The Patience of the Passion.
As a lamb before the shearers so He opened not His mouth. (Acts viii. 32.)
Patience is the voluntary endurance of that which is painful to human nature, and its value is in proportion to the greatness of the suffering endured and the supernatural motive that leads to its endurance. Was there ever patience like that of Jesus Christ?
1. No human being ever suffered in any sort of proportion to the sufferings of Jesus Christ. His mental and physical sufferings were such as even He could not have borne, if He had not availed Himself of His Divinity to enable His Sacred Humanity to suffer the more. “Behold and see,” He cries out by the mouth of the Prophet, “if there be any sorrow like to My sorrow, with which the Lord has afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger.”
2. What was the motive that induced our Lord to suffer? It was the love He bore to His Eternal Father, and the desire that He should be glorified. Though it is true that love for man brought Him down from Heaven, yet His love for man was but a fruit of His love for God, of His desire that His Kingdom should be spread over the whole earth. Is the promotion of God’s glory my one object?
3. In the Blessed Sacrament our Lord continues His Sacred Passion. There He endures all the outrages and insults of wicked men, all the neglect and indifference of tepid Christians. He waits patiently in the Tabernacle for men to go and visit Him. He allows Himself to be carried hither and thither, to be received by bad and good alike. Am I thus patient under neglect and unkindness from others, like my Saviour Jesus Christ?
From The History of the Sacred Passion, pp. 192—194, by Father de la Palma.
Our Saviour, then, being thus bound, the executioners began to scourge that most delicate body, either with rods, according to the custom of the Romans, or with thongs and scourges of leather, according to that of the Jews, or with both one and the other. And the scourgers (who according to some writers were six) succeeded one another, and let loose their frenzy and accursed fury on the most sacred flesh and ineffable patience of the Son of God: a spectacle the most horrid the world has ever seen. For men were scourging the Son of God in the sight of the Eternal Father and of all the angels of Heaven, and yet there was no one to hinder them. Draw near, all mankind, and enter the Praetorium of Pilate and behold God Himself scourged, for your sins! Learn, O man, what thou art worth, since thou wert bought at such a price, and how much thou owest to Him Who so liberally paid it for thee, and, if thou understandest how to estimate the value and dignity of thy redemption, be ashamed to make thyself again the slave of sin!
As to the number of strokes which our Lord received, who shall count them, for some say that they were more than five thousand? It was, however, impossible that the strokes could be few, seeing that they were inflicted for the chastisement of the sins, so many and so great, which men commit. Thus Isaias says (liii. 5, 6), that God laid on Him the iniquity of us all, that He was wounded for our iniquities and bruised for our sins, and that the chastisement which our sins merit was laid upon His shoulders. Moreover, the Law commanded (Deut. xxv. 2) that according to the measure of the crime the measure of the stripes should be. But what measure could there be to His scourging, since our sins were altogether without measure? Therefore, the holy Prophets so long before had said that He remained without form or comeliness, and that His Body was as that of a leper, and that from the sole of His foot to the highest part of His head there was no soundness in Him.
If the feelings of the Prophets were so deep who beheld Him afar off, what must His most holy Mother have felt, who stood so near Him? For very shortly new r s must have reached her of the resolution taken by Pilate, and how he had condemned her Son no be scourged, and at these most afflicting tidings were renewed her own tears and the tears of those holy women who bore her company. For if mothers are very deeply wounded when their sons and husbands are subjected to outrage, what must the heart of the Virgin have felt when she knew that her Son was about to be subjected to this outrage and suffering? It may be that in such a strait she could not restrain herself from approaching nearer to the Praetorium, whence she saw, or at least heard, the strokes of the scourges, which would sound loudly in her ears, and would deeply pierce her heart, and draw as many tears from her eyes as drops of blood from the Body of her Son.
« Previous Section
WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEKNext Section »
VISITS TO THE SEPULCHRE
This article, MAUNDY THURSDAY is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.