WHY OUR LORD WEPT

Modern day view of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount from the Garden of Gethsemane - the obscenity of the Mohammedan Mosque on the site of the Temple is all too apparent.
Father Nicola Avancini S.J. wrote "The Life and Teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ",  a selection of meditations on certain passages from the Gospels, intended for use by Religious. Father Avancini ( 1612 - 1686) entered the Jesuits in Austria at age 15yrs - he became Rector of several colleges in Austria and died at 74 yrs as assistant for the German Provinces of the Order in Rome.The insights contained in his meditations are always interesting - often compelling:

!. "Seeing the City, He wept over it."( Luke XIX:41)
Why tears amid such a tumult of applause??Our Lord saw Jerusalem, and in it the whole world.He saw the sins of all, including our own. He saw that His Passion would cause the fall of many souls through their own malice. God could save all indiscriminately, but He wishes us to co-operate with His grace. We shall perish if we do not do so.Have we not given Him occasion to weep over us?We acknowledge His love for us, but this is insufficient unless we co-operate with Him.

2. "If thou also hadst known, and that bin this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes."(v 42)
i . He showed that the reason for His weeping was the blindness of those who would not accept Him as their Saviour, whence would arise hatred, envy, ingratitude and all that is evil. It is by blinding our hearts, then, that the Devil works. This why we do not see how great a good is the grace of God and how great an evil is sin. It is through this blindness he hopes that we may pay no attention to God's inspirations lest we follow them.
ii. Again, the Devil acts "in this our day", that is during our lifetime, which is the only time given to him. It is followed by "the day of the Lord"at our death. Let us take heed to our ways in this our day lest we need to dread the day of the Lord. Let us deplore our present blindness and open our eyes anew to see what graces are being given us for eternal life.

iii. "The days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round and straighten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground....because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation". ( vv43,44)

Our Lord was predicting the terrible siege and destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans  ( the City is built upon 15 feet of rubble from the Roman destruction Ed.) on account of the sins committed there, especially against Himself. Sin is the cause of all misery, and gives occasion for the wrath of God. In these words is expressed also the unhappy state of a man on his deathbed who has made bad use of "the time of his visitation" and the graces he has received.His enemies the devils, will encompass him round, his former sins will straighten him on every side, all his grand ideas and the vain imaginations he has entertained of this world will be beaten flat to the ground, so important is it to co-operate with God's grace while there is yet time ".

This meditation is all the more appropriate as we approach within one week, the beginning of the penitential season of Lent.Let us not waste the opportunity Lent presents, but rather seize the opportunities it offers, so that we might be purified and so much the better able to rejoice at the commemoration of the Resurrection at Easter.

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