STATION VI: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Before the station, pray: I adore you, O Christ, and I bless you, because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

Read John 13: 3-17
Jesus…got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him…Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.

Tradition identifies Veronica as the woman who Jesus had healed of a blood disorder (Luke 8: 43-48) who comes to be with him on the day of his crucifixion. This was a woman so moved by the compassion that she had been shown that she knows no other way to respond except with that same compassion. As she steps toward Jesus, she wipes the sweat from his face and the imprint, the image of Jesus, is left on the cloth. In her compassion, Veronica was able to look through death and despair to the real image of Christ and, in doing so, found it in herself.

The derivation of her name is from the words Vera (Latin, “true”) and Icon (Greek, “image”). Being human, being made in the true image of God, means that we are called to show compassion to others, who are also the “image of God”. We can no longer dismiss our shortcomings as “merely human”. Being human means being made in the image of God. Being human is what we are called to be. Father, forgive.

Jesus, remind me again and again what it means to be human, what it means to be made in your image, that my life might be an imprint of your image for the world to see. Amen.

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