Hours of the Passion
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church
From 7 A.M. to 8 A.M.
Jesus is brought before Pilate, who then sends him to Herod.
My bound Jesus, together with the priests, your enemies present you to Pilate. In view of celebrating the Passover, they remain outside in the courtyard, giving the false impression of holiness and scrupulosity. And you, my love, seeing to the heart of their malice, make reparation for all the hypocrisies of those consecrated to you. I too make reparation together with you.
Now, while you are doing this for their good, they instead, begin to accuse you to Pilate, vomiting all the poison they have in themselves against you.
Showing himself unsatisfied with their accusations, in order to be able to condemn you on good grounds, Pilate calls you aside to examine you alone, and asks you:
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
And you, my true king, Jesus, respond:
“My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, thousands of legions of angels would defend me.”
Pilate is surprised; and moved by the gentleness and dignity of your words, he says to you:
“What? You are king?”
“I am as you say; and I have come into the world to teach the truth.”
Not wanting to know more, and convinced of your innocence, Pilate goes out on the terrace and says:
“I find no fault at all in this man.”
The Jews are enraged, and they accuse you of many other things, but you remain silent and do not defend yourself. You make reparation for the weaknesses of judges when they find themselves before the domineering, and for their injustices; and you pray for the innocent, the oppressed and the abandoned. Then Pilate, seeing the fury of your enemies, and wanting to rid himself of you, sends you to Herod.
My divine king, I want to repeat your prayers and reparations, and go with you to Herod. I see that your infuriated enemies would like to devour you. While they are taking you, they heap insults, taunting and ridicule on you, and so they bring you before Herod. Swelling up with pride, Herod asks you many questions, but you don't answer. You don't even look at him. Then, irritated because he doesn't see his curiosity satisfied, and humiliated by your long silence, he declares publicly that you are crazy and out of your mind; and he orders you to be treated accordingly. To mock you, he has you dressed in a white garment; and he turns you over to the soldiers so that they will abuse you as much as they can.
My innocent Jesus, no one finds any fault in you. Only the Jews do, because their false religiosity does not merit that the light of the truth shine in their minds.
My Jesus, infinite Wisdom, how dearly it costs you to have been declared crazy. The soldiers, taking advantage of you, throw you to the ground, trample you, cover you with spit, ridicule you and beat you with sticks. Being struck like this, you feel yourself dying. The pains, the abuses and the humiliations are so numerous that the angels weep, and they cover their faces with their wings so they won't have to see them.
My peculiar Jesus, I too want to call you crazy—but crazy with love. Your loving madness is such, that, instead of taking offense, you pray and make reparation for the ambition of kings aspiring to kingdoms, who thus cause the ruin of peoples; for so many massacres that they cause; for all the blood they spill to satisfy their whims; for all the sins of curiosity; and for the sins committed in courts and in armies.
My Jesus, how moving it is to see you praying and making reparation in the midst of so many outrages. Your words echo in my heart, and I follow what you do. Now, let me come by your side to share in your pains, console you with my love, send your enemies away, take you in my arms to restore you, and kiss your forehead.
I kiss your Forehead, my Jesus, and I beg You to purify my thoughts for the sake of these sufferings. I kiss your beautiful eyes, shining with light. And this light surrounds me everywhere. It penetrates my thoughts, eyes, words, and heart in such a way as to make me swim in this light. I kiss your ears—sanctify mine. I kiss your Face—enchant me and all souls as well with your beauty to recover from all the insults and taunts that You receive in Herod’s palace. I kiss your mouth. Give me the grace never to say any words that could offend You. And I want to make up for all the ways that others offend You. I want to stretch out my arms to You and hold You close to my heart, praying that You impress your image in my mind, my heart, my steps, my works, and in all that I do.
I kiss your right hand. Grant efficacious graces for the conversion of all sinners and give me and everyone the good fruits of your most holy works. I kiss your left hand. Impress me with your virtues, especially Charity. I kiss your left foot—give me self-knowledge. I kiss your right foot—give me the grace to obey with promptness. Finally, I kiss your most pure Heart—consume me in the ardent flames of your Love.
My gentle love, I see that they won't leave you alone. Herod is sending you back to Pilate. If your coming was painful, your return will be more tragic because I see that the Jews are more enraged than before, and at any cost are determined to put you to death.
So, before you leave Herod's palace, I want to kiss you as a sign of my love for you in the midst of so many pains. Strengthen me with your kiss and your blessing, and I will follow you to Pilate.
Reflections and Practices.
Even as Jesus is presented to Pilate in the midst of many insults and much contempt, He remains ever gentle and has no contempt toward anyone, trying to make the light of truth shine in everyone. Do I feel the same toward everyone? If someone does not like me, do I try to overcome my natural opposition? When dealing with others, do I always strive to make Jesus known and to make the light of truth shine in them?
Jesus, my sweet life, place your words on my lips and Grant that I may always speak with your tongue.
Presented before Herod, Jesus remains silent. He is dressed as a madman and subjected to incredible torture. When I am slandered, mocked, insulted, and jeered at, do I realize that Our Lord wants to give us his divine likeness? In my sorrow, derision, and all that my poor heart experiences, do I consider that it is Jesus who initiates our sorrow with his touch, transforming us into Himself and producing his likeness in us? And when suffering revisits us, do I consider that Jesus, looking at me, is still not content with me and, holding me closely, seeks to make me completely like Himself? Following Jesus’ example, can I say that I have mastered myself, that instead of responding when angry, I prefer to remain silent? Do I ever allow myself to be overcome by curiosity?
In every affliction I encounter, I should make the intention to offer it as a life for Jesus, to pray for and obtain souls. When we place souls in the Will of God, our sorrows make a circle, and within that circle we enclose both God and the souls, and join the souls to Jesus.
My Love and my all, may You alone take total possession of this heart of mine. Keep it in your hands so that in my encounters with others I reproduce within me your surpassing patience.