Jesus is stripped and offered gall and vinegar to drink
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
When he tasted it, he would not drink it (Mt 27:34).
He did not want a sedative, which would have dulled his consciousness during the agony.
He wanted to be fully aware as he suffered on the Cross, accomplishing the mission he had received from the Father.
That was not what the soldiers in charge of the execution were used to. Since they had to nail the condemned man to the Cross, they tried to dull his senses and his consciousness.
But with Christ this could not be. Jesus knows that his death on the Cross must be a sacrifice of expiation.
This is why he wants to remain alert to the very end.
Without consciousness, he could not, in complete freedom, accept the full measure of suffering.
Behold, he must mount the Cross, in order to offer the sacrifice of the New Covenant.
He is the Priest. By means of his own blood, he must enter the eternal dwelling-places, having accomplished the worlds redemption (cf. Heb 9:12).
Conscience and freedom: these are the essential elements of fully human action.
The world has so many ways of weakening the will and of darkening conscience.
They must be carefully defended from all violence.
Even the legitimate attempt to control pain must always be done with respect for human dignity.
If life and death are to retain their true value, the depths of Christs sacrifice must be understood, and we must unite ourselves to that sacrifice if we are to hold firm.
who, with supreme dedication,
accepted death on the Cross for our salvation,
grant to us and to all the worlds people
a share in your sacrifice on the Cross,
so that what we are and what we do
may always be a free and conscious sharing
in your work of salvation.
To you, O Jesus, Priest and Victim,
be honour and glory for ever.
Our Father ...
Make me feel as you have felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ our Lord.