veronica

We are about to celebrate the birth of Jesus. So, why are we talking about Veronica and the sixth station of the cross? Birth of anyone is a happy occasion. So how much more joyful is the Birth of the Savior of the world? However, in this time of joy, it is very pertinent to think about Veronica and her actions as Jesus struggled along the sorrowful way.

Jesus came into this world for one purpose, the salvation of mankind. In six more days we will be singing hymns of joy, thinking back to the time of Jesus. We will ponder the hardship and struggle that Mary and Joseph had to deal with to arrive at Bethlehem. But we just cannot pass that off as a small part in the Nativity story. Ask any mother who has given birth, and I believe they will tell you that riding on a mule, for eighty or so miles during pregnancy, is not something very joyful.

Jesus came into this world to save us, to show us how to live, to show us how to treat others… how to love our God, and each other. His purpose cannot be any clearer than that. So what does this mean to us? How does our life differ because He came? How does our world react, since He entered into it? Nice story! Nice presents! A time to be happy…at least for a little while! And then, back to the old grind stone? Back to the old same old, same old?

That is not true. That cannot be the answer. Think about Veronica and her action of wiping the face of Jesus along the via dolorosa.  As an early believer, she didn’t have the luxury of 2000 years of philosophers, and theologians discussing the every why and wherefore of Jesus’ life. She heard his message. “Love your fellow man. Treat them with love”. “Love your God, by treating everyone with love”. How simple. How straightforward. How challenging.

Many times we think, “What does God want me to do”? Or, “What should I be doing with my life?” Those moments, sadly, are few and far between. More often, we think of what it is that we need. What is it that makes us happy, sad, comfortable, or uneasy? And then we take the necessary steps to either enforce, and prolong the good, or strive to rid ourselves of the bad.

Veronica heard the message either directly from the Master’s lips or from one of His early followers. She heard it and believed: Love your fellow man. She believed it so much that she pushed through the crowd just to wipe the sweat and blood from the face of Jesus. No one told her that this is what she must do. No one said, “You, go do it.” She knew and believed the message of Jesus. She knew He really meant it when He said, “Love one another.” So, she used her veil to wipe His face. He was suffering. And, this was something that she could do to help Him.

We seem to be waiting for someone to tap us on the shoulder to tell us what we should do, what would be good for us to do, and when we should do it. However, no one is going to beat us over the head telling us when and what to do. If you believe that Jesus really said, “Love one another”, then we have already been told.. Ah… but that is so difficult, isn’t it? Love everybody? Everybody?? I am to love even the person who dislikes me, persecutes me, or ignores me? Everyone!

What does that mean? How do I love others? Start looking at their needs, and see what can help them with their problems? Can I alleviate their problems? Do they need a friend? Are they looking for a shoulder to cry on? The list is endless. It varies with every person that we encounter. But in order to do that, we have to stop embracing ourselves. We have to stop looking out for NUMBER ONE. Forget your needs and truly see others’ struggles, hurts and tears. Love is being aware of others’ problems and seeing what, if anything, we can do to lend a hand. Veronica saw the sweat and blood, on the face of Jesus, and did what she could do to comfort Him. Do we provide comfort to others? Do we try to understand their difficulties? Or, are we so wrapped up with our own problems, our own needs that we truly are unaware of the sorrows and trials of those around us? This Christmas, try being a Veronica to others. Not because it seems like the right thing to do, but because a person needs your love, your loving concern. Love the infant Jesus, by loving one another.

Here are some other Posts that blend with this one. Continue the thread:

1) Where Do We Find Truth
2) Jesus Walked Down the Street
3) Trust in God vs Fear to Relinquish Control
4) People or Objects

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