MAESTRO DELL'OSSERVANZA (15th Century)
TEMPERA ON WOOD - Vatican Museum Picture Gallery
Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world
From the Gospels according to Luke and to John
Lk 22:63-65; Jn 19:2-3
Now the men who were holding Jesus
mocked him and beat him;
they also blindfolded him and asked him, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?"
And they spoke many other words against him, reviling him.
And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns,
and put it on his head,
and arrayed him in a purple robe:
they came up to him, saying "Hail, King of the Jews!"
To the unjust condemnation is added the outrage of the scourging.
Handed over to men, Jesus' body is disfigured.
That body received from the Virgin Mary,
which made Jesus the "fairest of the sons of men",
which dispensed the anointing of the Word
- "grace is poured upon your lips" (Ps 45:2) -
is now cruelly torn by the whip.
The face transfigured on Mount Tabor is disfigured in the praetorium:
the face of the one who, insulted, responds not,
of the one who, made a nameless slave,
frees those who languish in slavery.
Jesus advances resolutely on the path of pain,
fulfilling in his own living flesh, having now become the living voice, the prophecy of Isaiah:
"I gave my back to the smiters,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I hid not my face from shame and spitting" (Is 50:6).
The prophecy that opens to a new future of transfiguration.
reflection of the glory of God and bearer of the very stamp of his nature (Heb 1:3),
you have accepted being reduced to a broken figure of a man,
one condemned to torture, who moves to pity.
You carried our sufferings,
you took on our pain,
you were crushed for our iniquities (Is 53:5).
By your wounds, you healed the wounds of our sins.
Grant that those who are unjustly despised or emarginated,
those who have been disfigured by torture or illness,
may understand that, with you and like you crucified to the world (Gal 2:19),
they make up what is lacking in your Passion,
for the salvation of mankind (Col 1:24).
the brokenness of a profaned humanity,
in you is revealed the sacredness of man:
trove of love that returns good for evil.
R/. To you be praise and glory for ever.