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
Among the throng following Jesus there is a group of women from Jerusalem: they know him. Seeing him in this sad state, they join in the crowd and ascend to Calvary. They are weeping.
Jesus sees them and feels their sorrow for him. Even at that tragic moment he wants to leave them a word which communicates more than sorrow alone. He desires, for them as for us, not simply pity but heartfelt conversion, a conversion which acknowledges past failures, seeks forgiveness and begins a new life.
Jesus, how often, for weariness or blindness,
for selfishness or fear
do we close our eyes and refuse to face reality!
Above all we choose not to get involved,
we do not share, deeply and actively,
in the lives and the needs of our brothers and sisters, near and far.
We continue to live comfortable lives,
we deplore evil and evildoers,
yet we do not change our lives
and we do not personally pay the price to change things,
so that evil can be overcome and justice served.
Often situations fail to improve because we have made no effort to change them. We withdraw without having wronged anyone, but also without having done the good that we might have done and ought to have done. Perhaps someone else pays the price for us, for the fact that we were not there.
Jesus, may these words of yours revive us,
and give us a portion of that strength
which impels the witnesses to the Gospel
– often martyrs, fathers or mothers or children –
who by their blood, united to your own,
have opened and continue to open even today
a path to goodness in our world.