they have no way out; they have no shelter and no safe place to live.
What have we done to achieve peace? We, too, can look around us, at the current state of our country, at the world in general, and feel sorrow for so much disregard for human rights, justice, and peace, for so much corruption and all the suffering it brings in its wake.
Blessed are those who weep and mourn, they shall be comforted! Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called children of God!