The Jesuit meditation today on the fact that soldiers gave Christ on the Cross wine mixed with gall, and that Christ was naked on the Cross, point not only to the horrific cruelty of the Romans who crucified Our Lord, and the customs of crucifixion, but to the redemption of two sins we all commit.
Now some commentaries indicate that gall was wormwood, a drug which would alleviate pain. If that was the gall given to Christ, then He clearly refused to lessen His suffering.
Other commentaries state, like this Jesuit one, that gall was the icky stuff from an animal’s liver. An insult added to injury for the Crucified One.
This taste of Christ is connected to His sense of taste and imho perhaps the greatest sin in America is gluttony. Too much food is eaten, too much food is wasted…we have obesity here, not seen in many countries of Europe because of gluttony. Christ was atoning for that sin. Intemperance and sensuality mark the American. Look at all the food programs and even so-called good Catholics do not fast or eat simply.
His nakedness, a horrible insult to men, and women, again indicated an insult.
Christ had no privacy, no dignity shown to Him on the Cross. And, when they stripped Him, some of His wounds would have been re-opened and He would have lost more of His Sacred Blood.
I am becoming more and more devoted to the Sacred, Holy, Blessed Blood of Christ. I have been saying in Lent the Litany of the Blood of Christ more often as a meditation.
There have been in history three false religions obsessed with blood, the Aztecs, the Satanists, and I….. This obsession is a mockery of the True Blood of Christ, a demonic opposite of the most holy Blood of Christ we receive at Mass.
Denying ourselves to the point of shedding blood most of us have not yet endured, although, we know this past week of the nuns who were martyred in Yemen. The martyrs understood that when they shed their blood, they were joined with Christ on the Cross, intimately.
The Blessed Mother had to endure such pain and suffering watching her Beloved Son be mocked and die such a public, shameful death–in reparation for me and for you.
One more detail of the Crucifixion–the Jesuit commentator notes that Golgotha means skull, not merely because the rock on which Christ was crucified resembled a skull, but because there is a tradition that Abraham brought the head of Adam with him to this place and buried it there. If so, the New Adam died in the very place of Adam’s dust. Tertullian, Origen and St. Athanasius knew of this connection, I read today. Amazing. There are no coincidences, only God-incidences.
The unknown Jesuit writes this: “His dying on the spot where lie the ashes of our father Adam should show us how His death destroys the empire of death, and gives us a right to life eternal.”
May I add, “Lord, by Your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.”