Whose Side Are You On? – Those Who Witnessed the Passion
– by Carlos Mantica
Those Who Knew How to Respond
We have seen a series of characters who witnessed the passion, and I’m now in danger of neglecting other characters in whom we also can find a reflection of ourselves, or from whom we may have something to learn. I’m referring to people who did know how to respond when they met Jesus that day.
I’m thinking, for instance, of that woman whom we have happened to call Veronica, the one who wiped the face of Jesus.
There is no act of heroism in her. She simply came out to meet Jesus and wiped his face that was full of sweat, blood and spit. What we admire in her is her heart. No doubt she did many other things like that, before and after that beautiful gesture. She embodies all those silent women who, in an anonymous way, help the needy and the suffering.
No one knows who this woman is. She has been mistakenly called Veronica, due to the famous Canvas of Veronica where the face of Jesus remained printed. It is quite possible that this canvas never existed as such, but is rather the same Shroud of Turin, with which the body of Christ was wrapped to place him in the tomb, and where the image of his whole body remained printed. For centuries it was folded, showing only the face. It was called the Veron-Icon, a mixture of a Latin and a Greek word which means “the true image”, and subsequently someone must have given the name Veronica to the woman.
No one knows, then, who this woman actually was. We only know what she had in her heart. Just the same, we usually do not know the name behind a lot of good actions that occur around us.
Carlos Mantica is a founder of The City of God community (La Cuidad de Dios) in Managua, Nicaragua, and a founding leader of the Sword of the Spirit. He served as president of the Sword of the Spirit between 1991 and 1995. Adapted from the book, From Egghead to Birdhood (hatch or rot as a Christian), © copyright 2001 Carlos Mantica.