(Rome) Some thoughts by he famous historian Roberto de Mattei on Good Friday. From the site “Dominus flevit” on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus saw Jerusalem and wept over it as He was preparing a triumphal entry, from this very place Roberto de Mattei attempts this Good Friday to present his view of the world and especially the Church today.
Easter: Jesus weeps over Jerusalem
by Roberto de Mattei
Actually it should be a moment of greatest joy: Jesus enters into Jerusalem, where He received the encouragement and the enthusiasm of the crowd. Today, He is the most popular man in Jerusalem. But Jesus can not be deceived by the flattery. The world applauded him, but He does not like the fact He does not boast of this success. During the triumphal descent to the temple, Jesus viewed the city of Jerusalem from the height of the western slope of the Mount of Olives, where the places of his impending suffering was: the neat building of the temple of Herod the sparkling residence, the sober square of the fortress Antonia, the seat of the Roman garrison.
Et ut appropinquavit, videns Civitatem flevit super illam (Lk 19,41). When Jesus saw the city of Jerusalem, he suddenly wept over it. He Who weeps there is not any man, nor a supreme secular authority: It is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Word made flesh, the God-man, in whom is summarized the entirety of history. His weeping has a meaning that relates to the history of all centuries. Jesus wept as a child in the manger of Bethlehem. Bethany witnessed the tears which He shed on the death of Lazarus. The tears accompany His passion. But this time it is a different weeping. He weeps over the city that was before him like no other city: it is Jerusalem, the Holy City of the chosen people, the spiritual center of the world. Jesus weeps because of the punishment that awaits Jerusalem, but the main reason of his tears are the sins that are insulting God, they are the reason for that penalty.
The smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God and obscured the eyes of the high priest. Through tears and sobs Jesus said: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if even you, had only recognized on this day, what brings you peace. But now they are hidden before thine eyes”(Lk 19,42) That’s like saying: If you only knew the things I know about you, then you would no doubt weep, just as I weep now. But all this is hidden from you, as a punishment for your sins. Why do you not cry, do not regret and will not have taken advantage of your penitence and your pain. In the Hosanna cries of the crowd, Jesus responds with the prophecy of the inevitable punishment for the unfaithful city: “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a Wall about you and encompass you and hem you in on every side. They will crush you and your children within you, and no stone will be left in you over the other, because you did not recognize the time of grace.” (Luke 19.43-44).
Jesus knows the terrible trials that await Him. But that is not why He is crying. He does not cry for himself, because of the pains that await Him, the suffering that awaits Him, He weeps over the fate of the Holy City. Can there be a greater proof of love for Jerusalem? Nevertheless, this boundless love can not turn away the infinite justice of God. God is not only infinitely merciful, but also infinitely just, because He is infinitely holy. And Jerusalem will not be spared because of its sins.
Today, there is another city, about which there is need to cry. It is the city of which we spoke in the Third Secret of Fatima. That “big, half-ruined city”, which the Pope crosses, “half-pressed trembling with halting step, with pain and sorrow,” and “for the souls of the corpses” he prays, ” for those he encounters on his way.” What does this mysterious city that is half in ruins mean? Does it mean a city, a culture, or even the Church of Christ? Only the future will reveal the dramatic mystery. Today is the hour of tears. The tears bring the seriousness of the tragic and dramatic situation expressed in the houses the world.
It is not the hour of euphoria and illusions, but neither of the irreverent sarcasm or useless controversies among Christians. It is the moment of mourning and weeping. The tears arise from the pain. And if the tears are a gift, so the pain is a feeling that needs to be nurtured by knowing the things that concern us: therefore let us waiver not to exert our reason, but we base our faith in reason and we enlighten our reason with our faith. May the Mother of God grant us this grace in the hour of the Passion of Christ and the Church.
Text: Corrispondenza Romana
translation: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Ars Cristiana
Translation: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org