Jesus meets his mother, Jesus meets the holy woman, and Veronica cleans the face of Jesus with her veil. Mary, mother of the Lord never far from his side. Mary and the Immaculate Conception, Mary carried Jesus in her womb. Mary caries many thing’s in her heart, a phrase from scripture. Mary, Theotokos. Mary, image and patron of His Church. The Church, a repository and magisterium of the faith. Mary, mother of God. Jesus meets with His mother on the Stations of the Cross. Veronica, moved by emotion wipes the face of the Lord and receives an impression of His face on that veil. An impression as image and as emotion, something recorded and something to be passed down. It is a document of sorts, and documents are created with a purpose. They are to be read and recited and decoded and prayed . They have meaning, and a thought might be of the Icons of the Byzantine tradition or the stained glass of the western. Those Icons carry a lesson to be learned, and that precious veil was entrusted to Veronica. Something to ponder. The holy women, what was it that they received? They received a command, one as important as those given to Moses. The LORD tells them not to weep for Him, but to weep for their children. That is command and mission. They are tears that inspire action to continue His sacred mission, those Holy Women receive His Word. Three stations, of the Cross.. .
Good Friday isn’t a day I will say much about, it is the beginning of a great contemplative silence. It leaves one speechless, exhausted, and on ones knees. A very powerful day indeed. Today at the stations of the cross a collection was taken up for the holy lands. Its a tradition. This year those same lands have dominated the press. The announcement of this collection took on a bit more relevance. The violence of contemporary today can be viewed in the light of the day today commemorates. Certainly there is the Christian persecution that is the object of so many prayers and petitions. Today it seems thoughts drifted into another direction, to all of the residents of that troubled land. I thought of Christians persecuted for their faith, and the Jews who experience the same. I also thought of the Muslims who did not subscribe to their fundamentalist brethren’s agenda. Those that quietly live out their faith in harmony with other faith traditions. I view their mockery, and scourging even though an evil word never passed through their lips or entered their hearts. I think of their suffering and anguish and tears for a hatred they never possessed. They have suffered the bombs, they fled as refugees , and they were ridiculed for the opinions of others that look and dress like them. A prayer for people while contemplating a cross and crucifixion. A prayer for the people of the lands where that sacred cross once stood.
Jesus Meets His Mother. Think of those mothers staring at their wounded children. Those suffering through the harsh effects of malnutrition, or through the pains of an easily treated illness. Think of those mothers who suffer for their children, especially those who witness the suffering of a helpless child knowing that they can be saved. It is the torment of knowing that their child’s suffering can be prevented, but the means of relief are out of reach for her. It is the anguish of witnessing suffering helplessly. It is not for lack of desire these mothers witness their children’s suffering. They simply lack the ability to ease their child’s pain. Mothers stare helplessly at their suffering children every day in this world.
Jesus falls for the first time, the third station. Crosses can be heavy to bear, and many are crushed under the weight of them. To fall can be to be in despair. It is not simply the body that is crushed by a cross, those burdens weigh heavily on the minds and hearts of many who carry them. Think of those in despair, those tormented and suffering the mental anguish of their personal crosses. To fall the first time might land one in a mental institution, but they can only land there if people are compassionate enough to build them. They can only recover from their fall if people are compassionate enough to aid them in their recovery.