"As long as man continues to live unreflectively and superficially, he
will not feel the need to cry out in tears and in a constant yearning for
(Listen Prophets. George Maloney,
S.J.; pp. 47-48)
The most amazing things can happen at
the "feet of Jesus":
"Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them."
"At his feet" we
learn to beg, to plead, to intercede for those whom we hold in our hearts:
"Jairus came forward. Seeing him he fell at
his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, "My daughter is at the
point of death…" (Mk. 5:22-23); and, "Soon a woman whose daughter had an
unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet…and she
begged him…(Mk. 7:25,26).
"At his feet"--at
"the lowest place" (Luke. 14:10)-- in sincere humility of heart, we also learn
to weep for our sins and those of the whole world:
"Now there was a sinful
woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the
Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at
his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then
she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with ointment"
At the feet of Jesus
we are in the presence of pure Love, Truth, and Holiness: We are in the
Presence of God. Sin takes place in the context of a relationship; for, sin is
the betrayal of a sacred trust. So too, authentic compunction, repentance,
contrition and reconciliation take place in the context of a relationship:
"Yet even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping,
and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your
Through heart-felt repentance at the
"feet of Jesus" we experience a "home coming": Here, we experience re-union and
re-orientation. We experience "Incarnation-al clarity": We begin to see more
clearly whom Jesus really is--Son of God, Savior, Saving Love and Mercy; we see
whom we are in our true identity; and we are inspired to pray and to weep for
others: To "weep with those who weep" (Rom. 12:15); and, to "sow in tears" (Ps.
126:5).At his feet we experience
forgiveness and freedom, and we are awakened with a new desire to pray for--to
weep for--others, that they, too, can experience this same "fragrant freedom"
in their lives.
Like the sinful woman in St. Luke's
Gospel, we must come to the "feet of Jesus" with our "tears and ointment":
Tears of repentance and ointment of sacrificial love. "At his feet" we experience
unconditional acceptance and absolution. Hence, we learn to identify with--to
have a heart for--others who are bound up in their own sinful attitudes and
choices: "At his feet" we learn compassion for others, and experience
re-integration with God, self, and humanity. "At his feet", the Spirit-led
grace of heart-felt repentance releases the "real me"--my true heart: The forgiven
child of God. When we wash Jesus' feet with our "tears and ointment" in sincere
sorrow, we can then go forth to "wash the feet of others" (see John. 13: 4-5)
through intercessory prayer.
"At his feet" we learn how to "take a
stand" in intercessory prayer for the salvation of souls. A repentant heart is
heard in the presence of the Father who, in the inner room of our hearts, sees
in secret: "I will weep in secret many tears; my eyes will run with tears for
the LORD'S flock" (Jr. 13:17).
Jesus, who is without sin, learned how
to weep for the sins of the world:
"In the days when he was in the
flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to
the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his
And, to weep for his
"As he drew near, he saw the
city and wept over it, saying, "If this day you only knew what makes for
For us, reverence
comes as a fruit of a deep, heart-felt repentance. "Jesus learned how to beg
forgiveness of the Father for the ignorance of [humanity]" (Listen Prophets.
George Maloney, S.J.; p. 52): "Father, forgive them, they know not what they
do" (Luke. 23:34).
Forgiven and free, we must seek "to
remain in a state of weeping before the Lord, begging pardon for [our] sins and
those of the rest of the human race"(Listen Prophets, p.50). Who will
kneel before God for our nation, plead for his pardon, mourn for the immoral
misdeeds and misery of our day--the iniquity of our age--and cry out for the
conversion of our country? Who will fall "at his feet", wail over the
wickedness in our world--travail over the transgressions of our times--with
1) Is heart-felt
repentance a part of my prayer on a regular basis?
2) Lord, teach me
how to pray for my nation, and for our world.
Any scripture from
the teaching text; Jr. 14:7; Mt. 5:4; John. 16: 20