Evening Meditations for the Eleventh Tuesday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST

I.

St. Paul says of Jesus Christ: He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant (Phil. ii. 7). On this text St. Bernard remarks: “He took not only the form of a servant, that He might obey, but that of a slave, that He might be beaten.” Our Redeemer, Who is the Lord of all, was willing not only to take upon Him the condition of a servant, but even that of a bad servant, that He might be punished as a malefactor, and thus make satisfaction for our sins.

It is certain that the scourging was the most cruel of the tortures that shortened the life of our Redeemer; for the great effusion of Blood (already foretold by Him, when He said: This is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many) (Matt. xxvi. 28), was the principal cause of His death. It is true that this Blood was first poured forth in the Garden, and was also poured forth in the Crowning with Thorns, and by the driving-in of the Nails; but the largest portion was shed in the Scourging, which was also a cause of great shame and insult to Jesus Christ, because this was a punishment inflicted only on slaves. On this account, also, the tyrants who condemned the holy Martyrs to death scourged them after their condemnation, and then slew them; while our Lord was scourged before He was condemned to death. He had Himself particularly predicted the scourging to His disciples during His life: He shall be given up to the Gentiles, and mocked and scourged (Luke xviii. 32). Thus He signified to them the great anguish which this torture would inflict upon Him.

Behold me, O my Jesus, I am one of Thy most cruel executioners, who have scourged Thee with my sins; have pity upon me. O my loving Saviour, one heart is too little with which to love Thee. I desire no longer to live for myself, I desire to live only for Thee, my Love, my All!

II.

It was revealed to St. Bridget that one of the executioners first commanded Jesus Christ to strip Himself of His garments. He obeyed, and then embraced the pillar to which He was bound, and was then so cruelly scourged that His whole body was lacerated. The revelation stated that the stripes not only struck Him, but ploughed into His most holy flesh. He was so torn open that, as the same revelation declares, His ribs were laid bare. With this agrees what was written by St. Jerome: “The stripes cut the most holy body of God”; and also what St. Peter Damian wrote, that the executioners exhausted themselves with fatigue in scourging our Lord. All this was already foretold by Isaias in the words, He was bruised for our sins (Is. liii. 5); the word bruised signifying the same as being broken to pieces, or as being pounded in a mortar.

O Jesus, I say to Thee, with St. Catharine of Genoa: “O Love! O Love! Let there be no more sins! It is enough that I have already offended Thee so much! Now I hope to be wholly Thine, and with Thy grace I desire to be ever Thine through all eternity.”

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