LENT 2 24 February 2013 Gospel: Lk 13.31- 35
We can confidently assert that the first sound everyone here made was a cry. The first sound the Word Incarnate made must have been a cry when the midwife who assisted at his birth slapped the new-born God. Then Joseph smiled; Mary’s eyes shone with joy. Her son had been born. God was born and his first word was a cry.
We are told that the last sound the Word Incarnate made on the cross was a loud cry, not of pain but of triumph at the fulfilment of our salvation.
Tears, lamentation, are a necessary part of the human condition. The Son of God experienced that when he became a child and so throughout his life to his death.
Gnostics and the Marcionites denied that, because Christ as God, so they
thought, could not suffer. However, the
Gospels affirm that they were mistaken. Jesus
shed tears when he stood by the tomb of his friend, Lazarus.
In several places the Gospels tell us that on his final visit to
a beautiful, small church marks the spot, Dominus flevit, where the Lord shed
tears. Behind the altar there’s a large window giving a magnificent view of
the golden Dome of the Rock and the old city as it is today. Jesus was looking
at the recently constructed, splendid
Gospel today tells us that during the journey to Jerusalem Jesus lamented when
he thought of his destination. ‘"erusalem
you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for
your peace but now they are hidden from your eyes.
For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an
embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side and level you
and your children within you to the ground and they will not leave in you one
stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation". This
prophecy was fulfilled when
pronounced a lament over
Christians used to believe that the Jews alone rejected God and that responsibility for the shedding of Christ’s blood was entirely theirs. Now we understand that all humanity has rejected God in various ways and all of us have a share in the crucifixion of his Son, Jesus Christ. He weeps for us all and laments at the punishment we deserve.
The Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate, states "Even though the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ (cf John 19.6) neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during the passion. It is true that the Church is the new people of God, yet the Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from Holy Scripture".
A little further on the Declaration affirms "The Church always held and continues to hold that Christ out of infinite love freely underwent suffering and death because of the sins of all men, so that all might attain salvation. It is the duty of the Church, therefore, to proclaim the cross of Christ as the sign of God’s universal love and the source of all grace".