+IHS PASSION OF OUR LORD: The 16 Meditation Of The First Condemnation Of Christ And His Mocking

DUCCIO di Buoninsegna 
Christ Mocked 

The 16 Meditation of the first condemnation of Christ and of his mocking.

Then the chief priest rent his garments; saying: He hath blasphemed, what need we witnesses any further? behold ye have now heard the blasphemy, what think ye? they answering said, he is guilty of death.

If in any great matter there happened any grievous evil, as without doubt blasphemy is, then the Jews did cut or tear their garments, and by that sign did show the grievousness of the matter, which should cut the heart with grief, and be revenged even with the lose of honor and good. But the high Priest was forbidden to cut his garments by this Law, The high Priest shalt not uncover his head, he, shall not cut his garments. Nevertheless this unlearned priest being ignorant of the Law, did cut his garment, and by cutting it made an end of the priesthood of the Jews. Learn thou to be moved with the injuries offered unto God, though it be to thine own lose & hindrance. 

Consider first what opinion the Jews had of thy Lord. he was first accounted an Impostor or Enchanter, whereupon Judas said, (carry him warily least in wrapping your eyes with his juggling he slip from you) Secondly injurious unto men: doest thou so, saith he, answer the high Priest? Thirdly obsessed by a Devil, in the exorcism and conjuration of the high Priest. Fourthly blasphemous against God. Fifthly a false Prophet, in the Officers scoffing and mocking him. Behold with what Titles thy Lord was honored in this his passion.

Consider secondly with what mind Christ heard this general voice of the people, (he is guilty of death,) and even of that people, whose dead he had raised, whose sick he had healed, and whose profit he had procured. Admire the malice of wicked men, and the gentleness of Christ, who being nothing movie with this sentence of death, offered himself ready to die for them, which killed him. Pray therefore that by this sentence of his death, thou mayst be delivered from the sentence of eternal death.


And the men, which held Jesus, mocked him, beating him, and they spit in his face, & beat him with blows, & they covered him & struck his face, & asked him, saying: Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he, that struck thee.

Consider first that Christ in the council was not only tied with bonds, but also held by the hands of many, who after the sentence of death pronounced did handle him most cruelly, as a condemned man, against whom they could not sin. The devil increased their cruelty, who because he had observed no sin in him in his whole life, desired by these torments to move him to some impatience.

Consider secondly that then they raged most against Christ, when he confessed himself to be the Son of God.

Consider thirdly there were four kind of mockings. First they beat him with their fists and hands about the head, face, and neck. Secondly they spit their filthy steam in his face. Thirdly they covered his face, which by the sweet aspect thereof seemed to hinder, and stay their fury and wickedness. Fourthly, they used reproachful words: (prophesy) as if they should say, thou art not a true, but a false Prophet. Take thou heed of these kind of illusions: For first thou doest strike Christ, when thou hurts thy neighbor; & thou dost strike his head with blows. when secretly thou doest hurt thy superiors, & his face, if openly. Secondly thou spottiest upon him, when thou pollutes thy conscience with evil thoughts. Thirdly thou coverest his face, when oppressing thy conscience thou perseverest in sin. Fourthly thou revilest him, when thou dost not believe hi promises, nor threatenings. Look unto thyself, least by imitating the sins of the Jews, thou incurrest the same punishment. For they have a veil over their heart, so as they cannot know Christ: They are in all places derided of all men, and many times they are reviled and beaten, being hateful both to God and men. Pray unto thy Lord, that these his reproaches may free thee from the eternal reproaches of thy soul.


And blaspheming, they spake many other things against him.

Enter thou into the high Priests Court, and consider what these wicked officers did all night, and what Christ suffered. Saint Theophilact saith, that they being drunk at their supper did many things very want only, according to that saying: They did sign against me which did drink wine. And because the Evangelist doth conclude the labor of the whole night in these few words, look thou into the writings of the Prophets what they say of these illusions: Isaias: I gave my body to the stickers, and my cheeks to the pinchers: I have not turned my face from them that rebuked and spit upon me: I have put my face as a most hard rock. Hyeremais: He shall give his cheek to him that will strike him, he shall be satiated with reproaches. Job: They opened their mouths against me, and upbraiding they stroke my cheek, they are satiated with my pains.

Hereby is signified: First that the whole body of Christ was stricken most cruel, beaten with staves, fists, and feet; for these words seem to signify so much: I gave my body to them that would strike. Secondly, that his beard was pulled off, and his face bloody. Thirdly that the visage of Christ was beaten with fists, and made blue: Fourthly, that he suffered divers kinds of mockings and illusions: and to be brief, that nothing was omitted that could be devised for his pain:They are satiated (saith he) with my pains: for think, that the officers used our Lord this night by the consent of the high priests in such manner, that although he should not be crucified, yet he could not by nature continue long alive.

Therefore it is, not to marveled at, though he were dead sooner then Pilate expected. Do thou also behold Christ, mark his face, (which was exposed to blows) so amiable, his eyes breathing forth love, expressing so much more charity in them, by how much our Lord was beaten with stripes. The Priests departed now to take their rest, and the officers likewise framed themselves to sleep: only the Spouse of thy soul could take no rest, for he must take no other sleep then on the bed of the Cross.

Pray him that his unquiet rest may bring everlasting rest to thy soul.

Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616


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