What makes for Peace is yours to choose By Beth DeCristofaro
“Worthy are you to receive the scroll and 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.” (Revelations 5:9-10)
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. (Luke 19:41-42)
Open my heart, Jesus, to your care and concern for your brothers and sisters. Enter my heart that I too might mourn with you yet rather than lose hope, continue on knowing and spreading the joy of your presence. May I be filled with “What makes for peace.”
As Jesus travels to Jerusalem, he weeps not for himself, for the upcoming passion which he knows he will suffer, but for those who rejected him. Perhaps his tears are also a sign of the pain of a man rebuffed. Yet the deep wellspring of personal hurt is for those who turn their back on salvation. He wants them – today us – to live in the joy of relationship with God as he does. Jesus continues on, preaching, teaching, being the Word, dying and rising to bring resurrection in spite of the knowledge he was rejected by God’s own Chosen.
That generosity is ours today. Jesus is traveling toward us, wanting for us our heart’s desire, which is God’s presence within. He wants us to also make God perceptible to the world by living in surrender to God’s will, childlike and trusting. This was God’s summons to our ancestors in faith and us today. The New Jerusalem represents God’s Kingdom in the book of Revelations. In Jesus’ day, Jerusalem was the holy city; it’s wall encompassing the symbol of God’s presence among the Chosen People. But they turned away and Jerusalem’s walls fell. Throughout sacred history, the walls embracing those called and their Creator fell again and again. Today we are tempted away from God, the center of our being, and our walls fall or shake time and again. We allow “armies” such as distraction, sin, idol worship, institutionalization, and lack of compassion in just as the Roman army breached the walls of Jerusalem and sacked the Temple.
But the Spirit remains steadfastly shining, inviting us to burn not with the fire of destruction but the fires of faith fueled by grace to walk with, not away, from Jesus.
An anonymous quote says: “the cost of being a disciple is big, the cost of not being one is bigger.” In what ways might others see the teachings of Christ in my life and actions? How might I walk past the disappointments and failures that I see so quickly in my own life and in others to perceive the joy of Christ within?
Illustration: Flevit super illam (Latin language); He wept over it. Enrique Simonet Lombardo, 1892. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Enrique_Simonet_-_Flevit_super_illam_-_1892.jpg