Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
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)
A Meditation from the Book of Lamentations (1:1-2, 2:19)
How lonely she is now, the once-crowded city!
Widowed is she who was mistress over nations;
the princess among the provinces has been made a toiling slave.
Bitterly she weeps at night, tears upon her cheeks,
with no one to console her of all her dear ones;
her friends have all betrayed her, and become her enemies.
Rise up, shrill in the night, at the beginning of every watch;
pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord;
lift up your hands to him for the lives of your little ones
who faint from hunger at the corner of every street.
Holy God, Holy and mighty, Holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.