Latent Emissions, Chakaia Booker
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (53:2-3)
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.
In these strange, uncertain times of wide-spread illness, loss, and death across our global community, it is a great comfort to look upon the face of a suffering Jesus, and to know that he too was, like us, intimately “acquainted with infirmity.” The Veil of Veronica, that same veil which once would have served to hide her face, is here lifted up to reveal a true (vera) impression of the beloved, ruined face from which others hide their faces, unveiling in the image (eikon) its hidden glory and beauty. As we follow on this via dolorosa, let us pray now for the strength to look with Veronica’s kindness and sympathy upon the faces of others—particularly the suffering other: the seriously ill, the dying, the exhausted health care and other frontline workers, those with nowhere to go, those held “of no account”—with warmth, compassion, and love. Let us pray to attend more fully to the hidden mysteries always around us, and to be able to look upon our wounded neighbor with full attention and ask, with Simone Weil, “What are you going through?” Let us continue to unite our suffering with the suffering of Christ.
– Jennifer Newsome Martin, Assistant Professor for the Program of Liberal Studies