“Remember those who are suffering, as though you were suffering as they are.” (Hebrews 13:4, Good News Translation)
V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you:
R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Meditation: Relieving suffering
Catholic tradition brings us the story of Veronica, a woman who took it upon herself to relieve the sufferings of Christ. Seeing his struggles as he carried the cross, Veronica bravely stepped forward and wiped his bloody face with her veil. Later, she discovered that an imprint of Christ’s face had been left on the material.
At its heart, the story is about the importance of relieving the suffering of others – and of seeing the face of Christ in the needy. We can no longer wipe away the blood and sweat from the face of Christ, but we can dry the tears of those who are suffering in this world. In doing so, we are relieving the sufferings of Christ himself (cf Matthew 25:31-46).
Through the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ emphasised the importance of relieving suffering. Like Veronica, the Good Samaritan took pity on an injured stranger. He bandaged his wounds, took him to a place of safety and even paid for his ongoing care (Luke 10:30-37). This is how we can show that we truly love both God and neighbour.
O Jesus, open my eyes to see your face in those who are suffering. Lord, you hear the cries of those who are suffering – send me to relieve their misery (Exodus 3:7-10). Remind me to be a Good Samaritan to those I meet along the way.
Sign from the Old Testament
After Moses had spoken with God on Mount Sinai, his face shone like the sun, leading him to wear a veil when preaching to the people (Exodus 34:29-35).
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