Today we consider another aspect of Our Lord’s Passion, His carrying of the Cross.
Once Pilate pronounced the sentence, Jesus was again stripped. This time the ragged mockery of a royal cloak (which had clotted to His wounds) was brutally removed and He was re-robed in His own garments and hastened away to take up His cross. Now, in those days, it was customary for there to be a delay between the sentencing and the execution.
“Since the advent of Tiberius to the imperial throne, criminals sentenced by the Roman senate were reprieved for ten days, and when the emperor had pronounced the sentence, even for thirty days.” (Fr. Groenings, “The Passion of Jesus and Its Hidden Meaning: A Scriptural commentary on the Passion”, TAN Books. Kindle Edition).
But the enemies of Christ could tolerate no delay, for they were afire to achieve their goal, the total destruction of the Son of Man and all He represented. In this, they are very like to the enemies of Christ in His Church today, who hasten in their mad rush to destroy faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His beloved Church.
As was customary, Pilate had commanded that the notice of the crime be posted on the crucifix. in three languages, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Fr. Groenings shares some insights on the meaning of this notice,
“The confusion of languages at Babylon was the expression of God’s anger. The holy cross, the sign of reconciliation, was to restore the unity of tongues. In the unity of faith and of love the peoples of all tongues should be united in the worship of the Crucified One. The title read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Now we have it in clear terms from the judge himself that Christ was not executed on account of a crime, but because He was Jesus, that is, the Redeemer, and because He was King in the realm of truth.”
Today, we might fruitfully consider the application of the foregoing passage to the confusion of tongues resulting from the Conciliar changes, the abandonment of Latin, the fragmenting of the Faith, the confusion and disunity caused by the words and actions of Pope Francis, especially through “Amoris Laetitia”, his Ode to Sexual Sin and more recently by his deceptive “Summit” on clerical abuse in which he and his cronies denied that homosexuality had anything to do with the abuse crisis in the church.
Although the chief priests were indignant at the wording of the notice, Pilate was obdurate and thus unwittingly, he affirmed the innocence of Christ and the profound truth of the purpose of the crucifixion, that is, Christ died at the hands of the Chosen who rejected the salvation offered them by their loving Savior. And so do they today, the Synagogue of Satan which arrogantly believes they control the Church of our Savior.
Now, we know from Venerable Maria de Agreda and other prophecies that Our Lord had, even as a child, anticipated the moment that He would “be about His Father’s business” and had often enacted His crucifixion. and so He kissed His cross and took it upon His wounded shoulder. It was not forced upon Him, for He embraced it willingly.
As Our Lord carries His cross in this sad procession, we recall the prefigurings in the Old Law, Abel being led to the place where Cain would execute him with a wooden club, Isaac, carrying on his shoulders the wood of his intended immolation, and even David going forth, staff in hand to slay Goliath.
It was the Roman custom to parade the convicted through the most populous streets on the way to their execution so that the people would fear their rulers and so did it come to pass with Our Savior, Who was made to be the example of the fate reserved for those who challenge the rulers of this world.
Each of the three falls provided an opportunity for Our Lord’s enemies to gloat over Him, spit on Him and kick Him as He writhed in helpless pain, striving to arise beneath the heavy cross. These falls are caused by our own sins, and were endured by Our Savior, who wills to endure the same humiliation that we must undergo to make reparation as we too, arise from our falls into sin. We must focus on His falls often, and see His tender love for us, His willingness to suffer with us, beckoning us to repent of our sins, accept the humiliation that this occasions and arise with our cross and come, follow Him.
St. Luke’s Gospel gives us an insight into, it seems, our own time:
“And there followed Him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented Him. But Jesus turning to them, said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23, 27-31) A bit prophetic of our own time, perhaps.
The greatest sorrow of this entire Via Dolorosa was when Our Lord, painfully arisen from His Fall, beheld His most beloved Mother, and their eyes locked in that most sorrowful gaze. An infinity of suffering and love and yes, even of triumph, passed between them. For painful as it is, this crucifixion is the Divine means of redemption. How can we then call ourselves Christians and yet spurn this cross?
Father Groenings tells us that Jesus left Jerusalem forever through the gate called “The Garden Gate” because it led through a beautiful garden at the foot of Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. From this garden, Our Lord struggled upward, His back against Jerusalem and its inhabitants, which had obstinately rejected Him. Thus, those who sent Him away were now abandoned to their sins. Many a nation since then has likewise seen the Savior’s back, as He accepts their will, and abandons them in their pride to their eternal destruction. And now, we see this happening even to the “Chief Priests” of His own Church and those who follow them, rejecting their Savior.
Although His enemies gloat in their seeming victory, we, for our part, abide with Mary and John at the foot of this Cross, beseeching our Savior to grant us the grace to be with Him always and never forsake Him. Like the disciples at Emmaus, let us say to Him, “Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent.”
Yes, it is towards evening and the day is now far spent. We must therefore, make firm our wills, for “the night comes when no man can work.” (John, 9,4)
Please, pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!
Please, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† . Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† . St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† . St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies!