Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eucharistic Way of the Cross: Sixth Station

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Jesus has now traveled some distance in pain and suffering. Sweat mingled with blood drips from his face. From the crowd a woman steps forward to offer a small gesture of consolation. She wipes His face with a cloth. Tradition tells us that an image of Jesus is transferred onto this holy relic and too His sacred blood is preserved there.

At Mass:

The priest continues with Jesus own words: “Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.”

Veronica used her veil to capture the blood of Jesus mingled with the sweat of His brow – the priest now holds a chalice of wine mingled with water. This becomes for us Jesus’ Blood.

Symbolically, Veronica’s veil is a relic that memorializes Jesus’ shedding of blood. The Blood of the Cross is preserved on her veil and it is the same Blood that we find in the chalice from which we drink at Mass.

The Mass is the memorial feast which Jesus instituted to make His sacrifice present to us down through the ages. We do this in memory of Him. We celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as He commanded us. It is like a sacred “relic” handed down to us which pours out grace on all who gather to worship - pouring out Christ’s Blood as true drink.

[For an explanation of this series of meditations on the Way of the Cross see this Introduction.]

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