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All Good Things
March 20, 2024

The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Veronica, on the sidelines, witnessed Jesus trudging up hill toward Calvary. His body bent under the weight of the cross on his scourged shoulder. His face covered with spittle, blood and tears. The salt biting into his open wounds. The sweat in his eyes limiting his vision. Veronica could stand by no longer. She pushed her way past the guards who tried to restrain her. Moved with sorrow and compassion, Veronica removed a veil and wiped Jesus’ face before the Romans pushed her back into the crowd.

I hear laughing. I witness taunting. Someone is being bullied. Do I step up? Do I intervene?…Well, I am not Veronica.

I see someone struggling with a small child and packages. Do I offer to lend a hand. Can I assist in some way?…Well, I am not Veronica.

People are gossiping. Do I congratulate myself for not joining? Do I ask them to stop? Well, I am not Veronica.

Someone is being ridiculed. Do I correct the offenders? Do I comfort the victim? Well, I am not Veronica.

The vehicle wants into my lane. Do I slow down to allow this? Do I speed up to close the gap? …Well, I am not Veronica.

The person behind me at the store has but a few items. Do I let them go ahead of me and wait a bit longer? … Well, I am not Veronica.

Well, why am I not Veronica? The opportunities are all around me.

They don’t require bravery. Most call for me to be alert to the need of another and a simple act of kindness. Reflecting on this Sixth Station has opened my eyes. Although I am not a member of the “me generation”, I can be self-absorbed. How many times have I missed my opportunity to remove my veil and lessen someone’s suffering, lighten someone’s load?

Lord, guide me to become a Veronica.

Mary Ann Kellen, OFS
St. Helen Secular Franciscan Fraternity


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