STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Station 8: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Location: Corner of E. Mifflin St. and N. Pinckney St., opposite the YWCA
A reading from the Gospel according to Luke
A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.” For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’ (Luke 23:27-31)
The death of Jesus did not end suffering. In the intervening two thousand years, there has been war, persecution, genocide, rape, slavery, and conquest. Christians have been the persecuted, and Christians have been the persecutors. And always those at the bottom of social hierarchies suffer. In Jesus’ time and today, women and children are often the most vulnerable, the ones who bear the brunt of the decisions of those in power. Jesus’ words sound harsh, but he speaks a simple and heartbreaking truth.
The YWCA of Madison works to empower women to create a better and a fairer world. Their programs help women and children living in poverty to access housing and job training, and address the structural injustices of race and gender that force so many into poverty and vulnerability. Pray for their work and for all who serve and advocate for those on the margins.
A Prayer for the Oppressed
Look with pity, loving God, upon all those who live with injustice, terror, disease and death as their constant companions. Help us to eliminate cruelty and indifference to our neighbors, near and far. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all.And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this nation and your Earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Holy and mighty,
Holy immortal one,
have mercy upon us.