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  • Writer's picturePhil



Large numbers of people followed him,

including women, who mourned and lamented for him.

But Jesus turned to them and said,

“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me;

weep rather for yourselves and for your children.” (Luke 23:27-28)


The tears of the women stream down their faces;

they are bereft, consumed by the sadness of aching hearts,

by the loss of someone so dear.

Jesus’ response seems very odd;

don’t weep for me, but for yourselves and for your children.

By the time Luke’s Gospel was set down in writing

the listeners would know that the Jewish Temple at the heart of Jerusalem

had been destroyed, in 70AD, with children killed and much of Jerusalem in ruins.

Jesus prophesies this, and he shows us that even as he journeys to Calvary

his thoughts are not about himself, but others.

As we weep in these days of Covid Pandemic,

can we also look beyond our own grief and suffering, our own broken hearts,

and weep for those who are alone, weep for those in countries with few hospitals and scarce medical supplies, weep for those who have no more tears to cry,

weep knowing that even in his moments of greatest agony,

Jesus is thinking about us, consoling us, grieving with us.

ARCHBISHOP OSCAR ROMERO,who was assassinated this day in 1980,

on the steps of San Salvador Cathedral, was a faithful servant of God's Kingdom,

who, in the faces of the poor glimpsed the disfigured face of Christ’,

writes his biographer, Jon Sobrino.

Romero put himself on the side of the poor,

and a short time afterwards was shot in his church in El Salvador,

at the orders of corrupt leaders.

“A Church that doesn’t provoke any crisis;

A Gospel that doesn’t unsettle,

A word of God that doesn’t get under any one’s skin,

A word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society around us,

What Gospel is that!?

The Gospel of Christ is courageous,

The good news of Him who came to transform. - Saint Oscar Romero

"To go through life with open eyes, to discern Christ in unimportant people

and, alert, to do the right thing at the right time:

that is what praying and watching is about. Saint Oscar Romero

Weep for the children who are abused.

Weep for the women who are victimised.

Weep for men and women who suffer from the tyranny of today’s body image

that controls their lives and prevents them from feeling lovable.

Weep for the young who cannot find a job or a way in life.

Weep for the old who are forgotten.

Weep for people who starve in the shadow of abundance.

Weep for people who are homeless, in exile or seeking refuge.

Weep for them.


Lord, open our hearts to the suffering of all people in our world.

Give us the generosity of spirit to help us recognise their pain,

the courage to challenge the systems that place intolerable burdens on them

and the compassion to support them.

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