……Stations of the Cross ……

Fr. John Keep

6th.Station:  Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Verse:  We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Response:  Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

There is a tradition that the only person who actually helped Our Lord physically on His Way of the Cross, without being forced to do so, was a woman.  Veronica was moved by compassion and rushed up to Him without thinking twice, and offered Him a linen cloth to wipe His holy face.  “Without beauty, without majesty we saw him, no looks to attract our eyes, a thing despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.”  So did she see Him.  She did not stop to think what the soldiers might do to her.  She did not think of what the people would think of her for helping a criminal.  She thought of Him, and her heart told her what to do.
How easy it is to glance away from someone in distress.  How easy to hesitate to help and cheer someone who appears to be or is unattractive.  But at that moment Christ has passed by, and we shall never again have that particular opportunity.  If I had done it to the least of all my neighbors, I should have done it to Jesus.  Mankind is the face of Christ.  Not one day passes in which you do not have an opportunity to do what Veronica did.  There is always someone in distress within your reach.  The world is full of people in agony.  If nothing else, you can pray more and sacrifice more for them.

(after a brief pause)

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


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