Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Third Sorrowful Mystery

Laude Arts and Gifts

Third Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus is Crowned with Thorns.

“Are you the King of the Jews?” “Well…are you?” As His disciples, we follow Him thru His Passion and we hear this question repeated over and over. First Pilate asks Him, and then Herod, and then Pilate…again. After a while, even we begin to doubt and silently ask: “Well, Jesus, are you the King of the Jews?” The question begins to reverberate and ricochet against the inside of our skulls until we want to scream: “Yes! Yes! Of course He is the King of the Jews! Can’t you see that?” However, Jesus says nothing or worse, He makes cryptic remarks like “You say that I am.” What on earth does that mean?

As Jesus refuses to comply with the norms of human behavior there is a slow and subtle shift. You can feel it in the air. The suffocating silence of men’s souls which is devoid of all things has begun to be transformed into the silence of God which embodies all things. In this silence words become paramount. The word “Innocent” permeates the very air you breathe. At first it is unspoken but soon its presence becomes so palpable that even Pilate in his jaded view of the world becomes aware of it and is the first to speak it out loud. With exasperation he proclaims: “I can find no crime in Him!"

By not defending Himself, Jesus’ Presence speaks more eloquently than words. How can the Presence of the Word of God not speak for itself? Jesus’ authority soon becomes so apparent that even Pilate must listen as Jesus quietly announces: “My Kingdom is not of this world”. The profane and the divine are met in this one instant. The earthly ruler clinging to his illusion of power comes face to face with the Divine Ruler who willing lays His power aside.

Clearly rattled, Pilate reluctantly hands Jesus over to the soldiers. From there, the unspeakable begins to happen. The soldiers braid a crown of thorns and place it on Jesus’ head, then arraying Him in a purple robe, they begin to mock Him. They spit on Him, they strike Him, and they jeer at Him saying “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they drag Him out before the crowds dressed like a tattered monarch, bleeding, beaten and worn. Still the crowd continues to mock Him. It is too much. How is it possible for Jesus to stand there and take it? Yet, there He is, humbly accepting the abuse, knowing that even in their desperate attempts to humiliate Him and discredit Him, they can not escape acknowledging His Kingship.

As we behold His visage, we see His tender face twisted and torn by beatings, cuts and bruises. His eyes are so swollen He can barely open them. The cruelest thing of all is the crown of thorns piercing His tender flesh; the thorns are bitter harbingers of the nails to come. We look on in horror as we realize that each of the times we took His name in vain, or belittled Him or just flat out ignored Him has become one of the thorns that now bores into His precious head. With sorrow that strikes the very core of our being we understand that every time we made fun of someone, or snubbed them, or excluded them, or patronized them we did so unto our Lord. Is there no place to hide from our shame?

1 comment:

prayer bedes said...

Thoughts and prayers... God's ways are not our ways. Help me to let go of my way and find God's way. "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner." (The Jesus Prayer - Prayer of the Publican.)