11_22_07 H People.2
NOV. 22: THURSDAY OF THE 33RD WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME
“Coming within sight of the city of Jerusalem, Jesus wept over it . . .” (Lk. 19:41)
Prayer to a Savior Weeping over His Nation’s Capital
Jesus, you once wept over Jerusalem. Those tears weren’t just for the city—its buildings, markets, narrow streets. No, you likely saw your nation’s capital as representing many aspects of Israel’s life, things like:
The hearts, minds, needs, desires, pride and fears of its citizens;
The government and politicians, their leadership and treatment of the people, their attitude toward foreigners and dealings with other countries;
Their spiritual identity as God’s chosen ones;
God’s original commission to be a blessing to all nations.
You longed to lead your people along “the path to peace,” but they had “completely lost it from view” (Lk. 19:42 [NAB]). You saw this blindness symbolized in Jerusalem, and tears filled your eyes. “Jerusalem” means “City of Peace.” The city was, and still is, the symbol of your people’s essence. You agonized over rekindling their essence as a people of God’s Peace.
Today, Lord, it feels like you’re still weeping over Jerusalem. It’s easy to sense the sting of tears when you look over Baghdad, Harare, Kabul, Pyongyang and Seoul. Surely you cry over Moscow, Khartoum, Beirut, Kigali, Belgrade, and, yes, Washington, D.C.
All nations’ capitals, Lord, are not just cities. They represent each nation’s spirit. In many of those capitals, some of the leaders claim you as Lord and Savior. In all those nations, many people claim to love and obey you. Make them, us, effective prophets and powerful activists for “the things that make for peace” (Lk. 19:42 [RSV]). (Fr. Tony Wood)