Sisters in Scripture
Daughter of Jerusalem
03/31/2021 Kathleen MacInnis Kichline


Daughter of Jerusalem

A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 12: 27-31). 

Only Luke's passion narrative contains this touching scene. We hear it every third Passion Sunday (next year) and the scene has been immortalized as the Eighth Station in the Way of the Cross, "Jesus Comforts the Women of Jerusalem." In WITNESSES ON THE WAY, our recent online retreat, participants created and spoke in character for each Station. Here is a sample from this Eighth Station, A Daughter of Jerusalem:

Tikva called out to me to hurry when she came running to my home. In the company of other women, we have begun the practice of intentionally witnessing executions under Roman rule. To comfort the dying is an act of mercy in Judaism so the Romans, though they scorn us, tolerate our presence. We know the comfort it gives to the condemned to see us and we also know that our presence indicts the injustice being done. So we do what we can.

Today, however, my mother-in-law had left for market and I had no one with whom I could leave my toddler son and I am still nursing my infant daughter. I hesitated but a moment and then bundled them both into my arms and followed Tikva to the road that led to Calvary.

There the other women told us it was the gentle healer, Jesus, who had been condemned. I prayed they were somehow wrong. They were not. We saw the crowd approach and began, as official mourners, to cry and wail above the noise. Suddenly silence fell over all. Jesus had stopped before us and turned to comfort the ones who'd come to comfort him. "Do not weep for me." The mouth of my infant daughter went slack at my breast as she turned toward Jesus, a smile playing at the corner of her lips. With my one free arm, I grabbed my son's hand as he began to pull away and reach out to Jesus. "Weep for your children." The tenderness of his gaze upon my children melted my mother-heart even as his words struck cold fear. 

His words still rang in my ears as I tucked in my little ones that night. I blew out the lamp and sat in the dark, rocking back and forth, trying to ward off the horror I had seen and the dire prediction I had heard. Ever so slowly, my heart quieted and something began to stir inside me, a resolute assurance that the witness of women was powerful, that Jesus had acknowledged that. I looked at my sleeping daughter and prayed that she would live to have a daughter who would have a daughter. 

When I slept I dreamed of daughters, a long line of daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters. They were many and different--fair faces, dark faces, speaking languages I did not know, but they were all my daughter's daughters. Shoulder to shoulder they stood with babies in their arms and they did not turn their faces away from evil but evil turned from them. For they were strong and they were not alone. Jesus was with them.

Dear friends,
Every Station is this personal and powerful. Witnesses on the Way was first created in 2003, by women from two churches, Maplewood Presbyterian, Edmonds, WA and St. Thomas More Catholic, Lynnwood, WA. The words they wrote have been re-crafted and prayed every Lent since in a variety of settings. 
It was my great privilege to write this one anew in our recent retreat. Like the woman in the Station, I only realized its message to me after the fact. So I prayed and pondered and penned for you the fullness of that message as I heard it. 
I offer it to you in the middle of this Holy Week, along with the prayer that you will be blessed with new insight, compassion, and tenderness as we enter again this most holy celebration of the year.
God bless,

Starts this Monday

And the reason for Lent is...EASTER


April 5 - April 10, 2021
Easter Monday 
The Women at the Tomb 

Easter Tuesday
Mary Magdalene in the Garden

Easter Wednesday 
The Road to Emmaus

Easter Thursday 
The Upper Room/ Doubting Thomas

Easter Friday 
By Shores of the Sea of Galilee

Easter Saturday 
The Ascension ( a look ahead) 
St. Placid's Priory cordially invites you to linger in the presence of the Risen Lord, each morning of the week after Easter, 

Mon, Apr 5 -Sat, Apr 10
9:00-10:30 (PDT). 

Begin every day focused on a different Resurrection appearance via Zoom. Kathleen will use the scripture story along with artwork, song, and reflection to help you extend the joy of Easter

To register: Encounters 
$150 / 6 Sessions, full week
Registration is per day @ $25

Single day registrations is A-OK!

A Personal Note from Kathleen

Image of Chocolate Easter Bunny
Please make sure your Easter lasts longer than the bunny! Easter Week should be a kind of afterglow--enjoy it, linger. Encounters with the Risen Lord is a devotional offered every morning as a way for you to do that. Bring a quiet heart, your cup of morning coffee or tea, whatever images, memories or wondering you have about Easter, and join with us as we explore, pray, and share on what it means to encounter Jesus as resurrected. 

If you cannot commit to every morning, choose which one(s) appeal to or work for you and sign up for that. Whatever Resurrection story you choose, it will never be the same for you. 

As always, I love to hear from  you. You can contact me at Kathleen



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