Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Second Sorrowful Mystery ~ The Scourging at the Pillar

 


Father Karl Rahner, S.J. wrote that angels are the entourage of Jesus. Angels filled the night sky when Jesus was born. Angels ministered to Jesus at the end of his desert-fasting and in the Garden of Gethsemane. Angels announced Jesus' Resurrection to the Myrrh-Bearing Women and called the apostles to attention at the Ascension.

In this image five angels surround Jesus.We see the wounds of his hands, side and head clearly. The wounds of his back are hidden from us, but the angels have seen and know. They have covered Jesus' back to comfort him. The cloth is white on the outside and blood-red underneath.

G.K. Chesterton wrote, Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair. We can read the account of the Scourging at the Pillar in Matthew 27:27-31




Our Father, Who art in heaven...

Pilate has Jesus beaten and whipped severely, hoping this will satisfy the people's lusts. Am I a compromiser? Then I am no better off than Pilate, who couldn't stand by Jesus bravely.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Pilate doesn't believe that Jesus is guilty. He is a coward, intent on saving his own skin: his safety, power, position. He hands Jesus over to death. How far do I go, Pilate-like, to protect myself?

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Scourging was an official part of a man's execution. It was used to weaken a criminal and speed up his death. Here, a prophecy is fulfilled, and Jesus suffers alongside those who endure every kind of violence and degradation.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

This scourging at the pillar officially begins the process of Jesus' crucifixion. It has a saving value. And Jesus expects me to carry my own cross alongside him. Often his cross-carrying is fearsome. But I can't have Jesus without the cross.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

The exhausted Jesus is abused by furious soldiers who are sadistic bullies. Some men died from this beating. I must simply look and not turn away. Oh Jesus, that I would be less fearful of what God asks of me.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

This scene is all about power. Jesus asks me to divest myself of power, except love's power, which washes feet and shares burdens.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

There is a great loneliness in this scourging scene. No friends, no family nearby. Jesus understands what it is to be all alone. I might consider those who suffer the loneliness of slavery, prison, hospice, exile, refugee camp, orphanage.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

We have turned God's paradise into a human slaughterhouse. And am I to think that we don't deserve punishment for all of this blasphemy? But God spares us the punishment as Jesus takes it upon himself in love. How ridiculous, some might say. The things of  love are often incomprehensible, aren't they?

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Pope Paul VI said that the world's great sin is that it has lost all sense of sin. We're afraid to announce sin anymore - it might hurt someone's self-esteem. But it was my sin that tied Jesus, whipped Jesus, crowned him with thorns, spat at him, gave him vinegar to drink and nailed him to the cross. Pride has to be dropped to understand this.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

In silence I stand with those who watched Jesus being shredded with sharp whips. This is reason for me to hate sin and to love virtue. And I will imitate these virtues of Jesus: getting free of resentment, anger and harsh judgments, and the opening of my heart.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Glory be to the Father...

Wild Strawberry ~ Fruitfulness of Mary


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