When we read the Gospels, one can’t read them without embracing the love Jesus had for humanity. In his healings, words, and many signs, all were geared toward showing the mercy and love of God.
When I attend Mass, I’m always intrigued by the images I see.
Some of those images are the Stations of the Cross.
In short, the Stations depict the 14 scenes of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. This devotion/practice is popular during Lent on Fridays when everyone can pray them together.
When I examine this devotion, I notice mercy continual reoccurring toward Jesus. The Savior that showed mercy during his ministry is now the recipient!
I notice St. Veronica wiping the face of Jesus. Perhaps she was a follower of Jesus in his path or simply an onlooker at the right moment and time, but out of love and compassion, she helps our suffering Savior.
A simple gesture of wiping his face from the flowing blood and sweat demonstrated her kindness. She didn’t allow the nastiness of bodily fluid to impede her from showing love to the one who would show love to the world.
I see the “daughters of Jerusalem (Lk 23:27-31)” meet with Jesus. Out of their sorrow for the brutality witnessed, these women wept. However, Jesus tells them not to weep for him but weep for themselves because the destruction of Jerusalem would be coming in a few short decades (Mat 24:19).
Jesus tells them that “blessed are barren wombs and breast which never nursed” to convey the advantage barren women face vs. those who witness suffering from their children.
A sorrow his own mother would endure.
Finally, I see his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is our spiritual mother in Christ. From the first miracle at the wedding in Cana to his sorrowful passion, she is there with him.
Mary is there agonizing over the torment of her son. She sees his excruciating pain and the unbearable cross he has to carry.
She meets him on the path he took for willingly laying his life down. Perhaps Jesus and Mary made eye contact and spoke, but Jesus seeing his mother following him as he progresses in the Via Dolorosa, sorrowful way, is encouraging. It shows the faithful love a mother has toward her son.
Mary feels the agony her son experiences as the sword that Simeon prophesied pierced her heart (Luke 2:35). Both mother and son united in affliction. What an unfathomable feeling this must have been!
Jesus’ life was the standard for love of neighbor, but we see at his final moment’s others showing love to him. What a total switch in position. Even at his lowest and humiliating moment, others are there comforting our Savior.
This kind of attentiveness to others is one we should all perform. We all will walk the sorrowful way with God, but not only has He given us a cloud of witnesses to look for as models of faith, but He has also placed our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in our lives to care for our physical and spiritual well-being
Let’s model selfless love to others this Lent! No matter how small or hug, someone needs encouragement, a smile, or even just to be acknowledged!
We can be the salt and light of the world by imitating those who followed Jesus during his sorrowful passion.
Being selfless is showing Jesus to others.
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