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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
By Father Jerome Kodell, OSB, Subiaco Abbey
Jesus, carrying his cross on the way to Calvary, turns to speak to the women accompanying him (Luke 23:27-31). The scene is more complex than it looks. Who is comforting whom? The women are encouraging Jesus in his suffering, and he is bracing them for what they will have to face themselves. Surely part of the reason these women walk with this suffering prophet is because they sense that their own lives would be affected by the disturbing events underway. Jesus' words do not sound like comfort: "Do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children." But they serve to focus the vague uneasiness of the women, and, in a society that disregards the concerns of women as imaginary or emotional, Jesus comforts them by taking them seriously. Sometimes when we are suffering, we are so wrapped up in our own pain and anxiety that we don't realize the people right beside us are hurting too. Can we turn from our own way of the cross to comfort them?