Behold the Man!

From The School of Jesus Crucified:

The sentiments we should have in beholding Jesus Christ about to be condemned to death.

While the people display no compassion whatever on beholding Jesus, let us imagine that the Eternal Father shows Him to us to excite at least in our hearts feelings of love, veneration, and of desire to imitate Him. Let us imagine that we hear the Eternal Father addressing us in the words of Pilate to the Jews, “Ecce Homo”—“Behold the Man!” 

He is your King, the King of wisdom, of love, and of holiness, but also the King of sorrow and ignominy. He has acquired possession of His kingdom by humiliation and suffering; He has purchased it for you at the price of His Blood and of His Wounds: for your sake He has sacrificed His dignity, and permitted Himself to be thus outraged and tormented. Adore this King, be subject to Him, and if you wish to enter His blessed Kingdom, follow Him in the way of the Cross and of suffering. He is desirous of reigning in your hearts, and He has purchased possession of them at the price of a most painful death. Consecrate then to Him all your thoughts and all your affections. 

Behold the Man! He is your Father; the most sweet, tender and loving of fathers—a Father who, for the love of His children, and in order to restore them to the life of grace which they had lost by sin, has sacrificed His own most precious life on the Cross, and is yet the most despised and abhorred of fathers. Love so good a Father, obey His commands, and never grieve His tender Heart. 

Behold the Man! He is your Master and your Model. Observe the virtues which He practices on this occasion. Extreme mildness amid so many provocations, perfect silence under so many outrages, great humility amid so many insults, and wonderful patience under so many sufferings. Contemplate, and endeavor to imitate Him. Never will you resemble Him in the honors of Paradise, never will you be His companions in glory, if you resemble Him not in His virtues. Resolve to do so by the help of His grace.

Remain for some time with your eyes fixed on a Crucifix, and say to yourself, “Behold the condition to which a God has been reduced for love of me, and to satisfy for my sins.” Offer Him all the powers of your soul, and all the senses of your body, in testimony of your love, and determine to use them solely for His glory. Ask Him, through the merits of His humiliations, to bestow upon you the spirit of humility and penance.

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