VIII. Jesus consoles the women.

Play this music as you prepare for the prayer.

Hold your heart and the world in your hands.

Station 08

Jesus carrying his cross meets these women
huddled together in grief.
They are weeping for him.

The women. seeing this broken man,

remember him from better days– 
days of gentle preaching and powerful healing–
and they feel this rush of compassion for him.

The Lord Jesus is exhausted from his cross-bearing
–crown of thorns piercing his head,
wounds still bleeding from an earlier scourging–
but he does more than accept their compassion.

He returns it.
He consoles them.


Given what he’s going through,

he deserves all the compassion he can get,
but he doesn’t hoard it all:
he returns their compassion with compassion.
It is he who consoles them.

It’s easy to be compassionate
when we’re not suffering.
It’s easy to be compassionate
when we are not ourselves feeling overwhelmed
with fear and hopelessness
when the end is in sight–

and for now, it doesn’t seem to be.

When we ourselves are in pain or in danger–
or just worried about our own future, as we all are–
compassion ends up a rare commodity.
We are tempted to save as much of it as possible for ourselves.
In short, the panic-buying mindset sets in:
We might run out someday, who knows?
So let’s save it for ourselves.

Today’s station teaches us otherwise:
Compassion breeds compassion.
When we share compassion with others–
as the women of Jerusalem do–
when we give it away even when we need it ourselves–
as Jesus does–
it is not halved, but multiplied.

Now, compassion isn’t just a sentiment
that we can savor privately.
It is a challenge for us
to venture out
of our comfort zone.

We often forget that there is a difference
between comfort zone and danger zone.
There still exists that space outside our comfort zone

that may no longer be familiar or comfortable to us,
but nevertheless remains safe.

We are only being asked to step out
of our comfort zones

without having to go into the danger zone–
even if there are thousands–bless their souls!–
who cross the boundary to the danger zone
every single day to help those in need.

Finally, compassion doesn’t mean fixing the problem.
Our Lord didn’t fix his problem–or the women’s.
He just offered them hope and consolation–
and this is more than enough. 
To be compassionate may just mean
bringing encouragement to others,
one day at a time.

Given all that’s going on in the world today,
in what way is our Lord inviting us
to offer compassion to the world–

even if we ourselves need it,
even if it entails going beyond our comfort zone,
even if we can do so only one  day  at a time–
or as this song from “Godspell” puts it–
“brick by brick, heart by heart?”

“Behold the Wood” (St. Louis Jesuits). Image for Station (Fratel Venzo).
“Beautiful City” (Hunter Parish from “Godspell”)

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9 replies on “VIII. Jesus consoles the women.”

Fervently praying for our frontliners, patients and those who have died from the pandemic on a daily basis is more than enough compassion. By giving also our time, talent and treasure as well. Like God’s generosity, He cannot be outdone in compassion as well.

While going thru the Good Friday recollection, I received a message from one of our managers saying, “ma’m we’re always here to help the company to the best we can after this pandemic is over“. So much compassion that it brought me to tears. People that we should be taking care of are now offering whatever they can do to save their co-employees and workers. Thank you Lord for the gift of this kind generous employees. Please bless them with your Body and Blood.

Lord Jesus, Even in the midst of suffering and pain you still have time to console others. as I look at myself when I’m in a moment of pain and suffering I focus on myself. I’m blinded with my situation. in this station you are teaching that even in a difficult situation I should not only focus on myself but be open and be sensitive to the needs of others. Lord, please help me to follow your footsteps.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for opening our hearts to go out beyond our comfort zones to show our love and compassion to those who need our help. Even if it means giving little but we know that our little is not small for our BIG God. May our giving, even if we know there is no certainty on how far it can reach out in this crisis, inspire many
more so even just brick by brick , we can build a city of men and for men in this world.

Lord,

Take all that I am and fashion it to show compassion to those who need it. See my fear and set it aside so that empathy may reign in my heart. Bless my meager efforts so that they can multiple into more acts of gratitude for Your kindness and loving. I am wounded and broken so I beg for the grace that You mend me enough that I may be a source of hope and encouragement for others.

Lord, help us to find ways to help even if we cannot leave our homes. The effort is nothing compared to those who are putting their lives at stake to help others. Bless & protect them as well, O Lord.

Amen

Thank you Lord for giving my children and I the opportunity to help PGH with their needs, food and health supplies, with the help of so many generous donors. We are not even leaving our comfort zones, just being the conduit to deliver all these to the needs of PGH. We adore and love you Lord. May our efforts comfort those in the Frontlines, and may all our efforts contribute to the end of this horrendous Cover 19. We thank you Lord.

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