I have been teaching long enough, that my former students are now grown adults, raising families of their own. There’s a certain sense of satisfaction and pride, as I witness on the one hand, people that I remember as young adolescents seeking to find out how to live their life, and now watching them raise their own children. Many of you have seen the same cycle in your own lives. For those of you who are parents, when your children are grown and have children of their own, I would suspect that there is a certain sense of pride as you see your own children rise to the occasion, becoming great parents, in raising your grandchildren. And as you watch your grandchildren challenge your children in the very same ways that your children challenged you, you might even take a little bit of satisfaction.
Unfortunately, there are also moments, when grandparents witnessed their grandchildren, or their own children, or in my case a teacher who witnesses a former student, who winds up in a great deal of trouble. Sad to say, I have also had former students who threw very bad choices, have found themselves in a very difficult place. Just as there is a certain type of pride that exists when students succeed, there is a deep sadness that occurs when students do not. I know that this sadness exists also for parents when their children don’t live up to their expectations. I know for many parents, who have grown adult children, there can be a deep sadness when they’re grown adult children do not embrace the faith in the way that they do.
At this stage in the Gospels, Jesus finds himself looking over Jerusalem. And as he considers what appears to be inevitably his fate, he is filled with sadness, as he realizes what could have been. Because God has made us free, and the people of Jerusalem were also free, they are able to reject Jesus. And so, is not unusual for Jesus to be sad. It is a natural human instinct to want to protect those we love. As Jesus becomes more conscious of the fate that awaits him, namely his passion and death on the cross, he is filled with sadness of those who might experience similar suffering.