MEDITATION ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST: Prophesy Unto Us, O Christ, Who Is He, That Struck Thee
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.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616