Tuesday, March 9, 2021

A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children’ (Luke 23:27-28)

Love beyond naming

Of course, the women are there. They are always there.

They bear life in their bodies. They nurture it with the substance of their own flesh. They are the first to help and refuse to flee when danger threatens their little ones.

For 20 years, I saw this again and again in hellish places where the specter of disease, hunger and war hovered over battered lands, killing hundreds of thousands. More than anyone else, it was women who denied themselves, hoping to save their children and often the children of those whose mothers had long since perished.

Blessed are they, these saints. The Spirit of the Great Giver of life breathed through their hope and became flesh in their sacrifice. I kneel at their feet and give thanks, for they reveal the truest beauty of the human heart and the indestructible love of the Love who loves us.

It is women like these who surround Jesus as he carries his cross. Some had likely been with him all along. Now, they must mourn with a sorrow he is powerless to prevent. Such is the cost of loving.

Jesus turns and looks with compassion at them as he stumbles along, knowing bitter days are coming when the violence that destroys him will scar their lives.

He looks at them and they at him, mirrors reflecting a love beyond naming.

Pr. David L. Miller

We adore, O Christ, and we bless you.

By you holy cross you have redeemed the world