Lamentations and Regrets


18 November 2010 Thursday of the 33rd Week
Rev 1, 1-10; Psalm 149; Luke 19, 41-44

Note: Sorry for the long hiatus. Been overwhelmed by many concerns.
The Gospel today is both a lament and a challenge for us. Jesus weeps as He sees Jerusalem. He knows that Jerusalem will be the place of His suffering. He can see His cross hovering over Him.

He laments because of two things: First, Jerusalem is His rightful home. The Temple is the Father’s house. He weeps because He calls the Eternal City, His home.

Second, He cries because He knows what will happen to Jerusalem if the people will not heed his prophetic warning. If they will continue their life of sinfulness, Jerusalem will eventually be destroyed.

Furthermore, Jesus wishes that Jerusalem will recognize Him and find His visit important. If only they know that Jesus is the Shepherd King who returns to the City of David, they could have followed His voice. But they didn’t.

And just as Jesus predicts, the Temple of Jerusalem will eventually be destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.

The Gospel is also a challenge to all of us. It requires great sensitivity to know the “visit” of Jesus in our lives. We must know when Jesus warns us and when He tells us about the consequences of our actions, if we act on it.

What Jesus has undergone in the Gospel is not an impossibility for many of us. There are many ways to know the future of our acts.

By reason, we know the implications of a decision and the results from such a choice.

Through scientific research, we know what causes certain sicknesses and the symptoms when we contract a disease. Medicine and our practical lives have always lived with the tenet: better prevention than cure.

Through repeated practice, we now have our moral and ethical laws embedded in our culture. For example, we know that it is good to the community if we all heed the law of the country. How? The same as the creation of culture: we know because of repeated practice. When we follow, there is order; if we don’t, we revert to chaos. A civilized society is organized and live-able.

When a community takes the inspiration from a letter of an apostle like Paul by reflecting and living what he wrote, the epistle becomes normative to community living. And when it becomes a measure of Christian living, it becomes a canon. The word “canon” comes from a reed that is used in ancient times as a measuring stick because the distance between the nodes and internodes are almost equal from each other. Thus, a book is chosen to be canonical, when it is used to measure one’s spiritual, community and moral life. If the book is found, through repeated practice, not normative then it is rejected and replaced. It is like choosing a textbook.

And thus there are many ways to know what is good or evil, what is right or wrong, what is correct behavior from what is crass and uncivilized.

And there are numerous sources to inquire from to know, most certain, the consequences of our acts. History is one of them.

But often, our hearts and head are made of stone. We still want to find out, our own way. Part of it is our individualism, arrogance, and lack of trust for our ancestors, our parents and Jesus. Sometimes we think that we can learn everything on our own, having our experiences as the criteria for validity. And then, impose them as normative for others.

Therefore, just as Jesus has wished centuries ago for His people — and for us: We must trust Him before it’s too late.

They say, regret always comes at the end. If only our ancestors could speak, many of them will tell us in chorus: We told you so.

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