As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
(Luke 19:41-44)

Scripture Study

As Jesus enters Jerusalem, He weeps and delivers a lament.
19:43 they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides Jesus probably is describing the Romans’ destruction of Jerusalem that will occur in ad 70 (about 40 years later).

19:44 your children within you Jesus is addressing the city itself; the reference to children indicates Jerusalem’s inhabitants, the Jews. The language is reminiscent of several OT passages (e.g., Psa 137:9; Hos 10:14; Nah 3:10). 

Scripture Reflection

because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” Lk 19:44

These historical events will be a punishment for Jerusalem failing to recognize the time of its visitation, that is, for closing its gates to the salvific coming of the Redeemer. Jesus loved the Jews with a very special love, they were the first to whom the Gospel was preached. To them, he directed his ministry and he showed by his word and by his miracles that he was the Son of God and the Messiah foretold in the Scriptures.

But the Jews, for the most part, failed to appreciate the grace the Lord was offering them. Their leaders led them to the extreme of calling for Jesus to be crucified. Jesus visits every one of us. He comes as our Savior; He teaches us through the preaching of the Church; He gives us forgiveness and grace through the sacraments. We should not reject our Lord, we should not remain indifferent to his visit.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.