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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
General…

THE 14 STOPS I MUST MAKE ON THE WAY TO GOLGOTHA THIS LENTEN SEASON

6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

He had been betrayed, denied, judged, harassed, beaten, and condemned to die by many unjust people in the world. The cacophony of the crowd that were relishing in Christ suffering hung in the air mingling with the silence of minority who felt helpless at the face of the broad daylight tyranny. The face of Jesus reflected the faces of those who suffer hate, hunger, human trafficking, modern day slavery, isolation, war, corruption, abuse, and social alienation.  He must have looked through the crowd for someone who is willing to risk everything to stay with him. His friends and disciples had blended with the crowd, and must have thrown their hands up into the air in resignation. As the curtain of pity was about to be drawn, Veronica stepped out of the crowd that is rented by apathy to stand alongside with Jesus in His agony. True! The weight of the cross was overbearing and it is Christ alone who knew where the shoe pinches the most. Countless avoidable acts of men that create a class of outcasts persist and we feel that our little gestures will be hardly felt. Rather than offer succor to the  outcasts,  we resign to silence. Veronica's love was stronger than her fears of being rejected by the crowd. She was never going to bear Christ Cross; she was never going to take his pains away completely, but was willing to risk her comfort and reputation all in bid to be far from what Thomas Hardy called the "maddening crowd".

Following the example of Veronica, at this Station, I will shun the jeers of the crowd, defile the rash soldiers, defeat the attitude of helplessness at the face of so many injustice, and move to wipe the suffering face of the outcasts and victims of victimization. Lord, let my fear of rejection by this world be overcame by my love for you, for in standing with people in social pariah, I, like Veronica is wiping your tears of suffering.

 

7. Jesus falls the second time

Do we remember that Jesus had earlier fallen and it took bodily strength lying latent in him to make him stand up and move on? From my point of reasoning, the emphasis is not about the fall, but on rising up each time we fall. At the first fall, Christ summoned all the latent bodily strength, and perhaps the strength of people around him. At His second fall, Christ is teaching us how to call on the strength that the soul gives. The bodily strength could have seen us rise from the first fall, but we need more than bodily strength to stay on track, and do all we need to do to reach the final mark.

The tradition of emphasizing the fall of Christ on the way to Golgotha was never intended to celebrate the fall, but it was a lesson that revolves around where to derive the needed strength to rise up every time we fall. At the second fall, like Jesus, let us look inward to our soul for strength.

At this station, whenever my physical and bodily strength fail me, I will, like Jesus, turn to the strength, which my soul alone can offer. I will turn to the strength that upholds the fact that man does not live by bread alone. Amid the hurt of familiar feeling of the first fall, I will summon the strength my soul possesses; the strength of the scriptures and the promises that come out from the mouth of God. I will seek the "blessed assurance", the "echoes of mercy," and the "whispers of love".

8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

The reaction of the "good" women of Jerusalem is normal. At the very least, they felt concerned, and had a pang of sympathy. They cried out, and were not going to muster the injustice. Shockingly to me, though Jesus must have consoled them, he was quick to tell them that weeping for him, or weeping at all, was not enough whenever we see injustice being done in our world. Today, we have injustice strolling on our streets unfettered, and all we tend to do was to wail, and move on. How many times have we felt sorry for the victims of injustice, but failed to question the cause of their miseries?  How many times have we considered that our involvement in things that, directly or indirectly, make others to suffer? We continue to talk and weep, but do nothing!

Jesus was quick to tell us that to weep is not enough as Christians when we see victims of injustice. He warned us that if the  world  could  be  cruel to the weak, innocent and defenseless among us, and all we do is to simply weep, we should expect more suffering to visit us who are complicit of silence and inaction in different acts of injustice.

At this station, I learnt that appearing weak and lame at the face of injustice is not enough as a Christian. The way to Golgotha is laid with wailing men and women, who, rather than acting decisively against injustice, will prefer to be drowned in the pool of their tears and sympathy. I will, in addition to fraternizing with people  in suffering, examine my  role  in  their suffering. I will  weep  also  for the posterity and myself. I will move from weeping to acting in order to alleviate the sufferings of victims of injustice. So help me God. To be continued

 


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