Way of the Cross. WYD’ 2016. Station VI – VERONICA OFFERS HER VEIL TO JESUS

VISIT THE IMPRISONED

V. Adoramus Te Christe et benedicimus Tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the holy Gospel according to Matthew:

A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. […] Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.”

(Mt 9:20-22)

The Gospels did not record the name of this woman. It was remembered through Tradition: Veronica! This woman — once healed by you of hemorrhage – could not remain indifferent now, as you bleed on your way of the cross. Her act of mercy was reciprocation. You once freed her from hemorrhaging and uncleanliness, now she wiped the blood from your face, and at least for a moment, restored its purity.

Covered with blood, sweat, and dirt, the face of the Condemned appeared anew to all, as the dignified face of Jesus of Nazareth!

Is that not how she saw you, with the eyes of the heart, before she reached for her scarf? She saw the prisoner with the face of the Son of God! What does it mean to: comfort prisoners? This is not about just any form of comfort. It is about the meeting, which will allow the prisoner to discover in himself again the face of the son or daughter of God — a lasting image of the Son of God — the source of lasting human dignity!

Lord Jesus, you visit us in our every affliction – in our weaknesses, lustfulness, and addictions. And you always see in us daughters and sons of God — even when we see in ourselves only prisoners, enslaved by drugs, alcohol, pornography, emotionality, gambling, computers, cellphones, money, convenience —whatever! To you, the face of each and every one of us is invariably the face of a child of God. Your gaze restores our sense of dignity! It reaches deeper than the veil of Veronica.

We ask you to help us, like Veronica, to be willing and able to comfort prisoners. Lead us to people suffering from any affliction or weakness. Teach us to think with respect of all who are imprisoned — in prisons, detention centers, labor camps. Be our road to them. Amen.

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ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER

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