(Here is another good blog post, this time by Rev. Eckhardt. The original can be found here )
While preparing and preaching the St. Luke 19 Gospel about Jesus'
weeping over Jerusalem, I also happened, coincidentally, to have been
reading through Jeremiah and Lamentations. When you get your fill of
lachrymose prophecies in one week, it's kind of hard to escape the fact
that divine sorrow (and anger) erupt not so much over those who have no
religion as over those who do.
Jerusalem, the object of weeping
in both Jeremiah's and Jesus' case, was for all intents and purposes the
capital of religious life. "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the
Lord, the temple of the Lord," was the refrain to which the prophet
referred, and when our Lord dropped in on the holy place, he didn't find
it empty. It was full of bustling commerce.
means nothing to God if it is not centered in the true religion,
notwithstanding the fervor of those religious convictions. It was,
after all, out of ostensibly religious convictions that the Jews
insisted that Jesus be crucified.
And here we are a religious nation, and a people whom Gallup would tell us are among the more religious people on earth.
so what? Jesus wept over the religion he saw, and soon his sadness
turned to anger, when he lost his temper in the temple.
Isn't it all rather chilling?
seems to me that sincerity and fervency mean little to him, if their
object is not the things which belong unto our peace. Those are the
things, we are reminded by the same evangelist, of which the angels sang
in Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus.
Hence it behooves us not to be swayed by sincerity or fervency, but only by the truth of the Gospel.