Station VI: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
We have seen him without beauty or majesty, with no looks to attract our eyes. He was despised and rejected by those in power; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; even those along the way hid their faces from him and turned away from his suffering. His appearance marked him as an outcast, a prisoner, a less-than-human not even worthy of pity. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the pain he endured for the world made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts:
Show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
Reflection (written by Douglas D’Orso)
Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
Or, Veronica takes the first picture of Jesus.
In our own lifetimes, we are constantly taking pictures, school pictures, the obligatory family holiday card photos, the ubiquitous “selfie”! But all of these come with a certain amount of production value…hair and makeup, the right clothes, lighting, the background and of course, the demand from the sitter, “make sure you get my good side!” Veronica, being moved by the sight of Jesus’ suffering, on his journey to Golgotha, offers to wipe his brow with her veil. When Jesus returns the veil to Veronica, his image miraculously appears. There is no time for set-up , no makeup, no lighting requirements, no good side, only the truth exposed. The very first Polaroid of despair and hopelessness. The weight of the world for all to see. And yet, in a few days time, we read in John 20:11-18, Mary Magdalene will not even recognize Jesus. The Resurrection of Christ will reveal the victorious picture, the ”vera icon” or true image of Christ. The weight of the world lifted for the world…once and for all!
Almighty God, who has created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.