Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 19, 41-44

As he drew near and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it

and said, 'If you too had only recognised on this day the way to peace! But in fact it is hidden from your eyes!

Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side;

they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you, because you did not recognise the moment of your visitation.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus, now at the end of his journey, sees Jerusalem in front of him. At the sight of the city so desired by him, he burst into tears; the Greek term éklausen expresses the force of Jesus’ weeping. Before his eyes appeared the holy city, the destination longed for by every Israelite, the symbol of the unity of the people, a city which is much more than simply the capital of a State. Jerusalem was, however, betraying its vocation, written in its very name: "City of peace." Injustice and violence contaminated its streets, the poor were forgotten, the weak oppressed and worst of all, the city was about to reject the prince of peace who came to visit it. The inhabitants of Jerusalem will not even want him dead within its walls: "He came to what was his own and his own people did not accept him," we read in the prologue of John. How could Jesus not cry? Let us reflect carefully. Jesus does not cry over himself because he had not been accepted and is thus justly displeased. This is what we do. Jesus cries over his city -as he cries over numberless cities today—because it refuses peace and justice, because the hardness of heart of its inhabitants of our cities makes everyone’s lives bitter. Yes, Jesus weeping is for the whole people of the cities who is abandoned and at the mercy of violence. And it is a weeping which continues even today, while we see the level of violence and injustice which hurts the weakest growing everywhere. At the beginning of this new century, for the first time in history, the urban population of the world surpasses that of rural areas, but unfortunately inhumanity has grown precisely within cities. This Gospel passage should help the believers to feel more responsible for living together in the cities, to take greater care of it, to take to heart more city life so that it is a more human place, beautiful and welcoming to all. We believers should be beside Jesus as he still weeps over today’s cities because he well knows what their end is if they do not receive the Gospel of love: of them there shall not remain stone upon stone. Jesus’ love for human cities is great and even though he knows that death awaits him, he nevertheless decides to enter, as if to break down its walls, in order to offer his own life for human salvation. Jesus does not flee, as often even the disciples urged him to do to avoid death; he, on the contrary, enters the city to save it even if this costs him his life. He truly has a love without limits for us. And He knows - the resurrection testifies to it - that love is stronger than any violence, even the final violence of death.