Evening Meditations for Passion Monday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

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Evening Meditation



The Lord, knowing that the Jews who were coming to take Him were now at hand, rose up from prayer and went to meet them; and so, without reluctance, He lets them take Him, and bind Him: They took Jesus, and bound him. (John xviii. 12). 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 shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter. (Is. liii. 7). He neither speaks nor utters a 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.

Jesus enters Jerusalem bound. Those who were asleep in their beds, at the noise of the crowd passing by, awake, and inquire who that may be they are taking along in custody; and they are told in reply, “It is Jesus of Nazareth Who has been found out to be an impostor and seducer.” 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; so that He calls upon the Jews themselves, who were standing around Him, to bear their testimony as to what He has said: Behold, these know what I have said. But upon this reply, one of the officials of the court gives Him a blow in the Face, saying: Answerest thou 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.


The High-priest, in the next place, conjures Him in the Name of God, to say whether He is truly the Son of God? Jesus answers in the affirmative, that such He was; and Caiphas, on hearing this, instead of prostrating himself on the earth to adore his God, rends his garments, and, turning to the other priests, says: What further need have we of witnesses? Behold, ye have now heard the blasphemy: what think ye? 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, 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, O Christ: who is it that struck thee? Thus writes St. Matthew (chap. xxvi. 68). And 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 servants did smite him with the palms of their hands. (Mark xiv. 65). Behold Thyself, O my Jesus, become, upon this night, the butt of the rabble. And how can men see Thee in such humiliation for love of them, and not love Thee? And how have I been able to go so far as to outrage Thee by so many sins, when Thou, O Lord, hast suffered so much for me? Forgive me, O my Love, for I will not displease Thee more. I love Thee, my chiefest Good, and I repent above every other evil of having despised Thee. O Mary, my Mother, pray thy ill-treated Son to pardon me.

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