When I was in grade 8 I received the sacrament of Confirmation. I chose the Confirmation name of Veronica after St. Veronica. I was drawn to the story of her wiping Jesus’ face while He struggled on His way to Calvary and how an image of His face appeared on her veil.
Upon reflecting more about St. Veronica, I realize the connection to Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus explains that it is those who gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, care for the ill and imprisoned that were really doing those things for Him. And, because of their kindness, their willingness to sacrifice items, time and comfort, they will inherit eternal life.
Veronica offered her veil to Jesus during His suffering while many around Him were cursing Him, spitting and eager to see His pain. Though it was a small act, in another sense, it was a risk as the people around her could have scorned her, too. She could have stayed on the sidelines watching. Being content to be a bystander and not to stand out. To remain comfortable.
It is also easy for us to stay comfortable and ignore the suffering that is happening in the world. Some of the suffering is more visible such as a man or woman homeless on the streets. Others, not so much. North America tolerates the widely unseen injustice of abortion. Generally, we’re comfortable when an injustice goes unseen. Jesus requires that we care for those who are suffering – seen and unseen, born and unborn.
Let us ask ourselves, “Have I ministered to the needs of those suffering? Am I willing to console Jesus by seeking to care for those who suffer?”