Daily Reflection
November 20th, 2003
Andy Alexander, S.J.
University Ministry and the Collaborative Ministry Office
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1 Maccabees 2:15-29
Psalm 50:1-2, 5-6, 14-15
Luke 9:41-44

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."  
Luke 9

Today it seems easy to contemplate the gospel story.  I can picture Jesus grieving over Jerusalem, over so many cities in our world, over my country, over my house.  As I imagine the scene, and let Jesus say more, it becomes so clear that his isn't being "judgmental" or condemnatory.  He's grieving.  I can hear the sadness in his voice.  "Such a loss."  I try to imagine the depth of his desires.  It is quite wonderful to reflect upon how much good, how much community, now much unity Jesus desires, in my house, and throughout the world.  Those good things, including peace itself, seem to be "hidden" from our eyes.  

As I really get into this contemplation, and it becomes vivid and real, I start to get bolder.  "Tell me, Lord, what is hidden from our eyes?  What makes for peace?"  With a loving connection of our eyes - which I choose to enjoy for some time - he returns the question, "What do you think it is?  What always gives peace a chance, that seems to be hidden from your eyes?"  Loving a "problem to solve," I go right to my head and try to "figure it out."  

Jesus smiles at me again with that engaging look of love.  "Before you try to solve it, like a rational diagnostician, just feel the question first."  Being quite familiar with how he likes to stop me in my tracks, and give me a taste of "humility" before I ever get started being "clever" with a quick answer, this time I smile back at him with genuine love.  I love being in this place.   I love these moments when I started to wrestle with a problem and slip into "intimacy."  I'm rarely that "un-guarded," but being "tricked" into this affectionate place with Jesus is just great.

"I know what it is, Lord.  Right now,  just sitting here with you, I feel so safe and so secure.  And, I know that you know what I have sitting over there at my desk and the list of things waiting for me tomorrow and next week.  Every one of those things seem to want to 'test' me, to challenge my patience or my resilience, my own inner sense of safety, security, and peace.  And, after a while, they can just make me harder and less resilient.  Before long, my guard is up, and I'm defensive.  But, when I'm sitting here with you, just enjoying your love, enjoying you, I feel much freer."

Now he's really smiling at me - well, with a smile that let's me know it is okay to keep going deeper, because I'm not quite there yet.

"Okay, it was that small taste of humility that freed me up.  As long as I keep trying to be 'in control' or to hang on to the appearance that I'm on top of things,  then I'm not seeing you and your love for me.  What 'makes for peace' is the peace you give me - that inner peace that dis-arms me and lets me be secure at being vulnerable - woundable. "

And Jesus comes over to me and puts his arm around me and puts his face so very close to mine and asks, "And, the reason that I grieve over today's Jerusalems?"  Quickly overcoming my embarrassment at simple answers, I say, "Because it is all such a loss.  You really want to make us all secure and safe in your love.  We don't need to fight about who's right about anything, if we are at peace in our hearts.  And when we are all humbled by our folly, then we can be more peaceful, because you are the Lover of us all."

It is wonderful how he just keeps smiling at me, in a way that encourages me to try this out today, to give peace a chance, and to keep telling him what I'm learning.

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