Ecclesiasticus 50: 22-24
Luke 19: 41-44


If we have the chance to read the entire Gospel of Luke, we can say he has a unique approach of presenting Jesus by dedicating ten chapters to the final journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. Today’s Gospel is situated within this Lucan travel narrative, and it started with, “he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it. Luke wanted us to observe vividly the true human nature of Jesus. He used the Greek word κλαυσεν from its root verb κλαίω which means intense sobbing; a kind of weeping that suddenly seizes a person who cries to lose control and cry out loud. Isn’t this interesting to know that Jesus has intense emotions to the point of uncontrollable sobbing? It is not just a mere simple cry with a misty eye but uncontrollable sobbing, and it follows, why Jesus cried that much? “…if you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace…” It is His unending desire for peace and unbounded love for Jerusalem who in turn rejected Him and thus, missed its opportunity for peace. It’s ironic that Jerusalem, whose Hebraic name means city of peace has been plagued with war for so long. This allows us to understand why Jesus sobbed uncontrollably because he is filled with sympathy and shares in the anguish and sorrow of his own people.

Have you ever been in a situation where you or someone you know experienced intense emotions and you didn’t know how to handle it? Perhaps you found yourself standing with someone who was crying uncontrollably, wondering whether to comfort them with a reassuring touch or a few kind words. It can be a challenging experience, but it’s one that many of us have faced at one time or another.

As we examine the current state of warring nations, especially in the place of Jesus, we read in the newspaper or watch on Television the dire plight of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, and as we confront the grim reality of countless casualties, we cannot help but feel a sense of urgency to act.  Although many of us may not have the power to control what is going on in our troubled world, we can still make an impact through prayer and openness to what Jesus has brought to us. Despite being written over a couple of millennia, the message of Luke’s Gospel in this passage remains powerful and relevant today, revealing that true peace can only be found in Jesus. 

Let me end this reflection with a song I learned in Catechism when I was young: “My peace I give unto you. It’s a peace that the world cannot give. It’s a peace that the world cannot understand. Peace to know, peace to live, My peace I give unto you…”

Sr Rosana Estoque CP is a Passionist Religious, and the Pastoral Associate at St.Brtigid’s Chruch, Marrickville.