The Temple, The Jews, And The Pope.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
Our Lord beholds Jerusalem, and cries. He is not simply sad, or disappointed. He is afflicted to the point of crying.
He proceeds, then, to tell why, and he make a chilling prophecy: this mighty city will be besieged, and after the siege it will be completely destroyed, with not even children being spared.
Why is this? Because “thou knewest not the time of thy visitation”.
If one believes in the Gospel (and I am sure there are around Catholics who do not; or do not really; or do only when it is convenient to them) you must realise that the extremely clear words of Our Lord mean very simply that Jerusalem has not recognised the Lord, and therefore it is be destroyed and countless suffering inflicted upon its inhabitant, as a fitting punishment for their collective wickedness.
Note here the absolute absence of gandhi-like good-ism. The punishment will be terrible. The destruction thorough. The sins of the fathers will be visited upon the sons. Not even the children will be spared.
Now, if you are a “progressive” “c”atholic you will obviously think that Jesus was anti-Semite, or otherwise very prejudiced; or, more probably, you will say that this is not what Jesus really said, and some evil Evangelist or racist compiler must have caused the whole mess. But if you are a good Christian, you will simply know that the Scripture isn’t questioned, because God would never allow supposed evil Evangelists or racist compilers to transmit to us an adulterated Truth.
There can, therefore, be no doubt that the Jews are punished for not recognising Christ. They are punished in the harshest, and I mean truly harshest of ways.
In 70 A.D. the Romans besiege Jerusalem. The prophecy is fulfilled to the word. It is a short siege, and in the same year in which it started the siege ends with the conquest of the city.
The Romans, fed up with the continuous rebelliousness of the Jews more than 130 years after Pompey had put the place under de facto Roman domination, went on the job with Roman thoroughness. They made the point particularly forcefully by breaking the strongest taboo of the Jews, on which their entire religion hinged: they destroyed the temple, brought the spoils to Rome, and celebrated the feat with a solemn procession over there, as clearly seen in the reliefs of Titus’ Arch in Rome.
There could have been not only no worse military defeat, but even no worse religious humiliation for the Jews, whose entire religion was made to pieces in front of their very eyes as the Temple was reduced to rubble and ruins.
I have already written how the renting in two of the temple veil spells the symbolic end of the Old Covenant, opening the sancta sanctorum whose function of sacred space has now clearly ended. But in this post I would like to stress out another one or two inconvenient truths:
1. The untold humiliation is prophesied by Jesus, and
2. It is declared by Him the fitting punishment for not recognising Christ.
These are the crude facts. There is no fluffing around. They may be embarrassing for wannabe political correct “c”atholics who are little more than heathens, but it is what it is.
Judaism has no reason to be. It is past “sell by” date, big time. The point has been made from Jesus and the Roman legions so clearly, that only the professional blind can refuse to see it.
Whilst there can be (obviously) birth or (less obviously) invincible ignorance, there is no valid motive for being a Jew. No more than there is for being a Muslim, a Hindu, or a Sikh. We Christians may look at Judaism as certainly, and for obvious reasons, nearer to Christianity than Islam or Hinduism; but Judaism is nevertheless a different religion and, just to leave out any doubt, a false one.
There is only one way, and it is Christ. Not recognising Christ led the Jews to untold suffering. They follow a wrong religion. They are conversion material. That’s it. There’s no way you can get around this.
Would I expect Francis to go to Jerusalem and say all these things to the Jews? Well, not necessarily. The Pope is also a Head of State, and the rules of diplomacy demand that he, whenever in his official role of Head of State, behaves according to the rules of diplomacy.
But then again this was a visit officially considered as “purely religious”, but with meetings with the heads of both the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, it wasn’t so “purely religious” after all.
If you ask me, a Pope could, and perhaps should, meet everyone: Jews, Hindus, Sikh, and the like. But he should meet them to bring Christ to them, not to hide Christ from them. If this is not possible for whatever reason, then there should be no meeting, because the evangelisation should be the priority, and if there can be no evangelisation there can only be confusion, and the further spreading of the diffused heresy that everyone is fine where he is, provided he is a nice chap with a good heart.
I wonder if Francis ever stopped to ponder over Jesus’ words above. If he did, he will have to recognise that the Jews were met with a horrible punishment and untold humiliation because of their refusal to recognise Christ.
One wonders what the punishment of a Pope will be who, in the very same place, does pretty much the same.