Evening Meditations for Passion Thursday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

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Evening Meditation



When the soldiers had finished the scourging of Jesus Christ, they all assembled together in the pretorium, and, stripping His own clothes off Him again, in order to turn Him into ridicule, and to make Him a mock king, they put upon Him an old ragged mantle of a reddish colour, to represent the royal purple; in His hand a reed to represent a sceptre; and upon His Head a bundle of thorns, to represent a crown, but fashioned like a helmet, so as to fit close upon the whole of His Sacred Head. Stripping him, they put a scarlet cloak about him, and, platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand. (Matt. xxvii. 28, 29). And when the thorns, by the pressure of their hands alone, could not be made to penetrate deeper into that Divine Head which they were piercing, with the self-same reed, and with all their might, they battered down that barbarous crown: And spitting upon him, they took the reed, and struck his head. (Matt. xxvii. 30). O ungrateful thorns, do you thus torture your Creator? But what thorns, what thorns? You, ye wicked thoughts of mine; it is you that have pierced the Head of my Redeemer. I detest, O my Jesus, and I abhor, more than I do death itself, those evil consentings by which I have so often grieved Thee, my God, Who art so good. But since Thou dost make me know how much Thou hast loved me, Thee alone will I love, Thee alone.


O my God, how the Blood is now streaming down from that pierced Head over the Face and the Breast of Jesus! And Thou, my Saviour, dost not even utter a complaint at such wicked cruelties. Thou art the King of Heaven and of earth; but now, my Jesus, Thou art brought down so low as to appear before us as a King of derision and of sorrows, being made the laughing-stock of all Jerusalem. But the prophecy of Jeremias had to be fulfilled, that Thou wouldst one day have Thy fill of sorrows and shame: He will give his cheek to the smiter, he will be satiated with reproaches. (Lam. iii. 30). O Jesus, my Love, in time past I have despised Thee; but now I prize Thee, and I love Thee with all my heart, and I desire to die for love of Thee.

But no; these men for whom Thou art suffering have not yet their fill of torturing and mocking Thee, O Jesus! After having thus tortured Thee and dressed Thee up as a mock king, they bend their knee before Thee and scornfully address Thee: Hail to thee, O King of the Jews! And then, with shouts of laughter, they deal out more blows upon Thee, thus redoubling the dreadful anguish of the Head already pierced by the thorns: And bowing the knee before him, they derided him saying: Hail, King of the Jews; and they gave him blows. (Matt. xxvii. 29, and John xix. 3). Do thou at least go, O my soul, and recognise Jesus for what He is, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; and return thanks to Him, and love Him, now that Thou beholdest Him become, for love of thee, the King of Sorrows. O my Lord, keep not in Thy remembrance the griefs I have caused Thee. I now love Thee more than myself. Thou only dost deserve all my love, and, therefore, Thee only do I wish to love. I fear, on account of my weaknesses; but it is for Thee to give me the strength to execute my desire. And thou, too, O Mary, must help me by thy prayers.

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