Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Way of the Cross - 8th Station

Jesus Meets The Women Of Jerusalem

Luke 23: 28-31
Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us'. For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"

On his journey to Calvary Jesus meets some of the holy women of Jerusalem. These were not those who accompanied him from Galilee, but were women who had probably heard him teach or who had benefited from his miraculous actions. They are weeping for him and it seems that they are doing the right thing. And it is surprising that Jesus responds to them in the way that he does. Do not weep for me, weep for yourselves and your children.

Do not weep for me, as you would a victim who is swept along by the evil that is in the world, for I have the power to lay down my life and the power to take it up again. I lay down my life freely, I am a willing victim. I am in control in all this despite what might appear to you. Do not weep for me, I suffer because I want to so that I might free you from evil.

Weep rather for yourselves. To weep for me in my suffering, to have compassion on me and console me in this terrible suffering is a good thing, but it gives me more consolation that you should weep over your own sins which have caused me this great suffering and distress.

I am the green wood, pure and innocent, full of the life of God. And this is the great suffering I undergo, the fire of God’s justice devours me. How will dry wood, that is a soul dried because of its sin, stand up to that devouring flame, unless it repent and be grafted onto the green wood and be brought back to life.

Lord help us to have a better awareness of our sins and the confidence to cast them into the furnace of your loving mercy. Give us a greater capacity to repent and weep for our sins. As we accompany you along this way of misery, may we acknowledge our sins, repent of them and give thanks for your willingness to undergo such bitter trials to take those sins away.

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