Ponder: Do you use the suffering and trials of life to strengthen you or tear you down?
After the opening prayers of the rosary, we announce the first mystery and read the relevant Scripture passage slowly with attention, a lectino divina style of praying the scriptures. Pause for a few moments of silence and then recite the indicated prayers (#5 below) while meditating on that mystery. You may make a prayer request at the beginning of each decade or offer a Hail Mary for a specific person.
Pray: The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns.
The soldiers weave a crown of thorns and press it onto Christ’s head. The fruit of the mystery: Moral Courage.
The soldiers led him away inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort. They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him. They began to salute him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him. They knelt before him in homage. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him out to crucify him. (Mk 15:16-20).
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, who was crowned with thorns for us (who was mocked and crowned with thorns because of my transgressions). Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Pray for us Mary, Mother of Sorrows, That we may witness to the Gospel, even at cost to ourselves.Amen
Reflect: “Hail, King of the Jews”, they mocked Jesus while crowning him with thorns. They used a stick to smack the crown down on his head driving the thorns deep into his skull. He felt it all. He accepted it all. He embraced it all. He embraced the mockery. In a meditation by Fulton Sheen, he calls this mockery of the true King by the soldiers – who presume Jesus’ kingship to be false – an atonement for the “sins of the mind,” such as egotism, doubt, and pride. The key to honor in the kingdom of God is the willingness to suffer out of love, to give one’s life away as a gift. Its emptying ourselves for others. We live in a culture where it seems we will do anything to avoid pain and suffering. But not Jesus, he embraced every experience of pain and suffering. He allowed each thorn, each taunt to strengthen his resolve to do what was before him.
Act: I will take a few minutes to reflect on the way Christ absorbs mockery and hatred to reveal the quality of divine forgiveness and love. This suffering can purify my heart and my thoughts and grant me “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16)
Inspire with your life. Words convince the mind, but actions change the heart.