REFLECTIONS AND AFFECTIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST
The iniquitous high-priest then asked Jesus if He were verily the Son of God: I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us if thou be the Christ, the Son of God. (Matt. xxvi. 63). Jesus, out of respect for the Name of God, affirmed that He was so indeed; whereupon Caiphas rent his garments, saying that He had blasphemed; and all cried out that He deserved death: But they answering said, he is guilty of death. (Matt. xxvi. 66). Yes, O my Jesus, with truth do they declare Thee guilty of death, since Thou hast willed to take upon Thee to make satisfaction for me, who deserved eternal death. But if by Thy death Thou hast acquired for me life, it is just that I should spend my life wholly, yea, and if need be, to lose it for Thee. Yes, my Jesus, I will no longer live for myself; but only for Thee, and for Thy love. Succour me by Thy grace.
Then they spat in his face and buffeted him. (Matt. xxvi. 67). After having proclaimed Him guilty of death, as a man already given over to punishment, and declared infamous, the rabble set themselves to ill-treat Him all the night through with blows, and buffets, and kicks, with plucking out His beard, and even spitting in His Face, by mocking Him as a false prophet, and saying: Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that struck thee? (Matt. xxvi. 68). All this our Redeemer foretold by Isaias: I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them; I have not turned my face away from them that rebuked and spit upon me. (Is. l. 6). The devout Thauler relates that it is an opinion of St. Jerome that all the pains and infirmities which Jesus suffered on that night shall be made known only on the day of the Last Judgment. St. Augustine, speaking of the ignominies suffered by Jesus Christ, says, “If this medicine cannot cure our pride, I know not what can. Ah, my Jesus, how is it that Thou art so humble and I so proud? O Lord, give me light; make me know who Thou art, and who I am.
Then they spat in his face. Spat! O God, what greater affront can there be than to be defiled by spitting: “To be spit upon is to suffer the extreme of insult,” says Origen. Where are we wont to spit, except in the most filthy place? And didst Thou, my Jesus, suffer Thyself to be spit upon in the face? Behold how these wretches outrage Thee with blows and kicks, insult Thee, spit on Thy Face, do with Thee just what they will; and dost Thou not threaten or reprove them? When he was reviled, he reviled not; when he suffered, he threatened not; but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly. (1 Pet. ii. 23). No, but like an innocent lamb, humble and meek, Thou didst suffer all without so much as complaining, offering all to the Father to obtain the pardon of our sins: Like a lamb before the shearer, he shall be dumb and shall not open his mouth. (Is. liii. 7). St. Gertrude one day, when meditating on the injuries done to Jesus in His Passion, began to praise and bless Him; this was so pleasing to Our Lord, that He lovingly thanked her.
Ah, my reviled Lord, Thou art the King of Heaven, the Son of the Most High: Thou surely deservest not to be ill-treated and despised, but to be adored and loved by all creatures. I adore Thee, I bless Thee, I thank Thee, I love Thee with all my heart. I repent of having offended Thee. Help me, have pity upon me.