Jesus walked ahead of the disciples, going up to Jerusalem. When he approached Betfagé and Betânia, near the mount called Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying: ‘Go to the village ahead. Right at the entrance, you will find a donkey tied, which no one has ever ridden. Untie him and bring him here. ‘ When Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he began to weep. And he said: ‘If you also understood today what can bring you peace! Now, however, it is hidden from your eyes! ‘ When he came near the descent from the Mount of Olives, the crowd of disciples, shouting and full of joy, began to praise God for all the miracles they had seen. Everyone exclaimed: ‘Blessed is the King, who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”Jesus on the way to Jerusalem (cf. Lk 17:11).
Illustrative photo: alexsl
The city of Jerusalem has a vocation for holiness! On the occasion of the recent visit to the Kingdom of Morocco, His Holiness Pope Francisand His Majesty King Mohammed VI, recognizing the uniqueness and sacredness of Jerusalem and bearing in mind its spiritual significance and its peculiar vocation as a City of Peace, shared the following appeal: “We consider it important to preserve the Holy City of Jerusalem, a common heritage of humanity and, above all, for the faithful of the three monotheistic religions, as a meeting place and symbol of peaceful coexistence, in which mutual respect and dialogue are cultivated. To this end, the specific multireligious character, the spiritual dimension and the peculiar cultural identity of Jerusalem must be maintained and fostered. As a result, we aim to guarantee, in the Holy City, full freedom of access for the faithful of the three monotheistic religions and the right of each to exercise their own cult,
Jesus approached His Passion, Death and Resurrection
The city of Jerusalem was teeming with people for Easter celebrations, when Jesus approached it for the decisive week. The tension around him was growing and involved many, with political and religious components, a dangerous combination that gave the results that we know. However, we also know that whoever was surrounded by a true court became, on the throne of the Cross, the great judge of the living and the dead.
The city of Jerusalem brought with it the expectation of the coming and messianic manifestation, cultivated throughout the centuries. This city had its qualities and its vices. Called to be a pole to which the certainty of God’s intervention in favor of his people, a small and fragile people, but a people called to a unique vocation to be a light for the nations, should converge. After the Easter events of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, we know how far Jerusalem from the earth was far from what Scripture calls us Jerusalem from above. The city, with its fortresses imagined as impregnable, collapsed and was destroyed. Today, the Wailing Wall, a sacred place of prayer for Jews, is the memory of all the desire that this city is still a sign of life and hope.
Today’s cities have much of the mystery of Jerusalem. Our cities, like Bethlehem and others in our Archdiocese, bring with them their joys and ailments, but also the plea for a look and a solemn entrance from Jesus!
We can choose the most suitable angle, looking at our Bethlehem from our waters or from our skyscrapers, from our lowlands or our work, from the red areas (almost all of them are!) Or from our avenues and parks, from the top of our mangroves or our ditches, with our garbage or with our precarious urban organization. Our honest look leads us to identify the mystery of sin and wickedness, often leading us to cry over the city, lamenting the little citizen awareness that grace in every corner. From everywhere the cry for the presence of Jesus arises!
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We cry out for Jesus
Another look leads us to identify the people who live and work here. Every day, the bishops, who are responsible for a broad and vigilant view of situations, according to the etymology of the word, do not go unnoticed that here, in the mystery of the city, what the Apostle Saint Peter identified: “You are the chosen people, the royal priesthood, the holy nation, the people he has acquired, that you may proclaim the great deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. You are those who were not people before, but now you are God’s people; those who were not the object of mercy, however, have now achieved mercy ”(1 Pet 2: 9-10). Our cities are inhabited by many good, hardworking, hardworking and holy people! And there are far more of these people than those who allow themselves to be involved in evil! We can sing about this city, with a hymn of the liturgy: “I see the crowd in white robes, walking joyfully, joyfully, it is the acclamation of all the people that Jesus is their Lord. One day, we too will be regenerated by love! In this hope we will live, we are the family of Christians, our law is always love! People who walk towards their homeland, the new citadel of Christians, firm steps, much faith in their eyes, much love carries them, they are brothers, our law is always love ”(Cf. Missa Nova Jerusalem – Father José Cândido da Silva).
We want to welcome Jesus, in the mystery of the city, as the magnificent and contradictory population of Jerusalem. We are called to mix the tears of weeping with those that arise from the emotion of the Lord’s arrival. No street and no corner of every heart is opposed to Jesus’ glorious entry. All are called to repeat, raising the branches of their faith: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”