JESUS IS SCOURGED AT THE PILLAR.
Then Pilate, therefore, took Jesus, and scourged him. (John xix. 1). O thou unjust judge, thou hast declared Him innocent, and then thou dost condemn Him to so cruel and so ignominious a punishment! Behold, now, my soul, how, after this unjust decree, the executioners seize hold of the Divine Lamb; they take Him to the pretorium, and bind Him with ropes to the pillar. O ye blessed cords that bound the hands of my sweet Redeemer to that pillar, bind likewise this wretched heart of mine to His Divine Heart, that so I may, from this day forth, neither seek for, nor desire, anything but what He doth wish.
Behold how they now lay hold of the scourges, and, at a given sign, begin to strike, in every part, that Sacred Flesh, which at first assumes a livid appearance, and then is covered all over with Blood, that flows from every pore. Alas, the scourges and the executioners’ hands are all now dyed in Blood; and with Blood is the ground all drenched. But, O God, through the violence of the blows, not only does the Blood, but pieces of the very Flesh of Jesus Christ go flying through the air. That Divine Body is already but one mass of Wounds; and yet do those barbarians continue to add blow to blow and pain to pain. And all this while, what is Jesus doing? He speaks not; He complains not; but patiently endures that great torture in order to appease the Divine justice, that was wroth against us. He shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth. (Is. liii. 7–Acts viii.). Go quickly, O my soul, go and wash thyself in that Divine Blood. My beloved Saviour, I behold Thee all torn in pieces for me; no longer, therefore, can I doubt that Thou dost love me, and love me greatly, too. Every Wound of Thine is a sure token on Thy part of Thy love, which with too much reason demands my love. Thou, O my Jesus, dost, without reserve, give me Thy Blood; it is but just that I without reserve should give Thee all my heart. Do Thou, then, accept of it, and make it to be ever faithful.
O my God, had Jesus Christ not suffered more than a single blow for love of me, I ought yet to have been burning with love for Him, saying, A God hath been willing to be struck for me! But no: He contented not Himself with a single blow; but, to pay the penalty due to my sins, He was willing to have His whole Body torn to shreds, as Isaias had already foretold: He was bruised for our sins (Is. liii. 5); and that even until He looked like a leper covered with wounds from head to foot: And we thought him, as it were, a leper. (Is. liii. 4). While, then, O my soul, Jesus was being scourged, He was thinking of thee, and offering to God those bitter sufferings of His, in order to deliver thee from the eternal scourges of hell. O God of love, how have I been able to live so many years, in time past, without loving Thee? O ye Wounds of Jesus, wound me with love towards a God Who has loved me so much! O Mary, O Mother of graces, do thou gain for me this love!