Jesus Receives a Blow

Source: THE SCHOOL OF JESUS CRUCIFIED, Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus,
TAN BOOKS, with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1895


IT appeared to the Evangelist that so great a wrong was done to Jesus when he received a blow, that it deserved particular mention as a subject worthy of our meditation.

1. This insult is of a most degrading character.

   Jesus is a King of infinite Majesty, the Eternal Son of God, and yet receives a blow from the hand of a servant. Can any affront bear comparison with this? Jesus receives a blow on His face, in the presence of a large multitude, and of the high priest and heads of the people. Thus, then, is the Majesty of God outraged by a presumptuous slave! The Heavens themselves must have recoiled with horror at such a sight! Jesus receives a blow, which is so great an outrage to His dignity that the mere thought causes you to burn with zeal and indignation against the brutal wretch who gave it: yet Jesus bears it patiently, makes not a gesture of anger, and indulges not in the slightest desire of revenge. You regard an opprobrious word as a dreadful offense, and magnify a slight act of discourtesy into a grievous insult, to which you imagine you cannot possibly submit. Do you call such slight grievances as these equal to the blow received by Jesus? Are you more noble, more worthy of veneration than Jesus? Can it be possible that you are nourishing thoughts of resentment and revenge, when your God endures the ignominy of being struck on the face with such admirable patience?

2. The blow is given most unjustly.

   The person who gives it possesses no authority, but, in order to please the high priest, smites Jesus heavily on the face, at the same time reproving Him with arrogant boldness for having offended the judge. How many times have you imitated the example of this wretch? To please such or such a friend, or to satisfy such or such an unworthy passion, have you outraged Jesus. Jesus receives this blow for no reason whatever, solely on account of a pretended fault against the High Priest, as though our most humble Redeemer were bold and insolent in His demeanor. He had spoken, it is true, but with the greatest modesty, prudence and Divine wisdom, and for this is He punished by a blow. Could there be more manifest injustice? And yet no one reproves the daring servant---no one condemns such an unjust proceeding---no one compassionates our innocent Lord, but on the contrary, all rejoice at this outrage, while Heaven itself is silent, and does not strike dead the man who dares to be guilty of such an atrocity. But far more reason have you to wonder that Heaven and earth have not united to exterminate a being like yourself, who have so many times had the boldness to offend your God and Creator by sin. Can anyone be more daring and insolent than you, who have offended God, notwithstanding all the obligations you are under of loving Him?

3. This blow is given in a cruel manner, and therefore inflicts severe pain upon Jesus Christ.

   It is given with all the energy of anger, with all the force of a strong arm, and perhaps even with a hand covered with an iron gauntlet. What pain must our patient Jesus have endured! The sacred face of Jesus is peculiarly delicate and susceptible to pain: what suffering then must a merciless blow on it cause! Behold how the Divine countenance, which ravisheth all hearts, is discolored and bruised by that cruel blow! See how the blood flows from eyes, nostrils, and mouth! Can we look upon that sacred Face thus disfigured, without being moved to compassion? Oh, if we could but behold the interior of the heart of our amiable Saviour at this moment! What burning charity toward him who gave the blow, what tender love toward me, for whose sake He suffers, and desires to suffer still more, should we there behold! How far am I from imitating Thee, O my Jesus! I cannot bear a sharp word, I cannot submit to even a just reproof, and I feel a secret aversion for those whom I ought to love. I beseech Thee to impress upon my mind and heart the remembrance of Thy admirable patience.

The Fruit

   You are impatient because you are proud. Pride makes you think the slightest wrong done you a real injury, although in fact no wrong can ever be done you, as you deserve, by reason of your sins, far more than you can possibly receive. Let the remembrance of all that Jesus has suffered for them be ever present to your mind, and you will speedily learn humility and patience. Seek for occasions of public humiliation, imposed either by yourself or by others, thus to repair the scandal you have given by your pride.


   The man who maintains a lively recollection of the sufferings of Jesus Christ, esteems all trials light. St. Paul of the Cross one day entered a church to assist at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, when some boys knocked over a heavy bench which fell on his foot, bruising and hurting it exceedingly. The servant of God without displaying any emotion, raised up the bench, kissed it, and then continued his prayer. His companion, observing that blood was flowing from the wounded foot, told the good Father of it, but he still remained perfectly quiet. When they left the church, his companion again begged him to look at his foot and have the wound dressed, but the servant of God replied: "These slight sufferings are roses to me, for Jesus Christ has endured much more, and I deserve infinitely more, on account of my sins." And he would not even look at his wound.


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