These readings are evidence for the notion in Ignatian Spirituality that we are “Loved Sinners,” creatures of God who loves us even when we don’t love or obey God in return.
Paul says that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God.” And Jesus, after being told that Herod wants to put him to death, mourns for Jerusalem, the city where Old Testament prophets had often been killed, saying “How many times I yearned to gather your children together . . . but you were unwilling!” And then Jesus predicts the abandonment, the destruction, of Jerusalem, promising that before that he will come back to the city. Jesus adds, “You will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” In hindsight, we know Jesus is referring to the first Palm Sunday, when he made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
The same people who greeted him so enthusiastically that day would just a few days later cry out, “Crucify him, crucify him.” But through the preaching of the Spirit-filled Apostles on the First Pentecost, they will be offered another chance to believe and to be Christ’s followers, despite their sinfulness.
—Fr. Michael A. Vincent, S.J. serves as associate pastor of the Church of the Gesu, University Heights, OH.