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

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST

I.

It was revealed to St. Bridget that when the Saviour was laid upon the Cross, He stretched out His right hand to the place where it was to be nailed. Executioners immediately nailed the other hand, and then His sacred feet; and Jesus Christ was left to die upon this bed of anguish. St. Augustine says that the punishment of the cross was a most bitter torment, because, upon the Cross death itself was prolonged, lest the pain should be speedily ended.

O God! what horror must then have smitten Heaven at the sight of the Son of the Eternal Father crucified between two thieves! Such, in truth, was the Prophecy of Isaias: He was reputed with the wicked (Is. liii. 12). Wherefore St. John Chrysostom, contemplating Jesus upon the Cross, cried out, full of amazement and love: “I see Him in the midst, in the holy Trinity! I see Him in the midst, between Moses and Elias! I see Him in the midst, between two thieves!” As though he had said: “I see my Saviour first in Heaven between the Father and the Holy Ghost; I see Him upon Mount Tabor, between two Saints, Moses and Elias; how, then, is it I see Him crucified upon Calvary between two thieves?” How could this come to pass, but through the Divine decree, that thus He must die, to satisfy by His death for the sins of men, and to save men from death, as Isaias had foretold: He was reputed with the wicked, and he hath borne the sins of many (Is. liii. 12).

II.

The same Prophet asks: Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra; this beautiful one in his robe, walking in the greatness of his strength? (Is. lxiii. 1). And he gives the answer: I that speak justice, and am a defender to save (Is. lxiii. 1). The person who thus replies is, according to the interpreters, Jesus Christ, Who says: I am the promised Messias, Who am come to save men, by my triumph over their enemies.

Then, further, He is again asked: Why is thy apparel red, and thy garments like theirs that tread in the wine-press? (Is. lxiii. 2). And He answers, I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me (Is. lxiii. 3). Tertullian, St. Cyprian, and St. Augustine explain the wine-press to mean the Passion of Jesus Christ, in which His garments — that is, His most holy flesh — was covered with blood and wounds, according to what St. John wrote: He was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood; and his name is called the Word of God (Apoc. xix. 13). St. Gregory, explaining the expression, I have trodden the wine-press alone, says, “He trod the wine-press, and was Himself trodden.” He trod it, because Jesus Christ, by His Passion, overcame the devil; He was trodden, because, in His Passion, His body was bruised and broken, as the grapes are broken in the wine-press, and, as Isaias expresses it in another text: The Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity (Is. liii. 10).

Leave a Reply