Music: Bach: O Sacred Head sore wounded (Hymn or instrumental)
The reading is from the Gospel of Luke.
Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"-- not knowing what he said. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"
Veronica wiping the face of Jesus, though not mentioned in the Gospels, is an ancient tradition. The Transfiguration of Jesus which we do hear in this Gospel account has its awful counterpart in the disfiguring of Jesus in the course of his Passion. I would want with all my heart to help Jesus, would I have had the courage to step forward to comfort him even for the brief moment of wiping his face? Tradition tells us that the image of his face was preserved on the cloth. Where would I like the image of his face to be preserved in me? The Passion of Jesus is something like the DNA of the Christian. Is it deeply rooted in me? Is it shaping me?
Dearest Jesus. . .