Monday, March 21, 2016

St. Alphonsus de Liguori's Meditation for Passion Monday

"Christ Before Caiphas" by Nicolo Frangipane

Picture source

Jesus is apprehended, and led before Caiphas

..."'They apprehended Jesus, and bound Him."  O amazement!  A God bound as a criminal by His own creatures!  Behold, my soul, how some of them seize hold of His hands; others put the handcuffs on Him; and others smite Him; and the innocent Lamb lets Himself be bound and struck at their will, and says not a word:  'He was offered because it was His own will, and opened not His mouth.  He is led as a sheep to the slaughter.'  He neither speaks nor utters complaint, since He had Himself already offered Himself up to die for us; and, therefore, did that Lamb let Himself be bound and led to death without opening His mouth.  

They bring Him up before Caiphas, who is pleased at seeing Him and asks Him about His disciples, and about His doctrine.  Jesus replies that He has spoken openly...'Behold, these (the Jews) know what I have said.'  But upon this reply, one of the officials of the court gives Him a blow in the face, saying, 'Dost Thou answer the high-priest so?'  But, O God, how does a reply, so humble and gentle, deserve so great an insult?

Ah, my Jesus, Thou dost suffer it all in order to pay the penalty of the insults that I have offered to Thy heavenly Father.

'What more need have we of witnesses?  Behold, ye have now heard His blasphemy; what is your opinion?  And they unanimously replied, He is guilty of death.'  And then, as the Evangelists relate, they all began to spit in His face, and to abuse Him, and slapping Him with their hands, and striking Him with their fists; and then tying a piece of cloth over His face, they turned Him into ridicule, saying, 'Prophesy to us, Thou Christ; who is it that smote Thee?'...St. Mark writes, And some began to spit upon Him, and to cover His face, and to deal upon Him blows, and to say to Him,  'Prophesy.  And the officers did smite Him with the palms of their hands.'"

- The Passion and the Death of Jesus Christ

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