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II. Herod, seeing that Jesus gives him no answer, indignantly dismisses him from his house, making a mockery of him before all the persons of his court; and as the greatest mark of his contempt, clothes him in a white fool's garment, and sends him back thus arrayed to Pilate: And Herod with his army set him at nought; and mocked him, putting on him a white garment, and sent him back to Pilate. St. Mark, xxiii. 11. Behold how Jesus, clothed in the fool's coat, is led through the streets of Jerusalem. O my despised Saviour, was it necessary that thou shouldst be treated as a fool? Ah if the divine wisdom is thus treated by the world, blessed is he who cares not for the honours of the world, and desires to know nothing but Jesus Christ crucified, and to love only sufferings and contempt, saying with the apostle: I judge myself not to know any thing among you, but Jesus Christ; and him crucified. 1 Cor. ii.

III. The Hebrews on the feast of the pasch had a right to demand from the Roman governor, the liberation of a prisoner of their own choice. Pilate therefore asks the people, whom they will have liberated, Barabbas, or Jesus: Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus that is called Christ. St. Matt. xxvii. 17. Barabbas is iniquitous, a murderer, a robber, and abhorred by all: Jesus is innocent. But the Jews cry out, let Barabbas live, but let Jesus die. O my Jesus, and thus have I also cried out, when I have deliberately offended thee for the sake of some wretched indulgence, and have preferred the gratification of my wicked inclinations before thee, and rather than lose such gratification have been willing to lose thee, my sovereign good. But now I love thee above all things, more than my own life. Have pity on me, O God of mercy. And do you, O Mary, become

my advocate.

Meditation Fifth.

WEDNESDAY IN PASSION WEEK.

On Jesus scourged at the pillar.

I. THEN Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him. St. John, xix. 1. O unjust judge, thou hast pronounced him innocent, and dost thou condemn him to so cruel and so disgraceful a punishment? Now see, my soul, how, after this iniquitous sentence, the executioners lay hold of the divine Lamb, drag him into the hall, and bind him fast with cords to a pillar. O happy cords, which bound the hands of my dear Redeemer to the pillar, bind also my poor heart to his, that from this day forward I may never seek or desire anything but what is agreeable to his blessed will.

II. See how they now take their scourges in their hands, and at a given signal begin all at once to lash the sacred flesh of our dear Lord, which at first appears livid, and is soon all streaming with blood. Alas! how are the scourges and the hands of the executioners all dyed, and the ground already soaked with blood! With the violence of the strokes how does the blood gush forth, and even pieces of the flesh of Jesus Christ fly in the air! That divine body is already all torn and mangled: but those barbarous wretches continue to add lash upon lash and torture upon torture. And during all this while what is the behaviour of Jesus? is silent, he makes no complaint, but patiently suf fers this excess of torment, to appease the wrath of divine justice in our behalf: Like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so openeth he not his mouth. Acts viii. 32. Go quickly, my soul, and bathe thyself in his sacred blood. My beloved Redeemer,

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I behold thee all mangled for my sake: I cannot therefore doubt that thou lovest me, and lovest me with an unbounded love. Every one of thy wounds is but too sure a pledge of thy love, and with too great reason demands from me a return of love. Thou givest me, O Jesus, thy blood without reserve; it is just therefore that, without reserve, I should give my whole heart to thee. Receive it, I beseech thee, and make it ever faithful to thee.

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III. Oh God! If Jesus Christ had only suffered but one lash for the love of me, I ought to burn with love towards him, saying: "A God has been "pleased to be stricken for me!" But no, he is not satisfied to receive only one lash, but, to make satisfaction for my sins, he is pleased that his whole body should be torn and mangled, as the prophet foretold of him: He was wounded for our iniquities, "he was bruised for our sins," so as to appear as a leper covered with wounds from head to foot: We have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. Isa. liii. 4, 5. While then, O Christian, Jesus is scourged at the pillar, he is thinking of thee, and offers up to God his bitter torments to deliver thee from the eternal scourges of hell. O God of love, how could I have lived so many years without loving thee! O sacred wounds of Jesus, wound my poor soul with love for a God who has so loved me. O Mary, mother of grace, obtain this love for me.

Meditation Sixth.

THURSDAY IN PASSION WEEK.

On Jesus crowned with thorns and treated as a mock king.

I. THE soldiers having finished scourging Jesus Christ, join altogether in the hall, and scarcely allow him time to put on his clothes, when they strip him again to insult and deride him as a mock king. They put on his shoulders an old ragged garment of scarlet for the imperial purple, a reed in his hand for a sceptre, and a crown of thorns on his head for a diadem: And 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. St. Matt. xxvii. 28, 29. And because they cannot with their hands alone force the thorns sufficiently deep into his sacred head, they strike the barbarous crown with all their force with the cane which they had given him for a sceptre. And spitting on him, they took the reed and struck his head. Ibid. But what were the thorns which most tormented the head of my Redeemer? Alas! they were my wicked thoughts. O my Jesus, I detest and abhor more than death itself all those base pleasures by which I have so often afflicted thee, my God, who hast been so good to me. But since thou hast made me sensible how much thou hast loved me, I desire to love thee alone.

II. How does the blood now flow in streams from that pierced head upon the face and bosom of Jesus; and thou, my Saviour, dost not even bemoan so much unjust cruelty! Thou art the King of heaven and of earth, but now thou art made the king of ignominy and torments, the mockery of all Jerusalem! But the prediction of Jeremias must

be verified, that thou shouldst one day be drenched with ignominy and sufferings: He shall give his cheek to him that striketh him, he shall be filled with reproaches. Lam. iii. 3. My beloved Jesus, I have hitherto despised thee; but now I esteem and love thee with my whole heart, and desire to die for thy love.

III. But no, these men for whom thou sufferest are not yet satisfied with tormenting and deriding thee; after having thus tormented thee and made thee a mock king, they kneel down before thee and with derision hail thee as king of the Jews. And now with yells and laughter they buffet thee, and redouble the cruel pains of thy head pierced with thorns. And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying: Hail king of the Jews. And they gave him blows. St. Matt. xxvii. 29. and St. John xix. Go thou at least, O Christian, and acknowledge Jesus for the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and thank him and love him, now that thou beholdest him become for the love of thee the king of sorrows. O my dear Lord, do not remember the affliction I have occasioned thee. I now love thee more than myself. Thou alone deservest all my love; and therefore do I desire to love only thee. I fear my own weakness, but thou wilt give me strength. And O Blessed Virgin Mary, help me by your holy intercession.

Meditation Seventh.

FRIDAY IN PASSION WEEK,

On Jesus presented to the people, with the words, Behold the Man.

I. PILATE, seeing Jesus again brought before him, so dreadfully mangled and disfigured with

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