He stood beside the favored of the crowd, listening without a sound as His fellow prisoner's name rang through the air, repeated by the multitude of passionate faces and angry voices. He could name the vices of every one of them. Every fault of character, every lapse in charity, every lie they had ever told, every law they had ever broken--He could name them all. Soon, He would carry them and die because of them. Yet He watched quietly as the fallen favored the fallen. His blood pooled in the crevices of the stone beneath His feet, but still no sound passed His lips. Silently, patiently, with infinite Love, the Innocent took the place of the guilty.
Dearest Jesus, with little effort does my sympathy extend to the wrongly condemned. It is natural to feel kindly toward them, to help them, to see You in them. But, Dearest Lord, how difficult it is to be so compassionate when it is myself that I see in them! It is easy to love the wrongly condemned, but easier still to condemn those who have done wrong. When it is the guilty that are condemned, all my charity flees, for the guilty are hard to Love.
My Lord and my God, please help me to see others as You see me. Help me to understand, appreciate, and imitate You Who defended the woman caught in adultery. Help me to understand, appreciate, and imitate You Who gave Your life for the entire sinful human race. You Loved the guilty even unto death--death on a Cross. Please help me to Love them with this Love. Amen.