The women of Jerusalem, and their children, come out to comfort and thank him.  They had seen his compassion and welcomed his words of healing and freedom.  He had broken all kinds of social and religious conventions to connect with them.  Now they are here to support him.  He feels their grief.  He suffers, knowing he can't remain to help them more in this life.  He knows the mystery of facing the separation of death.
I look at their faces.  So full of love and gratitude, loss and fear.  I contemplate what words might have passed between them.

I remember all his tender, compassionate, merciful love for me.  I place myself with these women and children to support him.

This is for me.  So, I let this scene stir up deep gratitude.

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you;

R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From Luke chapter 23 vs 28

Do not weep for me, but for yourselves and for your children.

The heart of Jesus was full of pity for the sufferings His people were destined to undergo. So, too, does he have immense pity for us for whom He once suffered and died. Ask Him now to help you.

Dear Jesus, most probably the children of those women, were the church’s early Christians who were persecuted for their faith. When we choose to follow you Jesus, we are persecuted in our schools, universities, work places, and even in our homes by family and friends. Non-believers make fun of us and ridicule us. When this happens Jesus, help us to remember to take up our cross and follow you to Calvary. We love you Jesus.

 

"And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him.  But Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children." (St. Luke 23.27-28)

"Jesus wept." (John 11:35) This is the shortest verse in all Holy Scripture, and it occurs upon Jesus learning of the death of Lazarus, and at the tomb before which Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, also wept. True God and True Man, Jesus knew the depth of human suffering, of pain in the heart to the point of tears. He, too, wept. 

But now, confronted with the irrepressible grief of the holy women of Jerusalem, lamenting His own suffering — even as Jesus lamented the suffering of Martha and Mary — He seeks no compassion ... but brings solace to them instead. "Weep not for me." He cannot lament his own agony, for He would then lament the salvation of the world He was enacting before them. Instead, He embraces it, and tells the holy women to weep for themselves and their children.  Why? Especially, why for their children?

Most of them must have understood it at once. Any parent will understand it immediately.

It was not only for their own sins that they should weep — but for the sins of their children. What parent has not known the agony of a wandering and wayward child whose selfish sins (and all sin is selfish) have left behind them a wake of destruction and shattered lives that in turn have left a wake of sin and sorrow after them! What parent has not feared for the salvation of their own flesh in light of unrepentant sin? And all sin ... all sin ... the sin of all time ... is now laid upon the bleeding shoulders of the Son of God Who stops before them.

Bearing not simply all sins past, or even all sins present .... but all the sins of all the world for all of time ... He bears the sins yet to be, the sins of those not yet present, but in the generations to spring forth from the wombs of these holy women. Their sons, their daughters, even now, before their eyes, torment the Christ — as will their children's children unto the last man, the last woman, standing at the chasm of the end of all time. "Weep for them! So many ... so many, know not what they do! But here you see it before you, O, holy women who would lament Me instead of your own children,  who I know are as dear to you as I am to Mary."

This Station is, as it were, a hall of mirrors reflecting ad infinitum ... in which we see ourselves, and ourselves replicated endlessly beyond us — each image bearing down on the weight of the Cross.

In this mirror of suffering Lord, we see the pain of all mothers, not only your own beloved Mother, but all the mothers of humanity, as they mourn and weep for their children.

Receive, O Lord, my gift of prayer for all mothers who at this moment are suffering because their child is in sin, wayward and lost, or through our indifference dying — under their own cross of terminal illness or drugs, persecution or war.

Give them, these holy women, your blessing and your grace. Pause before them, too ... and speak words of some solace ...

 

Meditation: 

Jesus, as you carry your cross you see a group of women along the road. As you pass by you see they are sad. You stop to spend a moment with them, to offer them some encouragement. Although you are have been abandoned by your friends and are in pain, you stop and try to help them.

As a child, sometimes I think a lot about myself. I think about what I want and would like people to spend their lives pleasing me. 

As an adult, sometimes I act like a child. I become so absorbed in myself and what I'd like that I forget about the needs of others. I take them for granted, and often ignore their needs.

Help me think more about others. Help me remembers that others have problems, too. Help me respond to them even when I'm busy or preoccupied with my own problems.

My Jesus, Who didst comfort the pious women of Jerusalem who wept to see Thee bruised and torn, comfort my soul with Thy tender pity, for in Thy pity lies my trust. May my heart ever answer Thine.

Prayer

My Jesus, I am amazed at Your compassion for others in Your time of need. When I suffer, I have a tendency to think only of myself but You forgot Yourself completely. When You saw the holy women weeping over Your torments, You consoled them and taught them to look deeper into Your Passion. You wanted them to understand that the real evil to cry over was the rejection You suffered from the Chosen people - a people set apart from every other nation, who refused to accept God's Son.

The Act of Redemption would go on and no one would ever be able to take away Your dignity as Son of God, but the evil, greed, jealousy and ambition in the hearts of those who should have recognized You was the issue to grieve over. To be so close to God made man and miss Him completely was the real crime.

My Jesus, I fear I do the same when I strain gnats and then swallow camels - when I take out the splinter in my brother's eye and forget the beam in my own. It is such a gift - this gift of faith. It is such a sublime grace to possess Your own Spirit. Why haven't I advanced in holiness of life? I miss the many disguises you take upon Yourself and see only people, circumstances and human events, not the loving hand of the Father guiding all things. Help all those who are discouraged, sick, lonely and old to recognize Your Presence in their midst.

 

Lord Jesus, 
by your incarnation from Mary, 
"Blessed among women" (Lk 1:42), 
you raised the dignity of every woman. 
With the Incarnation 
you unified the human race (cf. Gal 3:26-28).

Lord,
may the encounter with you be the desire of our hearts. 
Let our path, filled with sufferings, 
always be a path of hope, 
with you and towards you 
who are the refuge of our life 
and our Salvation. 

Amen.

1 Our Father 

1 Hail Mary 

1 Glory Be ...

O Jesus Crucified - for us you suffered - for us you died - On the Cross

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
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