Friday, April 2, 2010

The Crowning with Thorns

(An excerpt from the classic book, The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, by St. Alphonsus Liguori):

This vile crowd, not content with having so barbarously crowned Jesus Christ, wished to mock him, and to multiply fresh insults and torments; and so they bent the knee before him, and deridingly saluted him, "Hail, King of the Jews;" they spat in his face, they struck him with the palms of their hands; with cries and ridicule and contempt they vilely insult him: And bending the knee before Him, they mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews; and spitting on Him, they gave Him blows. (Mt. 27:29; John 19:3) Ah, my Lord, to what art Thou reduced? O God, if any one had chanced to pass that way, and had seen this man thus disfigured, covered with these purple rags, with this sceptre in his hand, with this crown on his head, thus derided and ill-treated by this rabble, for what could he ever have accounted him but for a man the most infamous and wicked in all the world. Behold, then, the Son of God become the mockery of Jerusalem!
Ah, my Jesus, if I look on Thy body without, I see nothing but wounds and blood. If within, in Thy heart, I find nothing else but bitterness and anguish, which make Thee suffer the agonies of death. Ah, my God, who but infinite goodness, such as Thou art, could ever have humbled himself to suffer so much for his creatures?—but creatures beloved of God, because Thou art God. These wounds which I see in Thee are all tokens of the love which Thou bearest to us. Oh, if all men could have contemplated Thee in the condition in which on that day Thou wast a spectacle of sorrow and reproach to all Jerusalem, who would not have been seized by love of Thee? Lord, I love Thee, and give myself wholly to Thee. Behold, my blood, my life, all I offer Thee. Behold me ready to suffer and die as it pleaseth Thee. And what can I deny to Thee who hast not denied to me Thy blood and life? Deign to accept the sacrifice which a miserable sinner makes of himself, who now loves Thee with all his heart.

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