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Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 RV 5:1-10
I, John, saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.
It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals.
Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice,
“Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth
was able to open the scroll or to examine it.
I shed many tears because no one was found worthy
to open the scroll or to examine it.
One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep.
The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed,
enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.”
Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne
and the four living creatures and the elders
a Lamb that seemed to have been slain.
He had seven horns and seven eyes;
these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world.
He came and received the scroll from the right hand
of the one who sat on the throne.
When he took it,
the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders
fell down before the Lamb.
Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense,
which are the prayers of the holy ones.
They sang a new hymn:
“Worthy are you to receive the scroll
and break open its seals,
for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God
those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.
You made them a kingdom and priests for our God,
and they will reign on earth.”
Gospel LK 19:41-44
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.
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.”

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
The story of God's love for us is a frequent subject of Scripture. Jesus's weeping in today's text emphasizes the depth of that love. He knew that Jerusalem would reject Him and suffer as a result of the decision. His sorrow is intense.

Could He intervene? Certainly. But God has given us free will and permits us to utilize it. In turn, however, we must live with the consequences of our choices. Jesus was sorry that Jerusalem would suffer because they chose poorly.

If you have ever watched someone engage in a self-destructive behavior, you know the feeling. You can see the person falling into a pit, but you are unable to change his/her course. You don't want to see them hurt, yet you know that lies ahead. You are angry, disappointed and frustrated all at the same time.

God sees us the same way. We have been given all of the tools we need to faithfully follow Him. Yet, sometimes, we don't use them. While forgiveness is always available to us because of God's boundless love, there is still the sense that we let God down when we choose the path leads us away from Him.

Lord, help me to follow You closely. Send Your Spirit to guide my choices. Thank You, for your steadfast love!