One of the goals of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola is for the retreatant, in prayer, to share the experiences of Jesus Christ, inasmuch as the condition of the retreat allows, and inasmuch as God, in His grace, bestows. This means feeling joyful with Christ joyful, angry with Christ in anger, pain with Christ suffering, etc.
The purpose of this reflection, today, is to challenge you to feel sadness with Christ weeping. Luke’s gospel tells us of the journey Jesus took to Jerusalem, the holy city, the place where he will ultimately be crucified. Luke tells us that when Jesus was approaching Jerusalem, when he finally saw the city, he wept for it (Luke 19:41-44). The text does not say that Jesus, who was from a small town, felt excitement or that he was dazzled by the immensity of the city. It says that he wept. His sadness stemmed from his knowledge that Jerusalem would not “recognize the time of its visitation.” In other words, he wept because he knew that the majority of the inhabitants would not accept the salvation he was about to offer them.
Do you think that Jesus was right to weep? If so, can you join him in feeling this way when you, yourself, visit a great city? Or are you so lost in enthusiasm and admiration for the cultural achievements that the city contains? “Children, be on your guard against idols” (1John 5:21).