HOMILY FOR NOVEMBER 17, MEMORIAL OF ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY, RELIGIOUS.
THEME: Jesus sheds tears over the coming fate of Jerusalem.
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
Resp Psalm 149:1-6,9
We have all shed tears at some time. Very often, we weep over those we love. We weep at the sickness and death of our loved ones. When we give our heart to someone in love, we know our heart will inevitably break. We accept the suffering that loving someone brings. The alternative is not to love anyone, which is the poorest form of life. Jesus was God’s love in human form. His love for others had a unique quality and the suffering which his love brought him also had a unique quality. Because he loved more than any human being could, he suffered more than any human being could, and that suffering often led him to weep bitter tears.
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
From our first reading of today, we heard of the revelation shown to the Apostle, regarding the triumphant victory won by the Lord, enthroned in glory among the Cherubim and Seraphim, among the Angels and innumerable saints. St. John saw in the vision of the slaughtered Lamb of God, the Triumphant Lord, the Heir of David and Son of God, Who has won the ultimate victory against the forces of evil, sin and death.
And he shared it with all of us, the faithful in this world so that we may have hope in Him and that we may trust Him to guide us down the path towards His grace, salvation and eternal life.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus weeps over the city of Jerusalem. Jesus had earlier said that he had wanted to gather the people of Jerusalem to himself, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but they refused his loving outreach to them. The rejection of his loving visitation to them brought him great suffering, which led to his weeping bitter tears over the city. ‘If you had only understood on this day the message of peace’. Their rejection of Jesus’ love would have tragic consequences for the city. Jesus was often powerless before human rejection of his love.
Jesus was often powerless before human rejection of his love. We may love others but we cannot force their love for us; we are powerless before the mystery of their freedom to accept or reject our love. The Lord’s love for us is not in doubt. What is in doubt is our willingness to receive his love and to respond to it. One of the most important questions Jesus asks in all four gospels is his question to Peter in John’s gospel, ‘Do you love me?’ It is a question addressed to each one of us personally. We are all invited to make our own Peter’s response to Jesus’ question on that occasion, ‘Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you’.
Happy Feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary to all the Nazareth Lay Group.