Jerusalem, God's Holy City

Homily for Tuesday of the 26th Week of Ordinary Time

The reading from the prophet Zechariah, our response from Psalm 87, and the Gospel of St. Luke all focus our attention on the city of Jerusalem or as it is also known, Mt. Zion.

Zechariah tells us that a time is coming when people of every nation will ask the Jewish people to be allowed to follow them to Jerusalem because they have heard that God is with them. The ancient walls of prejudice will break down and all men and women from all over the world will recognize that God lives within the walls of Jerusalem. Each ancient religion believed that their particular god dwelt in their respective temple and that the entrance to heaven was directly above that temple. So Zechariah is telling of a day when everyone will recognize the God of Israel.

The Gospel of St. Luke also tells us of Jesus’ decision to go to Jerusalem. This is the turning point in St. Luke’s Gospel. From this point onward, Jesus’ destination is the focal point of St. Luke’s concerns. Although Jesus will arrive in triumph when he enters Jerusalem, we know that the triumph will culminate in his crucifixion and death. Jesus goes to Jerusalem to reveal God as a merciful and forgiving God who welcomes all who will walk with Jesus and carry a cross to Calvary.

Psalm 87 points our response to these readings by asking us to remember that all of us have experienced a spiritual rebirth through Jerusalem and all for which it stands. This is the Lord’s city, the place in which God is revealed to us and which asks us to proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus, the very essence of our faith. It is through our Eucharist that we make this proclamation to the world.

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

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