Stations of the Cross, part 2
The 6th Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
The name “Veronica” literally means “true image,” we do not know Veronica's true name, for she was named for the gift that Christ gave her, his Divine Image imprinted on her veil. We can also do a service of mercy for Christ. Whenever we do it for the least of His brethren, the poor, weak, and suffering, then Christ will imprint His Image, not on a piece of cloth, but on our very souls.
The 7th Station: Jesus Falls a Second Time
This second fall of Jesus speaks to us of how we fall into sin again and again. Christ was able to get up, pick up His cross, and continue. By getting up again, Christ gives us the strength to get up again. By ourselves, we are not strong enough to get up again, we get discouraged and disillusioned, but Jesus tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
The 8th Station: Jesus Speaks to the Holy Women
He tells the women not to weep for Him, but for themselves and for their children; He tells them to weep for their sins, because they “did not recognize the time of their visitation.” What about us, do we recognize the time of our visitation, do we hear the voice of God speaking in our hearts? Now is the time for us to weep for our sins, to repent, and to return to the Lord.
The 9th Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time
“Exhausted at the foot of Calvary, Jesus falls for the third time to the ground. How painfully must have been reopened all the wounds of His tender body by these repeated falls. And how enormous must my sins be, to cause Jesus to fall so painfully. Had not Jesus taken my sins upon Himself, they would have plunged me into the abyss of Hell.” –St. Francis of Assisi
The 10th Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
Imagine the pain of Jesus as His blood-soaked garments are torn from His body and His wounds once again reopened. Let us remember that pain when we shy away from the confessional for fear reopening our own spiritual wounds of sin. In His great love for us, Jesus received the wounds to His body that He might heal the wounds to our souls.
The 11th Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
Jesus' agony is only intensified as large nails are driven through His hands and His feet. As the cross is lifted He must fight even to take a breath. As He lifts Himself to fill His lungs the nails tear at the nerve endings in His hands and feet. Getting enough air to speak is especially difficult, but Jesus speaks 7 times from the cross. However, as great as this suffering is, Jesus' love for you and me is even greater, and, as He is lifted up, it is this love that draws us to Him.
Fr. Bryan was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes from July 3, 2017 to June 2022.