21 Mar 2012

VIII Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

We adore you O Christ and we bless you,
For by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
"There followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But 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?”" (Luke 23: 27-31)
This Station is based on the short scene depicted in St. Luke’s Gospel. Here we are told that the women were’ beating their breasts and wailing for Him’ in other words they were behaving as though they were following a funeral procession. Then we are told that Jesus told them not to weep for Him but rather for themselves and their children as dreadful times are coming.
If I try to put myself into the position of one of these women , what do I feel? I see the Teacher, the Rabbi whom I believe is the Messiah promised by G-D, being lead to his death just a few days after being welcomed to Jerusalem as a king. Then I am told that even worse is to come. I feel scared, upset , bereft, who can I turn to for comfort? I can turn to God, Father, Son and Spirit, who holds us all in his hands and whose Spirit leads us to care for each other when we are lost.
The other question we can ask of this scene is ‘ why is it that Jesus, in the midst of his agony, addresses himself to the women at all?  Is it because He  knows that in every age, including our own, that those who suffer most in times of violence and war are the women and children. To day we are being told of the violence being done to women in the Congo, where rape is used as a weapon as was done in the Balkan war of the 1990s.
Or can we find in this scene a reminder that Jesus’ message of love and care for God and for one another is necessary for us to have the strength to deal with the difficulties and losses that life brings and to live with the hope of the resurrection which enables us to recognise and rejoice in the good gifts that God gives us.
In our prayer at this station let us pray especially for those women who are suffering violence in our world today.

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