On the Blow That Jesus Received in the Presence of the High Priest.
What greater insult can be offered to a noble or royal personage, than to strike them? Jesus is a person of infinite dignity, and he received a blow from the hand of a poor insolent slave, who had come with the Jews into the garden of Olives, and, being wounded by one of the disciples, was cured by his divine power. He received it in a great assemblage, composed of the priests and princes of the people. He received it in the manner of a correction, as if he had committed some grievous fault, and been wanting in proper respect to the high priest. He received it with extreme patience. He asked why he was struck, lest by his silence he should give them cause to believe that he consented to their accusations, and acknowledged himself guilty.
Jesus desired to be struck: 1st. To repair the insult offered to God by the first man who disobeyed his word and in a manner contradicted him. 2nd. To repair, by his ignominies, the shame and confusion of our nature which was transformed by the sin of Adam into a degraded and sensual one, as he repaired our infirmities by his weakness, and delivered us from the sting of death by dying. 3rd. To afford us an admirable example of sweetness and patience by suffering so great an outrage without uttering a threat against his enemies or drawing vengeance on them as he could have done.
You have enemies. What injury have they done you? Is it comparable to that which was inflicted on the Son of God? Are you of more account, more innocent and holy, than he is? How many sins have you committed? As often as you have sinned, so often have you struck Jesus. And do you presume, after this, to complain of the ill-treatment you received from men who are your equals and superiors? Do you desire to be revenged on your enemies? to return evil for evil? Do you dare to murmur against the providence of God, who has given you a blow on the cheek by the hand of the wicked, in punishment for the outrages you have offered him?
Resolution: I will patiently endure any ill treatment and wrong that is done to me today and in future in reparation for my sins.
Prayer: O Lord, I will say nothing, but keep silence, believing that it is thou who hast struck me by the hands of my enemies. Thou dost neither desire their sin, nor cooperate therein; but it is thy will that I should suffer the pain that I have merited by mine. It is not Satan who has caused me to suffer this loss; it is not men. who have outraged me; it is the hand of God that has chastised me. I will submissively bear the weight of his anger, because my offences deserve it. I will be silent, and not complain, because thou, O Lord, hast afflicted and humiliated me. I turn to thee my other cheek, and beseech thee to spare me not in this life, that I may receive pardon in the life to come.
By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.