Mass Readings: Jeremiah 20:10–13/John 10:31–42

Jerusalem, My Jerusalem

The dialogue in today’s Gospel occurs in Jerusalem’s Temple: “The feast of the Dedication was then taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon” (Jn 10:22–23). This happened several months before Passover but prepares us for the events in the upcoming Passion Week Gospels.

Jerusalem, the city and the metaphor, holds a special place in my heart. I first saw Jerusalem in the winter of 1965–66, when I was teaching at a Jesuit school in Baghdad. I last saw the city in 2000, when my wife Lesley and I were visiting her newly found family who had emigrated from Ukraine to Israel in the early 1990s. Each time the city prompted years of meditating on Jerusalem as a metaphor for heaven.

Prayer: Lord, we praise You for both Your earthly and heavenly Jerusalem.