A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?” [Lk 23: 27-31] [1]

Am I without feeling, dry, arid, unmoved by this sight? I have become so inured, so callous, so bored of the passion story that I can no longer feel anything. Your passion is the green wood, alive to the moment, acted out in front of these witnesses.  Here I am two thousand plus years later…and no tears, no lamenting over Your suffering…for me, for my sins, for my salvation.  Just “Dah!”

Yet You are trying to get through to us.  We have not listened to You, our Word, nor to Your Scripture. But Your creation screams: “Repent, turn back before it is too late.  You have horded us, impoverished nations with us, gotten rich with us, misused us.  Our trees and green leaves try to soak up the results of your selfishness…but you cut them down and ravage the land.”

“Indeed, many will look to the sky and say ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.  How dare you bring into this polluted world a child that must live with your sins to the third and fourth generation.” [Ex 20:5; 34:7; Num 14:18; Deut 5:9].

“Avalanches on my mountains have indeed fallen on you. My icebergs, your source of fresh water, are covered with your pollution, are melting and falling on you.  My hills, saturated with your dust-caused rain, have buried you with mud and you do not heed.  My rain, bloated by rising temperatures, send tornados and hurricanes but You do not attend.  My oceans, once home to coral reefs and cleansing sea life, carries garbage to your shores and You do not care.

I weep for myself and for all; we are much more interested in our sheltered lives, bought at the price of the impoverished, the starving the thirsty, the millions of least of these, than in my Your words and warnings.  We are a hardened, sinful people.

Help us mourn.  This is not something that we can rectify on our own.  This dark night is a gift from God.  Like the single blossom on the white tree of Gondor, there is hope.  The King is coming.  All is not lost.  Mordor, the evil in the world, will not prevail.  We are called to the last battle, the battle for our children, our people, our world.  Let us heed the call.

Our cross must be carried in the halls of our Congress, in the Board Rooms of our Corporations, in the slums of our cities, in the oil rigs of the our ocean, in the carburetors of our cars. “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” The LORD says: “I am about to do something…that will make the ears of everyone who hears it ring.” [1 Sam 3:10-11]

“Therefore do not be afraid…Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. [Mt 10:26-28]

[1]Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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