It seems like the calm before the storm. Our setting for this Sunday is almost homely, like a group of tourists appreciating a fine building. “Look” they say. “Look!” “Fine stonework, beautiful votive offerings.” We have all had similar experiences.
The setting, the situation, causes the great Prophet to reflect upon his destiny, and that of his beloved city. The physical journey to Jerusalem is accomplished. All that remains is, in a sense, the destruction of the Old Order represented by the Temple, and the beginning of the New Order in the impending death and resurrection of Jesus himself.
All of which must have been hard for the “some” to comprehend (and perhaps for us).
Jesus looked fine and healthy. No one seemed to be hassling him, no one complaining about his words or actions. Relatively peaceful. The Temple building reflected architectural solidarity and beauty, one of the great wonders of that age.
But…all was not as it seemed.
Jesus was given a mission and prophetic insight. The end of an era was at hand, the new era would be born like all new life in our world through pain before the joy of new life came forth.
An extraordinary moment in our history.
Many people have endured great suffering in accepting the call of the New Order. I wonder how many tears Jesus wept in knowing that his call to follow him would result in “men will seize you and persecute you…because of my name”. He did shed tears over his beloved Jerusalem. The call to the New Kingdom is not without a price, he soon sweated blood, but acceptance of the call gains rewards beyond our imagination.
We leave part one of the journey according to Luke today. Part two is summarised next Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King.
Take time this week to search out an action that you have accomplished this past year and, like the thief on the cross, hold it up to the crucified one and trust that you will hear the comforting words, “Indeed I promise you, today you will be with me in Paradise”.