Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Every Sunday morning I go to church and sit in the same place. I sit about halfway up -on the left. I sit by Veronica. She is up there on the VI Station of the Cross. "Veronica wipes the face of Jesus."
Each week I spend time thinking about her. At first, I thought "What a nice woman she is --to step up there and wipe his face, to give him some comfort." This seems very kind of her. I realized in time, that this could have been a little dangerous! To appear sympathetic to Jesus at this time could probably put you on the short list of troublemakers with the authorities! But she seems very caring and concerned. She seems unafraid. She wanted to give him relief. Nobody else did that. Only Veronica stepped up and did something. It was small, but it was something. As weeks passed I continued to think about her as I looked at that pretty and sad sculpture. Who was she? I don't remember a lot of Veronicas in the Bible. What was so important about Veronica?
Why Veronica? Then it occurred to me- WHO did she think she was?! She just walked right up there and wiped his face! That is pretty gutsy! Why did she do that? His mother was there as well as other men and women who were his followers. But they stayed in the crowd and only Veronica stepped out to comfort him. Veronica was pretty bold! She wiped Jesus' face with her veil. The story goes on to tell that the image of Jesus' face was left on her veil.
Occasionally, my mind wanders during mass. Last week I was thinking-- Veronica, a little unknown, kind of obscure woman, did something. That something may have been small at the time, but it became very big! Her act of compassion is there now for all of us to see and emulate. She is there to tell us something. And the image of Jesus' face was left on her veil....
I like to think that For One Child of India has a role model in Veronica. We can learn a lot from her. One could ask "WHO do they think they are?!" Like Veronica, FOCI is now a small, relatively unknown organization. But our small acts of charity and kindness are so important! FOCI , like Veronica, will make a difference that will live on far into the future. FOCI's example may inspire others to step up- just like Veronica inspires us!
Veronica received a gift in return for her act of compassion. The veil she used to wipe Jesus' face was left with the image of Jesus' face on it. I think that FOCI receives that gift too. Our compassion and support for the poor children in Eleanganny helps us to see Jesus' image in the children, in each other and in ourselves. The image of Jesus is present for us in so many ways if we are open to notice it. That is a lovely gift.
The name Veronica combines Latin and Greek words. Latin- Vera, meaning true and Greek- Eikon, meaning image. While Veronica was originally the word used to refer to the veil, it became the name used to refer to this woman who models compassion and courage for us. Veronica may very well be a "true image" of Jesus. Let us all strive to be Veronica. Not just a bystander, but a witness who offers comfort and compassion. She shows us the true image of Jesus-- simple compassion and perfect love.
Thanks Veronica. See you next week.
God Bless You!