On this way to Golgotha, Jesus meets with a group of Jerusalem women, all of them weeping over his sorry state.
Rightfully so, because it was awful.
Jesus stops to speak to them and oddly enough, gives direction to them rather than seeking their consolation.
“Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping 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 nursed.’ “Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ “For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” he said. (Lk 23:28-31)
Our Lord prophesies to the women, warning them of an even more difficult time to come.
At first pass, it could seem as though Jesus is being cold to the women, perhaps even a bit sarcastic.
Instead, he is helping to prepare them for what lies ahead.
Sometimes we have to do that with the people in our own lives. Usually, we have one of two reactions when someone is sharing their misery with us. We either placate them because we don’t know how to – or maybe don’t want to – deal with their sorrow. Or, we bolster them up and send them on their way because we don’t have the know-how or time to listen and console. We give them the stiff-upper-lip pitch which never really gets to the root of the problem but makes us feel as though we’ve done them a good turn.
Jesus, even while in agony beneath the weight of the Cross, does neither.
He takes the women into his heart, acknowledges their grief and readies them to withstand the crisis about to come.
As you pray the Eight Station of the Cross – Jesus Meets the Weeping Women – ask yourself this question:
Am I a consoler, or a stiff-upper-lipper?