The image of Jesus gazing over the city of Jerusalem is striking. We can only imagine what he is thinking. Does he ponder the events of the coming week that will begin with his triumphal entry into the city of David, hailed by all as the Messiah? His final moments with his beloved disciples? Yet knowing it would all end in abandonment and incredible suffering. I am always profoundly moved by the words of Jesus, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!” (Luke 13:34). How difficult it must have been to face the rejection of his own people, whom He loved so deeply. How difficult it must have been to know that so many people through the centuries would continue to reject His invitation of love.
Brothers and sisters, maybe we’ve had a beautiful experience of Lent, experienced much consolation and grace, and were encouraged in our faith. Or maybe like many of us we had a pretty rough experience of Lent this year, especially considering the anxiety and uncertainty we have all been living through these past few weeks. Maybe we were lazy and tired like the Apostles, maybe we were at times fearful, maybe we even went so far as to betray Him or turn away from Him. That is ok, because in the end it is not so much about our weakness and brokenness as it is about the power of the Cross. He who knows our weakness so well, and yet who offers us through His sacrifice the opportunity to begin again.
Wherever we are at though, today we have all arrived at Jerusalem and Holy Week is here. It is holy because of what Jesus did this week and because it is meant to make us holy, to strengthen and renew us in our Christian life. For that to occur though, we have to respond to the graces offered. So let us begin today and every day this week to walk with Jesus in the days of His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Although we will sadly not be physically present at the liturgies this year, we can be truly present in our hearts and minds through prayer and meditation on the Word of God. Brothers and sisters, whatever we do, let us choose us to live the events of this week not as spectators, but as participants. Because if we do, if we live this week the right way, if we enter into the mysteries we celebrate, if we internalize all Jesus did for us during the most holy of events in human history, we will find ourselves truly changed.
Peace and Good,