And now, bless the God of all,
who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
to deliver us in our days.
Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”
Written by: Fr. Anthony Dinh M. Tien, O.P.
I. THEME: Weeping!
People weep because of many reasons. Firstly, because they don’t get what they want as a student who tries very hard but still fails the course. Secondly, because they don’t see their relative any more as people weep for the dead. Thirdly, because they see someone who are greatly suffered, especially our relatives or benefactors. Lastly, because of a great joy one has after many trials and tribulations as an olympic athlete standing on the podium to receive a gold medal.
Today readings show some reasons why people wept. In the first reading, the author of the Book of Revelation wept because he wanted to know what is in the scroll with seven seals because it contains things which are going to happen for the world; but there is no one who is worthy to open it. In the Gospel, Jesus wept because of his love for the people of Jerusalem. They didn’t recognize the meaning and the purpose of his visitation. Jesus foreknew that Jerusalem shall be completely destroyed and the people scattered as sheep without a shepherd.
1/ Reading I: “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.”
The author reported the sealed scroll as follows: “I 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.”
(1) The scroll contains God’s wonderful will relating to all events which shall happen in the Last Day, as the author mentioned from the beginning (Cf. Rev 1:9). What is the scroll’s contents? There are different opinions, but the majority of commentators agreed that the contents of the scroll contains what has been mentioned in Revelation 6:1-8:1.
(2) The author bitterly wept because no one was considered worthy to break open its seals. If the scroll can’t be opened, people shall not know what shall happen on the Last Day. The author wanted to know its content, that is why he wept.
(3) They found one who can break open its seal: One of the elders told the author: “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.” The Jewish tradition believes that the Messiah shall come from the tribe of Judah, and is the root of David.
(4) The Messiah is the Lamb of God: The author continued, “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.” The Lamb is Christ’s official title and used twenty-eight times in the Book of Revelation. He was called by John Baptist, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29).
(5) When the Lamb took the scroll, “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 to 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.”
(6) The new song: was corresponding with the new name which is given to the winner, for the new Jerusalem and the new heaven and earth.
(7) The way Christ saved people: He is worthy to break open the seals because he was killed and used his blood to redeem people’s sins. By his Passion, Death and Resurrection, Christ started a new kingdom for God.
(8) His kingdom shall have no end: His people are from every tribe and tongue, people and nation. These four nouns mean all people of the earth. However, the author limited salvation only to the faithful on earth who responded to the Lamb’s invitation and followed him.
(9) His people are priestly people who worship God and govern the kingdom: Those who follow the Lamb are his people. They become priests to praise and to worship God; and together with the Lamb, they govern the new kingdom.
2/ Gospel: Jesus wept for Jerusalem city.
2.1/ Jesus wept: Incarnated in a body, Jesus fully had passion as a human being. The Gospels reported Jesus wept twice.
(1) Because he had pity for Jerusalem as in today passage (Lk 19:41): In the eighth station of his way to the cross, Jesus stopped to console people of Jerusalem because they wept for him. He told them: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Lk 23:28). Jesus clearly knew why he suffered; but the people of Jerusalem didn’t know it. The point which Jesus would like to emphasize is that people of Jerusalem should weep for themselves and their children; because of their sins and their children’s sins that he had to endure his passion and death.
(2) Because he had pity for Lazarus (Jn 11:35): Many people believed Jesus wept for Lazarus because he was no longer living in the world. This belief needs to be reviewed because it has no firm foundation. It might be better for Lazarus if he would not return to the world because he will be united with Jesus and share his glory when Jesus resurrects from death, and Jesus’ enemies had no reason to kill him. Jesus wept because he had witnessed human suffering when they faced death. He would like Mary and all people to understand: “whoever lives and believes in him will never die” (Jn 11:25). If all understand this, death should be a joy.
2.2/ There are two reasons for Jesus’ weeping:
(1) Because Jerusalem’s people didn’t recognize him: In the middle of the modern Mt. Olive, there is a chapel, called “Jesus wept.” The tradition believed it was here, when Jesus saw the whole view of Jerusalem city and its beauty, he wept because he had compassion for the people. They didn’t recognize he is the one who comes to bring the true peace for them: “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.”
The name of the city, Jerusalem, is combined by the verb, yrw means “to establish” and the noun, salem means “peace.” Jesus came from heaven to establish peace on earth, and he was standing before them, but they didn’t recognize him.
(2) Jerusalem will be destroyed: Jesus continued: “For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.” This prophecy was fulfilled on 70 A.D., when the Roman army encircled and completely destroyed the city and its Temple. Until now, Jerusalem Temple is still not rebuilt and the traces of ruin are still there for pilgrims to see.
III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:
– We weep because we love and regret; our weeping can be wrong because of our false reason. Jesus’ weeping is always right because his reason to weep is correct. We need to find out the true reason why we weep.
– We should weep for our sins because they are reason for Jesus’ suffering and death. If we don’t, our salvation could be in danger.