A great crowd of the populace was following him, and also [a crowd] of women, who were mourning him and weeping for him. Jesus turned to the women and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t be weeping over me. No – weep for yourselves and for your children. Because, look! Days are coming when they will be saying, “Congratulations to the women who are barren, and the wombs that have not given birth, and the breasts that have not suckled”. Then they will start saying to the mountains, “Fall on us”, and to the hills, “Cover us”. Because if they do these things when the wood is green – what might happen when it’s dry?’ And two other criminals were led out with him to be executed. (Luke 23:27-32)
Again, we see the women in this situation showing great courage. Standing out against the crowd and openly displaying their sadness and disapproval at the fate of Jesus, they spurn the fear of retribution to be authentic companions to Him. In this moment Jesus offers a chilling premonition to further fortify these brave women of Jerusalem.
This year, I have had the privilege of working with countless women who displayed similar fortitude. Surviving unthinkable violence facing threats of retribution, they do what many in their situation would find unthinkable and strive to break the cycle of abuse. There is no doubt that evil exists in this world especially today. Whether the evil that sent Jesus to his death or the evil our clients face every day, the women of Jerusalem inspire us to act authentically in our pursuit of justice even in the face of this evil.
How can we find strength to stay true to ourselves in defiance of the crowd?
Is there a time when I was able to act courageously in defiance of a crowd or popular opinion?
O Jesus, we mourn and will always mourn for you and for ourselves, for your sufferings and for our sins which caused them. Oh, teach us to mourn, so that we may repent and be saved from the dreadful end to those who reject or neglect you, their God and their all.