Jesus of the Bleeding Knees

San FernandoThe morning after #CWCSanAntonio, I ventured downtown to the San Fernando Cathedral just in time for the ten o’clock Mass. As I entered the nave, my eyes were immediately drawn to the image on the crucifix.

In churches all over the world, the Lord is represented hanging on the cross, the Lamb of God who laid down his life to atone for the sins of the world. The nail prints in his hands and feet, the crown of thorns, even the spear wound in his side … all these things I’ve seen hundreds of times. And each time these wounds call out to the faithful, drawing us to ponder and adore.

But this … this was the first time I can recall seeing the bleeding knees of Jesus.

It brought me up short. It reminded me that this Lamb was not quickly dispatched on the altar, and did not try to squirm away when he saw what fate was in store.

No, this Lamb persevered. He shouldered the full weight of that awful instrument of death. He knew full well what was in store. Three times he fell under his load, bloodying his knees and adding insult to injury. And three times he raised himself from the ground, until at last he was lifted to endure that final indignity, stripped bare and dying a slow and painful death. The death of a criminal. And he did it all for you … and for me.

Oh Jesus, I adore you. Help me to follow faithfully … and to persevere like you.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul?

What wondrous love is this, O my soul!

What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of Bliss

to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,

to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?

(American folk hymn, public domain)

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