Sixteenth Hour: From 8 to 9 AM
Jesus is brought back to Pilate and placed after Barabbas. Jesus is scourged.
My tormented Jesus, my poor heart follows You in the midst of anxieties and pains, and in seeing You clothed as a madman, knowing Who You are—Infinite Wisdom, Who gives reason to all–I become delirious, and I say, “How can itbe! Jesus—insane? Jesus—a criminal? And as if this was not enough, You will now be placed after Barabbas!”
My Jesus, Sanctity that has no equal, You are already before Pilate, once again. He, in seeing You reduced so badly, clothed as a madman, and that not even Herod has condemned You, becomes more indignant against the Jews, and is even more convinced of Your innocence, and that he should not condemn You. But wanting to also give some satisfaction to the Jews, almost to dampen their hatred, their fury, their rage, and their ardent thirst for Your Blood, he proposes You, with Barabbas, for their choice. But the Jews cry out, “We do not want Jesus free, but Barabbas!”
And Pilate, not knowing what to do to calm them, condemns You to the scourging.
My Jesus, placed last—my heart breaks in seeing that, while the Jews occupy themselves with You to make You die,You, instead, recollected within Yourself, think about giving Life to all. And as I prick up my ear, I hear You say, “Holy Father, look at Your Son, clothed as a madman. May this repair before You for the madness of many creatures fallen into sin. May this white garment be like a defense before You, for many souls who clothe themselves with the dismal garment of sin. Do You see, O Father, their hatred, their fury, their rage against Me, which almost makes them lose the light of reason, for thirst for My Blood? And I want to repair for all of the hatreds, the revenges, the anger, the murders, and impetrate the light of reason for all.
“Look at Me again, My Father; can there be greater insult? They have placed Me after the greatest criminal. And I want to repair for all the misplacements they do. Ah, the whole world is full of misplacements: some place Us after a vile interest, some after honors, some after vanities, some after pleasures, some after their own attachments, some after dignities, some after gluttonies, and even after sin. All creatures unanimously place Us after even a tiny little trifle. And I am ready to accept being placed after Barabbas, in order to repair for the misplacements the creatures make with Us.”
My Jesus, I feel I am dying with sorrow and confusion in seeing Your Great Love in the midst of so many pains, and the heroism of Your Virtues in the midst of so many pains and insults. Your Words and Reparations resound in my poor heart like many wounds, and in my torment, I repeat Your Prayers and Your Reparations. Not even for one instant do I want to detach myself from You, otherwise many of the things You do would escape me. And now, what do I see? The soldiers take You to a pillar in order to scourge You. My Love, I follow You; and You, look at me with Your Loving Gaze, and give me the strength to be present at Your painful massacre.
Jesus is scourged
My Most Pure Jesus, You are now near the pillar. Enraged, the soldiers untie You in order to bind You to it. But this is not enough—they strip You of Your garments to make a cruel massacre of Your Most Holy Body. My Love, my Life, I feel faint for the sorrow of seeing You naked. You tremble from head to foot, and Your Most Holy Face blushes with virginal modesty. Your confusion, Your exhaustion, are such that, unable to keep standing, You are about to fall at the foot of the pillar; but the soldiers sustain You—not to help You, but to bind You; and they do not let You fall.
They now take the ropes and bind Your arms so tightly, that they swell immediately, and Blood spurts from the ends of Your fingers. Then, from the ring of the pillar, they make ropes and chains pass around Your Most Holy Person, down to Your Feet; and to be able to freely hurl themselves at You, they bind You to the pillar so tightly that You cannot make one movement.
My stripped Jesus, allow me to pour myself out, otherwise I cannot go on seeing You suffer so much. How can this be? You, who clothe all created things—the Sun with light, the heavens with stars, the plants with leaves, the birds with feathers—You, stripped!? What daring! But my loving Jesus, through the Light He sends forth from His eyes, tells me, “Be silent, O child—it was necessary that I be stripped, in order to repair for many who strip themselves of every modesty, of purity and of innocence; who strip themselves of every good and virtue, and of My Grace, clothing themselves with every brutality, and living like brutes. With My virginal blush I wanted to repair for so many dishonesties, luxuries and brutal pleasures. Therefore, be attentive to everything I do; pray and repair with Me, and calm yourself.”
Scourged Jesus, Your Love moves from one excess to another. I see that the executioners take the ropes, and beat You without pity, to the point of bruising all of Your Most Holy Body. And their fierceness, their fury in beating You is such that they are already tired. But two more take their place; they take thorny rods, and they beat You so much that, soon, rivers of Blood begin to pour from Your Most Holy Body. Then they lash it all over, forming furrows, and filling it with wounds. But this is not all; two more take their turn, and with hooked iron chains, they continue the excruciating massacre. At the first blows, that flesh, beaten and wounded, rips open even more, and falls to the ground, torn into pieces. The bones are uncovered, the Blood pours down—so much, as to form a pool of Blood around the pillar.
My Jesus, my stripped Love, while You are under this storm of blows, I cling to Your Feet, to take part in Your pains and be covered completely by Your Most Precious Blood. But each blow You receive is a wound to my heart; more so, since in pricking up my ears, I hear Your moans. But they are not heard, because the storm of the blows deafens the air all around. And in those moans, You say, “All of you who love Me, come to learn the heroism of True Love! Come to dampen in My Blood the thirst of your passions, your thirst for so many ambitions, for so many intoxications and pleasures, for so much sensuality! In this Blood of Mine you will find the remedy for all of your evils.”
Your moans continue to say, “Look at Me, O Father, all wounded under this storm of blows. But this is not enough; I want to form so many wounds in My Body as to give enough rooms to all souls within the Heaven of My Humanity, in such a way as to form their salvation within Myself, and then let them pass into the Heaven of the Divinity. My Father, may each blow of these scourges repair before You for each kind of sin—one by one. And as they strike Me, let them justify those who commit them. May these blows strike the hearts of the creatures, and speak to them about My Love, to the point offorcing them to surrender to Me.”
And as You say this, Your Love is so great, though great is the pain, that You almost incite the executioners to beat You more. My Jesus, stripped of Your own Flesh, Your Love crushes me—I feel I am going mad. Your Love is not tired, while the executioners are exhausted and cannot continue Your painful massacre.
They now cut the ropes, and You, almost dead, fall into Your own Blood. And in seeing the shreds of Your Flesh, You feel like dying of grief, because in those detached pieces of Flesh You see the reprobate souls. And Your sorrow is such that You gasp in Your own Blood. My Jesus, allow Me to take You in my arms, in order to refresh You a little with my love. I kiss You, and with my kiss, I enclose all souls in You, so no one will be lost; and You—bless me.
Reflections and Practices
From 8 to 9 Jesus is stripped naked and subjected to cruel scourging. And we—are we stripped of everything? Jesus is tied to the pillar. Do we let ourselves be bound by love? Jesus is tied to the pillar, while we add our own ropes, with our sins and attachments, and sometimes even with things that are indifferent or good in themselves, not being satisfied with the ropes with which the Jews tied Him. In the meantime, with His pitying gaze Jesus calls us to untie Him. Don’t we seethat in that gaze there is also a reproach for us, since we too contributed to binding Him? In order to relieve afflicted Jesus, we must remove our chains first, to be able to arrive at removing the chains of other creatures. Many times these little chains of ours are nothing other than little attachments to our own will, to our self-love which is a little resentful; to our little vanities which, forming a braid, painfully bind Loving Jesus.
Sometimes, taken by Love for our poor soul, Jesus Himself wants to take these chains away from us, so that we may not repeat His painful binding. Ah, when we lament because we don’t want to be bound alone with Jesus, we force Him,saddened, to withdraw from us.
While He suffers, our tormented Jesus repairs all the sins against modesty. And we—are we pure in the mind, in the gaze, in the words, in the affections, so as not to add more blows on that innocent Body? Are we always bound to Jesus, so as to be ready to defend Him, when creatures strike Him with their offenses?
My chained Jesus, may Your chains be my own, so that I may always feel You in Me, and You may always feel me within You.