Saturday 4th April – 6th Station – Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
True Icon, Sieger Koeder
St Matthew 25: 40
And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
We like to think we would have done it, but sometimes we just don’t notice it needs doing. Sometimes we notice, yet it is such a common sight we don’t contemplate any action to effect change while sometimes we are strangers visiting a strange land and don’t know what is the acceptable thing to do, without making trouble for ourselves.
There are the times when we do something helpful, because it was for a friend or family member, which we wouldn’t dream of doing for anyone else.
Maybe she was a resident of Jerusalem who waited to give what comfort she could. Royal Wotton Bassett was given the “royal” title after an originally spontaneous tribute became a standard to offer comfort to bereaved service families.
Maybe she was a visitor, there for the festival and shocked to the core by the casual cruelty of the Roman guard. She snatched her head scarf to wipe his face, to clear his eyes of blood, sweat and tears, a little comfort on the road. When Jesus was asked the most important commandment his response is to draw out two essentials; love God and love your neighbour (Matt 22:35-40). Without knowing, this compassionate woman set a standard of Christian charity such that she became known as a true image. The name is perhaps an alteration of the medieval Latin vēra īconica, true image.
It could have been anyone of us: Ruth (friend) or Andrew (manly / warrior) or Simon of Cyrene or Mary of Magdala, but they call her name Veronica.
Creator God, you have created us with our different abilities, gifts and talents. Grant us to use them all in our service to others, that we might be true images of Jesus, whose attributes name us Christian. Amen
The Rev’d Ruth Browning, retired minister, member of Thornbury URC