“A large number of people followed Him, including women who mourned and wailed for Him. Jesus turned and said to them: ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep for yourselves and for your children.’ ” (LK 23: 27, 28)
Last year during Holy Week, I witnessed a bitter fruit of our nation’s idolatry. ‘Gay marriage’ advocates outnumbered us on the Mall in Washington DC while the Supreme Court gave every indication that marriage could and would be defined by any consumer-group (in this case, gay activists) that wanted it.
Nothing sacred about sex or the covenant that gives kids a chance for stability: since last April, the Supreme Court struck down Prop. 8 and DOMA and our nation followed suit. Sociologists claim that US public opinion on homosexuality has shifted faster than any other social issue. Ever. Nearly every protection for marriage and the freedom to define homosexual identity and practice as morally wrong has been burned in the fire of our idolatry.
We cry peace when there is none; we have been duped by the persuasive charms of those so intent on deconstructing gender that we are now considered bigots for clarifying the goal of human sexuality. On the altar of our nation we now worship a libidinous, transgender icon. We are sacrificing our children upon it. Weep over our national wound.
‘Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? Oh that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.’ (Jer. 8:22-9:1)
When we honor sexual unions that cannot engender life and that confuse the gender of both parties, we welcome the spirit of death. Through ‘gay marriage,’ ‘Death has entered in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has cut off our children from the streets and our young men from the public squares.’ (Jer. 9: 21)
As we follow Jesus to Calvary, we can and must weep for what has overtaken us. We have brought it on ourselves. We have committed idolatry and our wound is grave. Our hope now rests not in the government or the counsels of deceived prophets and pastors. Our hope lies in recognizing the trouble we are in—the wages of sin and death—and placing our hope wholly in the One who turns death around.
As a staff we are praying for all intercessors to weep and so inspire tears in the hearts of all who have a conscience. ‘Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes flow with tears and water streams from our eyelids.’ (Jer. 9: 17, 18)
We ask those gifted with tears to release that gift in us. Weeping over our idolatry seems the only apt response to the mess we have made. Through Your Cross, might you, O Jesus, assume our suffering and transform it into a gift of Life?
‘The fact that the Savior bore our sin, sorrow and death does not mean that we bear none of them; rather, it means that we are invited into that place (the Cross) where suffering is transfigured. We (the Church) are His Body. As such we share in His suffering for the life of the world.’ Thomas Howard
PRAYER for Maundy Thursday, April 17th: ‘Who is like You who washes the feet of His betrayers? We have betrayed You with our cowardly indifference. Wash us afresh. May Your mercy prime us and teach us to weep.’
PRAYER for Good Friday, April 18th: ‘Teach us to abide with You at Your Cross. Release water from our stony hearts. Make our hearts tender and our eyes wet with tears. You gave all to gain us.’
PRAYER for Holy Saturday, April 19th: ‘Teach us to linger with tears. Help us to wait, trusting that You will transform our suffering into Life for the world.’
Prayer for Easter, April 20th: ‘May new life spring forth from us as surely as You sprang forth from the tomb. Break chains with cords of compassion. Turn our mourning into dancing, our sorrow to joy. As we break fast, may feasting break out as we join in glorious celebration that You the abandoned are now reconciled to Your Father. And so are we, Your beloved brothers and sisters, united in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.