Evensong for Peace

-- by Jean Annette Rudolph, OP


Luke 20: 41-44

Coming within sight of the city, he (Jesus) wept over it and said: "If only you had known the path to peace this day but you have completely lost it from view! Days will come upon you when your enemies encircle you with a rampart, hem you in, and press you hard from every side. They will wipe you out, you and your children, and leave not a stone on a stone within you, because you failed to recognize the time of your visitation.


The image of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem reminds me of a story I read in the POINTS TO PONDER section of The Reader's Digest. It tells of an elderly man weeping at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington.

A young man, moved by the sight, walks over to the old man, puts his hand on his shoulder and gently asks: "One of yours, Sir?" The old man answers softly: " Not ONE of them, son! ALL of them."

Today, weeping is heard in Darfur, in Iraq, in Palestine, in Israel, in places of unrest throughout the world, Rachel weeping for her children who are no more. It is natural to weep for the innocent, for the victims; but, who weeps for the terrorists, the suicide bombers, the Saddams, the Osammas?

A dialogue from "Raisin in the Sun" jolted me into deeper reflection on God's all-embracing love. Mamma is chiding her daughter about forgiveness: "There is always something left to love. And if you ain't learned that, you ain't learned nothing. Have you cried for that boy today? ... Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easier for everybody? Well, then, you ain't through learning --because that's not the time at all. It's when he's at his lowest … When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is!"

God's love is like this. For us, this is hard, really hard. But, if we don't love them, ALL of them, pray for them, weep for them, who will?

And coming within sight of the city, Jesus wept over it and said: " If only you had known the path to peace this day…"

Let us share God's peace with one another.