Jesus is led into an inner courtyard. He is clothed in royal purple, crowned with thorns, and is mocked as "king of the Jews." He is pushed, buffeted and insulted; his eyes are covered with blood. (Mt 27:27-31; Mk 15:16-20; Jn 19:2-5)
1. (S) Pilate's soldiers lead Jesus to the inner part of the palace (the praetorium) and all gather round. They tear off his clothes, reopening his wounds, and dress him in a purple cloak.
2. (A) In the middle of the courtyard stands a low stool, upon which the soldiers have strewn sharp flints and bits of broken pots. Jesus is roughly pushed down on this stool.
3. (S) Weaving a crown out of thorns they fix it on his head, and place a reed in his right hand. Then they begin to mock him by dropping to their knees before him, saying, "All hail, King of the Jews!"
4. (A) The crown is in the shape of a bowl, with the majority of the thorns purposely turned inward so as to pierce the head of Our Lord. His eyes fill with blood.
5. (S) They spit on him and take hold of the reed, striking him on the head. They continue to ridicule him saying "Hail, King of the Jews", slapping him on the face as they do so.
6. (A) The soldiers on guard keep their ranks, but do their utmost by laughter and applause to incite the executioners to further insult and humiliate Jesus.
7. (A) Then they overturn the stool, thereby throwing Jesus to the ground. They pull Our Lord up again and reseat him with the greatest possible brutality.
8. (A) The sufferings of Jesus from thirst (due to the fever caused by his scourging and other maltreatment) are intense; his lips and tongue are parched and contracted.
9. (A) Our Lord trembles all over. His flesh is torn to pieces. His only relief from his severe thirst is the blood which trickles down his head to his lips.
10. (A) This brutal scene lasts for a full half-hour, while the Roman soldiers continue to cheer and encourage the executioners to greater and greater savagery.
(S) Finally, when they have finished making a fool of him, they bring Jesus before the crowd.
O, my Jesus...
Jesus is condemned to death and is led out to carry his cross to Calvary. He meets his mother in a heart-rending exchange. Simon of Cyrene is pressed into service; Veronica receives Jesus' image on her veil. (Mt 27:32-34; Mk 15:21-23; Lk 23:26-31; Jn 19:5-17)
1. (S) Pilate brings Jesus out before the crowd in his pitiable state and says, "Behold the man." When they see him, they shout, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
2. (S) "...Do you want me to crucify your king?" asks Pilate. The chief priests answer, "We have no king but Caesar." Finally, Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified.
3. (A) Jesus' cross is thrown at his feet. He kneels down before it and kisses it while offering a prayer of thanksgiving to the Father for the work of redemption he has begun.
4. (A) Jesus takes up his cross and begins his journey to Calvary. His bare feet are swollen and bleeding; he appears half fainting from exhaustion, and is suffering from loss of blood and severe thirst.
5. (A) Mary, her eyes red with weeping, her cheeks pale as death, and her lips almost blue, awaits the procession. The Romans discover who she is and make fun of her.
6. (A) Jesus sees his mother, staggers and falls. Mary, moved beyond restraint, runs to his side and embraces him. The sword (of Simeon) pierces her heart.
7. (S) Jesus continues, weaker at each step. Fearing he will die before they get to Calvary, the soldiers force a reluctant Simon of Cyrene to help Our Lord.
8. (A,T) A woman of "majestic appearance" emerges from a house along the way, makes her way through the crowd to Jesus and offers him her veil. "Allow me to wipe my Lord's face," she says.
9. (A) Veronica, the name she is later known by,* returns to her house and discovers the image of Jesus on her veil. She falls to her knees before it.
10. (S) Jesus sees the women mourning for him. He turns to them and says, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me but for yourselves and for your children..."
(S) "...The days will come when people will say, 'Happy are those who are barren...' They will say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!"
*The name Veronica comes from ver icon, meaning "true portrait."
O, my Jesus...