Sunday, March 24, 2013
He Looks on His Accusers With Compassion
As I was sitting in the ER with my knuckle-head son in the early hours of the day, a sympathetic nurse came in and handed me the remote to the television. "You're going to be here for awhile, you know, so in case you want to watch the boob-tube, help yourself." My son, who does not function on as many cylinders as the rest of us and doesn't have a mean bone in his body, was asleep thanks to the morphine, his face swollen and distorted. I had sent my husband home with instructions to be alert for "the call" that we would be ready to come home and resigned myself to spending some time in a busy, noisy trauma center.
I've been around hospitals long enough to know that we were looking at least at an 8-hour visit, so I pulled out my Magnificat for Holy Week and started reading. I was mesmerized by Caracci's The Mocking of Christ, which was accompanied by a beautiful meditation. Without even reading the explanation of the painting, I was struck by the contrast between Christ's expression and that of His persecutors. Even after being subjected to an inhumane beating, He looks at His torturers with love and compassion. To me it's as if He's saying "Oh, if you only knew!"
If you have the Magnificat for Holy Week I urge you to take a look. And if you don't, allow yourself to be lost in this exquisite portrait of the suffering Christ and gain the strength you need to carry your particular cross fortified by contemplating His Passion.