“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
MONDAY, March 29th Jn. 12: 1-11 “Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.”
- Yesterday we meditated upon Jesus’ Agony in the Garden. Today we meditate upon Jesus’ Scourging at the Pillar. Let us keep in our mind and heart that Jesus suffered all of this for love of you and me. In return, let us beg for the grace to show extravagant love for Jesus, as Mary did in today’s Gospel, by our willingness to accompany Jesus in the cruel scourging at the pillar.
- Keep in mind that Jesus is both God and man. Hence, just as Jesus saw all your sins raining down upon Him in the Garden causing Him mortal anguish, so too, in His scourging, Jesus sees you there with Hus Mother Mary and Magdalene, loving Him, and suffering for Him and with Him!
THE SCOURGING OF JESUS AT THE PILLAR—No greater love than to suffer for the loved ones. By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
BIBLICAL PASSAGE: READ John 19:1—View movie of Mel Gibson, The Passion of the Christ
One of the most salutary and efficacious practices to grow in the love of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is by serious pondering, meditating upon, and contemplating the PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS. Traditionally, the month of July has been the month dedicated to the meditation of the Precious Blood of Jesus, our loving Savior.
We would invite all to meditate upon the SCOURGING OF JESUS AT THE PILLAR, but also to make this meditation/contemplation more extensive in the sense that we invite you to meditate upon the many times that Jesus shed His Precious Blood as a clear manifestation of His infinite love for the world, but also His infinite love for you and for me.
Therefore, enter into this meditation with great generosity, docility, and openness to plumb the depths of the love that Jesus has for you. Saint Ignatius reminds us of the fact that Jesus died for all of humanity, but He suffered and died for you. In fact, if you were the only person in the world, Jesus would have suffered even the most bitter details of His Suffering, Passion and death for love of you! How immense is Jesus’ love for you!
DIFFERENT MOMENTS OF THE SHEDDING OF JESUS’ PRECIOUS BLOOD.
1. CIRCUMCISION. At the tender age of only 8-days, Jesus willingly allowed His Precious Blood to be shed at His circumcision. This painful action would have been carried out by Saint Joseph—the first drops of the Precious Blood of Jesus were shed as a mere Child, as a tender Baby. He willingly suffered this for love of you and me!
2. THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE. Entering into His Bitter Passion, Jesus shed His Precious Blood. The context? Immediately after the Last Supper in which Jesus left us both the Priesthood and the greatest Gift of His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus travels with His Apostles to His habitual place of prayer—the Garden of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane. In anguish, with all the sins of humanity cascading down upon Him like a torrential downpour of rain, and the Apostles sleeping instead of praying with Him, Jesus enters into a bitter agony and sweats big drops of Blood which then fall to the ground. Contemplate Jesus’ Holy Face in anguish and agony, with His Precious Blood dripping profusely to the ground. Be the Angel of Consolation—draw close to Jesus, console Him and comfort Him in His mortal anguish
3. THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR. Of course one of the most bitter and painful scenes in the movie The Passion of the Christ is the 2nd Sorrowful Mystery—the Scourging at the Pillar. If you like, watch or call to mind the scene in the movie of the scourging of Jesus. Have enough courage to be present there at this heart-rending scene. Stay close to Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, as well as the Magdalene, to witness this bitter treatment of Jesus. All of this should be done as a powerful prayer, meditation, and contemplation to arrive at the keen awareness of how much Jesus really loves you and me. Let us take some of the details of the scourging and derive abundant fruit from this excruciating moment in the life of our loving Savior.
1) JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS. How embarrassing and humiliating for Jesus!!! One of the principle reasons for this extreme humiliation that Jesus most willingly accepted from God the Father was to repair for the all-pervasive sin of immodesty that has inundated our world like an immoral deluge of impurity. Our Lady of Fatima told Saint Jacinta Marto that many immodest fashions would enter the world that would gravely offend God. Beg Jesus’ mercy and forgiveness for the many times in the past that perhaps you have given into the decadent culture and succumbed to immodest fashions. Perhaps you have allowed your children to dress and live immodestly. Beg pardon and be converted!
2) MARRIAGES NOT PLEASING TO GOD. Our Lady also revealed to Saint Jacinta Marto that many marriages are not pleasing to God. Our Lady did not give the reasons, but common sense and common knowledge point to lust, impurity, pornography and unfaithfulness as being key factors in the all-too-prevalent reality of poor marriages.
3) JESUS BOUND WITH ROPES. Jesus is basically treated like a slave or even an animal as He is bound with ropes. Jesus allows His liberty to be taken from Him so that He can attain for us liberty and freedom from sin, the true freedom of the sons and daughters of God!
4) BOUND TO A PILLAR. His hands are tied and bound to a pillar such that He can barely even move.
5) EXECUTIONERS MALICE. The executioners, permeated with diabolic, sarcastic, derisive, and malicious smiles, gloat as they prepare the torture weapons they will use to inflict the most excruciating pain on the innocent Body of Jesus—the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
6) PONTIUS PILATE’S UNJUST ORDER. Upon the order of Pilate, the executioners commence their malevolent and cruel torture. How interesting the injustice of this whole parody! Pilate stated that he could find nothing wrong in Jesus who was being condemned as a criminal. Yet Pilate has Him scourged. For what? No crime at all!!! Yet Jesus takes the sins of all of humanity upon His Innocent Body.
7. BEATING IN ALTERNATION. The executioners take turns beating Jesus with the sticks in their hands, doing it with all the energy and strength they can muster! Jesus willingly accepts this process of torture without complaint. Well did the Prophet Isaiah prophecy about Jesus: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. He was like a lamb led to the slaughter, and He opened not His mouth. By his wounds we are healed.” (Is. 53: 5,7)
8. THE ROMAN FLAGELLUM. After utilizing sticks to beat the Body of Jesus, the executioners change instruments, using one of the most painful of all torture-instruments—the infamous Roman flagellum! This particularly vicious instrument of torture is a whip made of leather thongs knotted with spikes of iron pieces and animal bones with almost razor-blade sharpness, designed to rip the skin off the victim being whipped.
9. RIPPING INTO THE TENDER BODY OF JESUS. Upon command, the two executioners begin the brutal torture of Jesus using the flagellum, alternating their attacks. Even though this may cause us great pain, make a concerted effort to be present to Jesus in this scene with Mary and the Magdalene.
10) THE CRUEL AND GRUESOME REALITY. The spikes dig into Jesus’ flesh, ripping the flesh from His Sacred Body. Try to imagine the excruciating and indescribable pain that Jesus is going through for love of all of humanity, but also for love of you and me. “No greater love has a man than this, to lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn. 15: 13)
11) THE START OF THE BLOOD-FLOW. Jesus writhes in pain at every infliction of the flagellum and rivulets of Blood start to stream from His torn flesh. Contemplate the Precious Blood of Jesus spilling forth from His Sacred Body.
12) THE CRUELTY INCREASES. The executioners begin to attack Jesus with greater violence and velocity, infuriated because never have they encountered a condemned man with as much physical strength and stamina as Jesus manifests.
13) HIS BODY AN OPEN AND GAPING WOUND. The executioners’ malice and violence have no limits. Their blows reach from the nape of Jesus’ neck, descending down to His shoulders, to His torso even wrapping around His stomach, to His buttocks, to His legs. In a word, His entire Body is transformed into a huge open and gaping wound.
14) BLOOD FLOW INCREASES. Now the Precious Blood of Jesus is streaming from His Precious Body and gushing to the ground. Due to the profuse amount of Blood shed, pools of Blood start to form on the ground. Contemplate this piteous scene with the eyes and heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and Our Lady of Sorrows.
15) JESUS FALLS UNDER THE WEIGHT OF THE BLOWS. Jesus’ strength declines and He can no longer stand. He collapses laying in a pool of His own Blood. Still the executioners strike Him with violent and cruel strength.
16) SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH—JESUS RISES. To the shock of the men attacking Him, they witness Jesus rising, willing to receive more brutal blows. This they do.
17) JESUS INTENTION. In all of this bitter torture, suffering, and blood loss, Jesus is obedient to the will of the Heavenly Father. He has you and me in His mind as He submits to this unspeakable torture. Talk to Jesus, tell Him how much you love Him and how much you truly appreciate all He is willing to undergo for love of you.
18) ENOUGH! It is the Roman guard who finally cries out: ENOUGH, ENOUGH!!! Do not kill him!
19) RELEASE. Jesus is finally released from the barbaric and diabolic scourging as He lays on the ground in pools of His own Blood.
20. THE TOWELS. Claudia, wife of Pontius Pilate, had a dream of the innocence of Jesus. Witnessing at least to a limited degree the brutal treatment of Jesus, she now offers to the Blessed Mother and to the Magdalene towels which they willingly receive to wipe up the Precious Blood of Jesus.
21. JOIN THEM. In your contemplation, why not have the courage and the compassion to join them. On your hands and knees begin to wipe up the Precious Blood of Jesus with the towels. Remembering that He shed His Precious Blood for love of you and me and our eternal salvation.
22. REASON FOR THE EXCRUCIATING SUFFERING OF THE SCOURGING. Most of the saints agree as to the reason for Jesus immense suffering in the Scourging at the Pillar. Jesus willingly suffered so much, shedding so much of His Precious Blood, in reparation for sins against the virtue of purity. Our Lady of Fatima stated that most souls are lost and merit the eternal pains and sufferings of Hell due to the sins of impurity.
23. BEG FOR THE GRACE. This being the case, we should beg for the grace of purity, beg for the grace of chastity. Let us beg for the grace to live out the Beatitude: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.” (Mt. 5: 8)
24. PURITY IN ALL OUR SENSES. As we contemplate the brutal scourging of Jesus and His loss of an enormous quantity of Blood, let us beg for the very special grace of purity. Let us beg through the intercession of Mary Immaculate for purity of our eyes, our memory, our understanding, and our imagination. Let us also beg for purity of our body because it is the Temple of the Holy Spirit through Baptism. Still more, let us beg for purity of our emotions and affections, of our actions, and even of our intentions. May all we think, say, do, even intend, be done through the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the honor and glory of God and the salvation of immortal souls!
COLLOQUY. Saint Ignatius challenges us with three questions that we should consider in prayer in this moment:
What have I done for Jesus?
What am I doing for Jesus right now?
What am I willing to do for Jesus in the future?
Having striven to plumb the depths of the great love Jesus has for you, indeed you should be ready and willing to give your whole being to Jesus for His honor and service.
1. Enter into conversation with Our Lady of Sorrows and unload your heart.
2. Talk to Jesus pouring out your heart in contrition, gratitude, and supplication begging for greater love for Him.
3. Talk to the Eternal Father… beg to know and do His holy will in your life. Close with the Our Father.