Evening Meditations for the Second Monday in Lent ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation



When it was day, the Jews conduct Jesus to Pilate, to make him condemn Him to death; but Pilate declares Him to be innocent: I find no cause in this man. (Luke xxiii. 4). And to free himself from the importunities of the Jews, who pressed on him, seeking the death of the Saviour, he sends Him to Herod. It greatly pleased Herod to see Jesus Christ brought before him, hoping that in his presence, in order to deliver Himself from death, He would have worked one of those miracles of which he had heard; wherefore Herod asked Him many questions. But Jesus, because He did not wish to be delivered from death, and because that wicked one was not worthy of His answers, was silent, and answered him not. Then the proud king, with his court, offered Him many insults, and making them cover Him with a white robe, as if declaring Him to be an ignorant and stupid fellow, sent Him back to Pilate: But Herod with his soldiers despised him, and mocked him, putting on him a white robe, and sent him back to Pilate. (Luke xxiii. 11). Cardinal Hugo in his Commentary says, “Mocking Him as if a fool, he clothed Him with a white robe.” And St. Bonaventure, “He despised Him as if impotent, because He worked no miracle; as if ignorant, because He answered him not a word; as if idiotic, because He did not defend Himself.”

O Eternal Wisdom! O Divine Word! This one other ignominy was wanting to Thee, that Thou shouldst be treated as a fool bereft of sense. So greatly does our salvation weigh on Thee, that through love of us Thou willest not only to be reviled, but to be satiated with revilings; as Jeremias had already prophesied of Thee: He shall give his cheek to him that striketh him; he shall be filled with reproaches. (Lam. iii. 30). And how couldst Thou bear such love to men, from whom Thou hast received nothing but ingratitude and slights? Alas, that I should be one of these who have outraged Thee worse than Herod. Ah, my Jesus, chastise me not, like Herod, by depriving me of Thy voice. Herod did not recognise Thee for what Thou art! I confess Thee to be my God: Herod loved Thee not; I love Thee more than myself. Deny me not, I beseech Thee, deny me not the voice of Thy inspiration, as I have deserved by the offences I have committed against Thee. Tell me what Thou wilt have of me, for, by Thy grace, I am ready to do all that Thou wilt.


When Jesus had been led back to Pilate, the governor inquired of the people whom they wished to have released at the Passover, Jesus or Barabbas, a murderer. But the people cried out, Not this man, but Barabbas. Then said Pilate, What, then, shall I do with Jesus? They answered, Let him be crucified. But what evil hath this innocent One done? replied Pilate: What evil hath he done? They repeated: Let him be crucified. And even up to this time, O God, the greater part of mankind continue to say, “Not this Man, but Barabbas”; preferring to Jesus Christ some pleasure of sense, some point of honour, some outbreak of wounded pride.

Ah, my Lord, well knowest Thou that at one time I did Thee the same injury when I preferred my accursed tastes to Thee. My Jesus, pardon me, for I repent of the past, and from henceforth I prefer Thee before everything. I esteem Thee, I love Thee more than any good; and am willing a thousand times to die rather than forsake Thee. Give me holy perseverance, give me Thy love.

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