As a child, I loved it when we got a visit from friends and family members, usually on the weekend. It broke the routine and brought joy and warmth into my life. Visits connect us with each other and deepen relationships.
In our own times, we connect through technology, which is good, but can’t replace the physical , face to face contact. Visits have depth when our whole bodies are involved, when we can see the reaction in faces as dialogue is occurring. A text just can’t do it!
In the gospel today, jesus is weeping, yes, he is crying , because he knows the people don’t get it. They have been visited by God in a unique and powerful manner: through the humanity of jesus. But they are blind to this divine and human “visitation .” Jesus weeps not only because his people, particularly some of the leaders , can’t penetrate his true identity, but because WE, also, are missing out. This text and many others in the gospels are used to promote a vile , anti Semitic attitude because the focus becomes the people in the past who rejected jesus: the Chosen People…the Jews.
Jesus is weeping NOW , because we are no different. God is visiting us everyday through all the many human encounters possible that are lost because we live in an enclosed world of technology. Put down your E Book and go to a real live bookstore and connect with people. Be a part of community. Let God “visit ” you through the many strangers who cross our paths. I just got back from a “visit” to Barnes and Noble and I felt a joy seeing people at tables talking, some browsing, others in the children’s section reading to their children. The young woman who waited on me was so kind and friendly.
What a difference this “visit ” made on my day. It led me to this reflection.
God is visiting us through our President’s address to the Nation tonight which will further the cause of coming to a just solution to the millions of undocumented immigrants. They are already a part of the fabric of our culture and way of life. This immigration debate needs to recognize that children are involved, as well as, hard working men and women. God visits us most especially through those who are hidden and vulnerable.
Laws can and do change. The unjust laws that promoted racial and gender discrimination had to be “broken” and changed. Where would we be today if these laws weren’t changed ? They were changed because they were challenged. Part of the law regarding those who want a path to citizenship is about to change. God is visiting us.
Jesus weeps today when we fail to be the instrument of God’s visitation. Yes, God is visiting His people through YOU… through Your humanity…through your compassion … Through your kindness and generosity to strangers. When YOU become the means for God to visit His people…God doesn’t weep but rejoice.
Buen camino. Padre