MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: The Soldiers Also Mocked Him, Coming, And Offering Vinegar, Saying, If Thou Art King Of The Jews, Save Thy Self

CARPIONI, Giulio 
Crucifixion 
c. 1648
The Soldiers also mocked him, coming, and offering Vinegar, saying, if thou art King of the Jews, save thy self.
Consider first, the great contempt, wherewith our Lord was mocked by these base tormentors both in words and deeds. First (they mocked him) using wanton and scurrily gestures towards him. Secondly, they came nearer to him being naked, and looked more curiously upon him, according to that of the Psalmist: But they considered, and looked on me. Thirdly, they offered him vinegar. like Cupbearers, offering a cup to their King. Fourthly, in their words they allude to the title of the Cross. King of the Jews: they say he is a ridiculous King, which cannot save himself, upon whom dependeth all the safety of his subjects.

Consider secondly, that wicked men do acknowledge no other commodity or safety, but only in this life: but good men desire and seek after the salvation of their souls, as a thing which is common to them with the Angels; respecting less the safety of their bodies, which the beasts do enjoy, as well as they.

Consider thirdly, the infinite love of Christ thy Lord, and spouse of thy soul toward thee; who having once ascended the Cross for thy sake, could never be moved to come down from thence, neither by torments, nor buy the mockings, nor by the sorrow of his mother standing by him, nor by the tears of John his kinsman, nor by the tears of Marie Magdalen, not by any sorrow of his friends, although he knew, that thereby he might easily end all their troubles. Do not thou therefore, when thou hast undertaken any thing for the love of thy spouse, and for his honor, leave it off for any cause, although the world frown thereat; although thy flesh be repugnant; although thy mother show thee her breasts, wherewith she gave thee suck: and although thy old Father lie in the gate: pass thou on, and tread upon thy Father; for it is piety, to be cruel in this cause. Pray unto God, to give thee this constancy of mind, and setting before thine eyes him that was crucified, take courage before him, and in his presence determine of all thy business.

 ~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J. 

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