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Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, who weep for him

Jesus looks at us and evokes tears of conversion

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 23:27-31

There followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

* * *

Jesus our Master, on the way to Calvary, continues to teach us what it is to be human. Meeting the women of Jerusalem and casting his gaze of truth and mercy upon them, he accepts every tear of compassion shed for him. The God who wept over Jerusalem[1] now directs the tears of those women away from fruitless outward pity. He invites them to see in him the fate of the innocent man unjustly condemned and then seared, like green wood, by the “chastisement that makes us whole”.[2] He helps them to look to the dry wood of their own hearts in order to experience the life-giving pain born of compunction.
Our sorrow is authentic when we weep not only to confess our sin but also to express heartfelt anguish. Such tears are blessed, like the tears of Peter, a sign of repentance and a pledge of conversion, and they renew within us the grace of our Baptism.

Jesus most humble,
in your body, afflicted and abused,
disgraced and scorned,
we are unable to see
the wounds of our own infidelity and ambition,
our betrayal and our rebellion.
Your wounds cry out,
pleading for the balm of our conversion,
yet today we no longer know how to weep for our sins.

Come, Spirit of Truth,
pour out upon us the gift of Wisdom!
In the light of your saving Love,
make us aware of our own wretchedness,
grant us “the tears that take away guilt,
the weeping that merits forgiveness”![3]



Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Eia, mater, fons amoris,
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

[1] Cf. Lk 19:41.

[2] Is 53:5.

[3] Cf. SAINT AMBROSE, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, X, 90.


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