Hours of the Passion
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church
From 6 A.M. to 7 A.M.
Jesus is brought before Caiaphas again, and then sent to Pilate.
My suffering Jesus, you are now out of prison, but are so exhausted that you waver at every step. I want to be by your side to hold you up when I see you are about to fall.
I see that the soldiers bring you before Caiaphas. O my Jesus, you reappear in their midst like a sun, and though disfigured, you radiate light everywhere. Now I observe that Caiaphas is overjoyed to see you reduced to such a pitiful state. The rays of your light blind him even more, and in his fury he questions you again:
“So, you are really the true Son of God?”
And you, my love, your voice full of grace, with supreme majesty and your usual sweet and moving words that captivate hearts, answer:
“Yes, I am the true Son of God.”
Then, although they feel all the force of your words in themselves, suffocating everything and not wanting to know more, they cry out with one voice:
“He deserves to die! He deserves to die!”
Caiaphas confirms the death sentence and sends you to Pilate. My condemned Jesus, you accept this sentence with such love and resignation that you almost snatch it from the wicked pontiff. And you make reparation for all the sins committed deliberately and with sheer malice, and for those who instead of being sorry for the wrong they have done, rejoice and are glad for the sin itself—which blinds them and brings them to suffocate all light and grace. My life, your reparations and prayers echo in my heart, and I make reparation and pray together with you.
My tender love, having lost what little esteem they had of you, now that you have been sentenced to death, I see that the soldiers grab you. They add more ropes and chains, and tie you so tightly that your divine person can hardly move. Then, pushing and dragging you, they remove you from Caiaphas' palace.
Throngs of people are waiting for you, but not one of them to defend you. My divine sun, you go out into their midst, wanting to envelop them all in your light.
As you take your first steps, with the intention of enclosing all the steps of creatures in yours, you pray and make reparation for those who take their first steps to do wrong: In one instance to take revenge; in another to kill, to betray, to rob, or to do even worse. Oh, how all these sins wound your heart! To prevent so much evil you pray, make reparation, and offer up your whole self.
As I follow you, my sun, Jesus, I see that as you begin to descend from Caiaphas' palace you meet with Mary, our beautiful and gentle mother. Your eyes meet, wounding both of you. And although you are comforted by seeing each other, this encounter causes still new pains. For you it is a new pain to see our beautiful mother pierced, pale, and clothed in mourning. For your dear mother it is also a new suffering to see you, the divine sun, eclipsed and covered with so many outrages, weeping and shrouded in blood. But you are not able to enjoy your exchange of glances for long. With the pain of not being able to exchange even one word, your hearts say everything. You fuse yourselves in each other, but stop looking at each other because the soldiers press you on. And so, trampled and dragged you come before Pilate.
My Jesus, I join our pierced mother in following you, and I want to fuse myself together with her in you. And giving me a look of love, you bless me.
Reflections and Practices.
Jesus is brought at dawn before Caiphas and He courageously declares that He is the Son of God. When I go somewhere, do I allow Jesus to direct me? Is my conduct an example for others, and do my steps, like magnets, attract other souls to Jesus? Jesus’ entire life is a continuous calling to souls. If we conform ourselves to his Will—that is, if our feet call souls as we walk, if our heartbeats, echoing the divine heartbeats, harmonize together and call souls, and so on with all the rest—by doing this, we will form the same humanity of Jesus in ourselves. So, each time we call souls, it is another imprint that we receive from our Jesus. Is our life always the same, or do we change for the worse according to the encounters we have?
My Jesus, holiness beyond compare, guide me and make even my outward demeanor manifest all your divine life..