Jerusalem was in the news again the other day when five people died and eight more were wounded in a brutal attack on a synagogue there. The two assailants were also killed. It was a tragic and a very ironic event. Tragic, because of the senselessness of it all. Ironic, because Jerusalem is the Holy City for Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. How can all these people, believing in one God and proclaiming His greatness and love, be forever at each others throat? How can such a holy and revered place be a sign of so much contradictions? Indeed, like Jesus, one can only weep in sorrow.
At this very center of where God had revealed Himself to us, He challenges us. Can we have a faith stronger than all the biases and prejudices that have kept us separate and isolated from one another? Can we have a love that is stronger than all the anger and the hatred we might have caused in each others’ hearts? Beyond our differences and disagreements, can we not see that we are all brothers believing in the same God who made us all?
And all this carnage and hatred has been going on centuries with no signs of abating. Will it even end at all? What will it take to heal all the hurts and ease all the sufferings in the Holy City? I have no answers but the pain I feel in my heart. I bring this pain to my Sacred Space and offer it to God.
Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy.
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.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”