MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: Meditation Of His Mocking Upon The Cross
GIOTTO di Bondone
The 37. Meditation of his mocking upon the Cross.
And they that passed by, blasphemed him,shaking their heads and saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the Temple of God, and in three days doest build it again, save thy self. If thou beest the Son of God, come down from the Cross.
Consider first, that Christ our Lord was mocked upon the Cross, by 4. sorts of people, by those which passed by, by the Priests & Seniors, by the Soldiers, and by the Thieves, that is, by all sorts of men; Jews, and Gentiles; Priests and lay persons; Senate and the people, the executioners of Justice, and those that were condemned by justice. For we deride and mock Christ by all kinds of sins, contemning his promises, disposing his threatening, rejecting his benefits, breaking his Commandments, and neglecting his councils.
Consider secondly, the difference between the words of the Jews; the words of our Savior, and the words of the world. He being careful prayeth with tears, they being careless mock him whilst he is praying. For the custom of the wicked is to scoff at all things: and therefore in the Scripture they are called (irrisores) mockers; to whom God doth threaten mocking again, when that shall happen to them, which they feared. Have compassion here upon the spouse of thy soul, who in the last hour of death received no comfort, but mockings: from which they ought then especially to have abstained when he was ready to die, in the midst of his torments.
Consider thirdly, they blasphemed, Who passed by, which may be interpreted, Walking that he may be said to have been mocked either by travelers, or else by such as walked up and down by the Cross. Hereby are noted light and inconstant men, who carelessly say their divine and holy office, who slightly run over their prayers, who in the Church at the time of Mass and of Sermons have wandering thought, whose minds do not rest only on God, but are carried wandering up and down after sundry delights and pleasures of the world,
Consider fourthly, what these men did. First they passed by irreverently.Secondly,they shaked their heads. Thirdly, by these very gestures they did blaspheme: frothy signified hereby, that he was worthy of all reproach that he might, to be taken from amongst them, and that his doctrine and life was to be contemned and despised. Fourthly, Isaias, according to the exposition of St. Jerome, fore-shewed two other kinds of mocking. Over whom did ye play? over whom did ye gape, and out forth your tongue. Therefore they upbraided him with open mouth and stretched out tongue. And even as Stage players in the Theaters use to make many sports before the Princes, which are placed in high rooms to behold them: so these mocking actors used many kinds of scornful behaviors before the king of the Jews.
Consider fifthly, what words they spake. First they falsify his words, scoff at his preaching, and prophecies, and wrest his holy words to an evil sense. Secondly, they jest at this miracles; if thou hast wrought true miracles, show now thy power and save thyself. Thirdly they offer wrong against his person, whom they deny to be the son of God. Do thou believe the words of God, admire his miracles, preserve thy mind free from all error in faith, receive Christ the son of God, and never forsake or pass by him. For they which in this life passing by Christ, do blaspheme him, shall in the next world pass by heaven and fall into hell.
~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J.