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Neglect of Divine Warnings
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"For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:22)

 

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Neglect of Divine Warnings:
The Priests of the Congregation of Saint Paul (1886)

GOSPEL: (Luke 19:41-47) At that time:

When Jesus drew near Jerusalem, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are for thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee: and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: It is written: "My house is the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves”. And he was teaching daily in the temple.

Neglect of Divine Warnings

The Gospel to-day tells us, my dear brethren, that Jesus wept as he approached Jerusalem; not for himself, nor for all he was so soon to suffer there, but for the city itself, and for his chosen people, to whom he had given it for their glory and joy. Yes, this beautiful city was their joy and their pride; long before they had been taken from it into captivity by their enemies for a time, and as the Psalmist says, speaking in their name, "By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Sion." And he goes on: "If I forget thee, Jerusalem, may I forget my right hand; may my tongue cleave to my mouth if I do not remember thee, if I do not make Jerusalem the beginning of my joy."

And now this city of theirs was to be taken from them again by a more grievous and fatal disaster than it had ever yet suffered. They were to be scattered from it all over the world to do a long penance for their sins and their rejection of him who had come to redeem them. And our Divine Lord s Heart yearned for them, for these his creatures, and at the same time his brethren and his countrymen. Fain would he have saved them, if they would but have been willing, from the terrible sufferings they were to undergo. Gladly, as he says himself, would he have sheltered them, if they would even now have come to him, from the tempest which was about to break upon them from the justice of God. He wept because they would not come and avail themselves of his love.

We should pray for them that the day may be hastened when they shall return and acknowledge their true Messias, their own Lord and Master, the only true King of the Jews. But they are not the only ones to weep for; they are not the only ones whom he has loaded with favors, and who have been ungrateful; there are others besides the Jews whom Almighty God has chosen for his people, but who have rejected him and distressed his loving heart.

Who are they? They are in general all sinners, but especially such as are Catholics; they are those souls for whom Jesus has done so much from their earliest years, in the midst of whom he has lived and wrought so many works of power and goodness; those whom he has enlightened with his truth, those whom he has warned against sin, those whom he has borne with so long and forgiven so often, those whom he has fed with his own Body and Blood. And yet, through evil habits, by frequent mortal sin, they live on, deaf to his warnings, despising his love, not knowing the time of their visitation, until evil days and a sad ending come upon them. Can we wonder that their enemies, the evil one and their bad habits, compass them round about, and straiten them on all sides, and beat them down and leave them wasted and desolate? Can we wonder that, since they would not bear the sweet and ennobling yoke of Christ, they will be forced to groan in the fetters of Satan and be exiled forever from the true Jerusalem, the home of peace, which is above? No, brethren; such is the fate of those who persistently abuse God's grace, who reject his mercy and his efforts to save them. God forbid that such a career, such an ending, be ours. Let us, then, take warning; let us be careful about temptations; let us not presume on our own strength nor on God s goodness in the past; let us not make light of anything which is dangerous or forbidden. Let us endeavor not to grieve our Lord by any infidelity, great or small, but try to be faithful to every grace in this the day of our visitation, and to follow the things that are for our peace here and our happiness hereafter.

 

(Five-Minute Sermons: Low Masses: All Sundays of the Year - Volume II
The Priests of the Congregation of Saint Paul - 1886
)


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