WEEP WITH ME, MY PEOPLE
Usually in apocalyptic literature the opening of seals announces the coming of calamities. Here it is the key to the victory and peace that will come to God’s people through the Lamb, who died and rose again and in this way overcame death.
Luke wrote his gospel when the Temple had already been destroyed. How come that the Jewish people, God’s own, who had been so zealous to fight for loyalty to the God of the covenant, did not recognize Christ, the expected one? It is not up to us to condemn, as Christians have often done in the past. With Jesus we weep over the city and its people and pray and work that Jews too may find their Messiah. And in the meantime, let us too know the paths of peace of God’s people, and recognize the time the Lord visits us.
Lord our God, we seek the road to peace of Jesus Christ your Son. Let us be your chosen people recognizing day after day the time of your visitation. Let this very day be the time when we are open to your coming in the words you speak to us, in the people we meet, in those who cry out for compassion and a bit of warmth. We ask you this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen!
1 Reading: Revelation5:1-10
I, John, saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to examine it. I shed many tears because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to examine it. One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed, enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.” Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders a Lamb that seemed to have been slain. He had seven horns and seven eyes; these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world. He came and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. When he took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones. They sang a new hymn: “Worthy are you to receive the scroll and break open its seals, for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will reign on earth.”
Responsorial Psalm PS 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B
R. (Rev. 5:10) The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God. or: Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in their maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their king. R.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory. R.
Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches; Let the high praises of God be in their throats. This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia. R. The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to R.
Alleluia Psalm 95:8
R. Alleluia, alleluia. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Luke 19:41-44
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
It is the Lamb in glory who stands at the centre of today’s heavenly apparition. The scroll that has been definitively sealed contains the plan of God for the future, but no one is found on the scene who is capable of opening the seals. This is reserved for Christ alone, the “Lion…of Judah” and “the Root of David.” The lamb image draws on the Passover lamb from the Book of Exodus. When the Lamb appears, he is superimposed upon the one seated on the throne, indicating the divinity of his nature. His seven eyes point to wisdom, his seven horns to power. As the Lamb receives the scroll from the throne, the elders and the four living creatures sing his praises.
The lamb that was slain continues to bear the evidence of his passion. By his blood he has purchased people of every nation for God. Members of Christ constitute royalty (a kingdom) and a worshiping community (priesthood).
In the Gospel today, Jerusalem, for centuries the dwelling place of God, is the object of Christ’s lament. She failed to recognize her Lord and is destined for destruction. This contrasts sharply with the kingdom of the Lamb, where access is granted to those who accept him and believe. We are indeed a privileged people, the people for whom the Lamb was slain.
– Lord, we regret and ask pardon that at times we have been negligent and cold to your love; forgive us, we pray:
– Lord Jesus, that those who have heard your call to follow you and refused to respond may again be ready to journey with you, we pray:
– Lord Jesus, that our communities may again heed your call to be one of heart and mind, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God our Father, as a pledge of our faithfulness to the bonds of the covenant we bring bread and wine before you. Accept us with your Son, and keep us united in him as the people you love. This we ask in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen!
Prayer after Communion
God our Father, your Son wept over the people from which he was born and which he loved with all his heart. Let him not weep over us but by the strength of this Eucharist make us seek what brings us your peace: you and your kingdom of integrity and goodness. Grant us this through your faithful servant, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
We are asked to recognize the coming of the Lord not in a distant past but now, today, in our lives and our communities. May God give you this grace and bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!