Reflection on the 6th Station of the Cross

7th April 2017 - by Fr. John Collins SSC

Whenever I pray the Stations of the Cross, and at the 6th station in particular, I always feel a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to Saint Veronica. She handed her veil to Christ as he carried his cross up Calvary to his passion and death.

She gave her veil to him to wipe his forehead, below his thorn pierced head from which flowed his blood and sweat.
Jesus took the veil and imprinted his face on it, and so we have it today in the reliquary above the large statue of Saint Veronica, facing the main altar in Saint Peters in Rome.
What comfort Saint Veronicas compassion must have meant to Jesus but even more so, what gratitude his heavenly Father. must have felt. What power, weight and reparation her act must have carried for all of us in that moment.
Jesus Christ has now risen and her act is now remembered to be seen as physical evidence. As we prepare to enter Holy week and the Easter Tridium, a journey that now encompasses our individual crosses and passion, and how we cope as individuals. As we prepare to experience again on Holy Saturday night Christ’s Resurrection, we may ask where is hope in the Gethsemane of our time?.
Already God is preparing the Pasch of the New Times. Humanity is now living the new Gethsemane and we are called not to be alarmed,sad or discouraged. Satan may seem to reign, sin in all its forms is found, violence and war abound. Yet,…yet, Jesus is about to return in glory to restore his kingdom
We are called to prepare ourselves to live the Pasch of the New Times. Like Jesus in his hour of great abandonment and suffering,we are called to live these times in great hope and certain expectation. As he stood up after his fall (4th Station) The words of scripture have been put on Jesus’ lips to his Mother Mary “Behold I make all things new” (Rev21:5).
We are invited to share such hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds as we carry our crosses and showing to all that the the Pasch of the New Times is already amongst us..
Fr. John Collins