SECOND WEEK OF LENT: TUESDAY
Jesus made the Sport of the Soldiers and the Servants of Caiphas
1st Prelude. Behold Jesus in the midst of vile soldiers and insolent servants, who pour on Him insults and outrages.
2nd Prelude. Beg the grace of knowing the value of humiliations, and of loving them, after the example of Jesus Christ, your king and your model.
POINT I. “And the men who held Him mocked Him.”
CONSIDERATION. When Caiphas, triumphant at having condemned Jesus, went to take his night’s rest, he left his captive in the hands of the guard, or, rather, gave Him up to the insolence of his servants and of the soldiery of the praetorium. They immediately dragged Him into a subterranean prison for criminals. What a humiliation for our Blessed Lord! There was no rest for Him there. The hatred that they knew their masters had for Jesus stirred them up, and, gathering around Him, they made brutal sport of Him, and tried which could excel the other in showing ridicule, scorn, blasphemy, and curses on Him; and this scene of horror lasted throughout the rest of the night. Try to form a vivid idea of the suffering and humiliation of our Lord, made the sport of vile and insolent men during the whole night, without a moment’s rest; and then nights of suffering will appear more endurable to you, and the days which perhaps you have to spend among children, or others who are vulgar, ungrateful, and petulant, will seem less wearisome, less unbearable.
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT II. “Then did they spit in His face.”
CONSIDERATION. They spat in His face! If this were not recorded in the Gospel, we could not have believed that the brutality and cruelty of men could go so far, or that God made man could have allowed and borne such an insult, the greatest and the most keenly felt which could be given to the lowest of men. But our Lord allowed it, and bore it again and again, without a movement, without a word, as it had been foretold by the Prophet Isaias. “I have not turned away My face from them that spat upon Me.”
APPLICATION. And yet men often complain, become indignant, and long to be revenged, if they are injured, or even if they are not sufficiently considered or treated as they think they deserve. Ought they not rather to fall at the feet of Jesus, and cry out with St. Bernard “What, shall my Master and my King be insulted and spat upon by His vilest subjects, and shall I be honoured, who have deserved for my sins to be cast with the refuse of the human race to the bottom of Hell? No, never! Let me rather be forgotten and despised by all men in this world, that I may obtain mercy in eternity.”
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT III. “And they blindfolded Him, and smote His face. And they asked Him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that struck Thee?”
CONSIDERATION. In grief and silence we will contemplate the King of Glory covered with reproach, and drinking to the very dregs that cup of humiliation which He accepted in the Garden of Olives. He is seated on a block of wood, His hands are bound, His eyes blindfolded, He is surrounded by coarse, half-intoxicated men, who, one after the other, strike Him on the face and buffet Him, and cry out “Prophesy, who is it that struck Thee?” And then they pour a flood of insults and blasphemies on Him. Who is suffering these insults? Why does He thus humble Himself?
APPLICATION. When we meditate on the three degrees of humility, we often resolve that we will rather be despised and thought nothing of by the world, be condemned and looked down upon with our Master, than be esteemed and highly exalted before men. What progress have we made in the practice of these resolutions?
COLLOQUY with our Blessed Lord.