As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In the gospel from Luke we learned that Jesus wept over Jerusalem because the children of God didn’t know how to make peace. Today, Jesus may be weeping over Facebook posts. The recent election cycle and its aftermath clearly tell us that we are living in a divided nation.
Jesus taught us that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves; rather, our “we versus they” culture war tells us peace is for wimps. If we truly work towards that peace, though, we first must hear and acknowledge much pain and sorrow on both sides. That deep listening is not for the faint of heart. It takes tenacity to stick with a story we would rather not hear. It takes empathy to care beyond our inner circle. It takes hope to forge an identity that all can claim.
Jesus weeps because we are unwilling to be neighbors to one another. May we all remember that we are members of the body of Christ.
We are many parts, we are all one body,
And the gifts we have we are given to share.
May the Spirit of love make us one indeed;
One, the love that we share, one, our hope in despair,
One, the cross that we bear.
—Marty Haugen, “We Are Many Parts,” © GIA Publications, Inc., 1980