“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
TUESDAY, March 30th Jn. 12: 21-33, 36-38 “Peter said to him, ‘Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ Jesus answered, ‘you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.’”
- Today, we will pray over and contemplate Jesus’ Crowning with Thorns, and all the blasphemies and humiliations heaped on his head besides! The Scourging was primarily for sins against the flesh. The Crowning with Thorns is primarily for sins against the intellect and the will.
- May our compassion and love for Jesus hanging on the cross, and Mary beneath the cross, move us to deep gratitude for Our Lord and Savior, and help us to enter deeply into this next sorrowful scene!
- Remember, Jesus and Mary suffered all this out of their great love for you and me!
GRACE TO BEG FOR: Beg for the grace to meditate upon how much Jesus suffered for love of you and me, and in return beg for the grace to suffer with Christ.
SEE MEDITATION & BIBLE VERSE AFTER INTRODUCTION…
CRUEL CROWNING WITH SHARP THORNS
After the atrocious and diabolic scourging of Jesus at the Pillar, we proceed to contemplate Jesus being crowned with sharp and painful thorns. Not only that, but the sheer mockery of the thorns being woven into a mock-crown added to the cruel bitterness of such an atrocious gesture.
IGNATIAN CONTEMPLATION. Therefore, let us set the stage, compose the scene, and beg for the graces necessary to derive abundant fruit from this Ignatian contemplation. Let us call to mind the place, the circumstances, the time, the persons involved, the words spoken, and derive abundant fruit from the supreme act of love that Jesus suffered for love of you and me.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO BRING TO THIS CONTEMPLATION. It is essential that we constantly call to mind the reason behind these scenes, why Jesus underwent so much suffering physically, mentally, emotionally, morally, and spiritually in His cruel and bitter Passion. It was precisely for this reason: His intense and over-flowing love for all of humanity. However, on a very personal note, He suffered every detail of His most bitter Passion, leading to the shedding of every drop of His Precious Blood on the cross, for love of you. If you were the only person existing in the world, Jesus would have undergone all of His suffering for love of you and the eternal salvation of your immortal soul!!!
FROM SCOURGING TO CROWNING. After the scourging of Jesus at the Pillar, eventually culminating in the carrying of the cross and His crucifixion on Good Friday, Jesus spent long and painful hours in custody in a relatively small chamber with torturers. This chamber was indeed small with little ventilation and He was surrounded by individuals who had as their sole purpose to taunt Him, mock Him, deride Him, scoff at Him, in a word to torture Him. This is the overall context of the CROWNING WITH THORNS.
REFERENCE TOOL. As a contemplative guide and reference tool, as was suggested in the Scourging at the Pillar, you can utilize the spectacular movie of Mel Gibson, The Passion of the Christ. Saint Ignatius insists on the proper training and use of our imagination as a source and tool to augment and fortify our prayer life. However, the movie should be viewed to supplement the contemplation and not to supplant it. Also, the movie should be viewed not simply as a Hollywood rendition but as a contemplative prayer.
BIBLICAL PASSAGE: READ Matthew 27:28-29—View movie of Mel Gibson, The Passion of the Christ
POINTS TO MEDITATE: CROWNING WITH THORNS…
- TRANSITION FROM THE SCOURGING TO THE CROWNING. It should not be forgotten that very recently, a few hours earlier, Jesus has been brutally scourged at the Pillar, a treatment that would have easily decimated and killed almost anybody else. Therefore, it is to be recalled that Jesus has lost immense amounts of blood and underneath His garments, His body is basically a gaping, oozing, open wound! In other words, the entire Body of Jesus experiences constant and intense suffering. All of this was done for love of you and the salvation of your soul. Stop and talk to Jesus about His great love for you! Ask Him to help you to love Him more and more.
- BOUND AND DRAGGED. Almost like an animal, Jesus is roped, dragged, and pushed around until he arrives at his destiny—the little chamber where He will undergo almost unspeakable torments and tortures for several hours this night, Holy Thursday night, leading up to Good Friday! Jesus is bound so as to give us freedom from our mortal enemy number one—SIN!
- THE TORTURES CONTINUE: NOW WITH THEIR HANDS! The cruel torturers have Jesus the whole night and they ceaselessly taunt, mock, deride, and torture Him with very little relief. They smack Jesus’ Sacred Face with their hands, then punch Him with their fists mercilessly and with utter cruelty. They even tug at and pluck His beard as prophesied in the Old Testament. In silence Jesus suffers all this like a lamb led to the slaughter—as prophesied by Isaiah. Try to be present to this scene and console the Lord with your words and your heart, with your compassion and your love.
- MORE TORTURES: SPITTING IN HIS FACE. Most of us would agree that one of the most terrible and humiliating insults that could be leveled against us is to be spat upon, but worse yet, to actually be spat upon in the face! This is done to Jesus again and again! Try to be present and contemplate this terrible insult.
- TORTURING JESUS BY THEIR WORDS. Not only does Jesus suffer through physical actions of torture as mentioned already, but Jesus is tortured by words: insults, derision, taunting, diabolic jeers and laughter, biting sarcasm, vulgarities. How true the statement: words can kill!!! How often have we been responsible for hurting Jesus by our words??? Enter into this scene and try to imagine the coarse and insulting words hurled at Jesus. For your part, try to console our suffering Savior!
- ANOTHER IDEA TO ADD TO JESUS’ SUFFERING: THE CROWN. One of the torturers hatches another diabolical idea and plan: Jesus has been hailed by some as a King, the King of the Jews; if that is the case then He needs a crown!!! The idea surfaces: why not make Him a crown, a mock-crown of sharp thorns!
- IMAGINE THE FASHIONING OF THE CROWN. Be present to this diabolic construction of the CROWN OF THORNS. Outside there must have been some rose bushes from which thorns, sharp-thorns could be extracted. Contemplate the evil and malicious intent of this individual torturer as he molds and weaves this mock crown—THE CROWN OF THORNS!
- PICTURE THE CROWN IN YOUR MIND’S EYE! The mock-crown of thorns is woven in a circular fashion with almost countless thorns. Some thorns are bigger than others. SHARP!!! These thorns are very sharp, able to both pierce and penetrate causing excruciating pain. See how carefully the torturer holds it after terminating his diabolic construct so that he will not be cut by one of the thorns.
- THE MOCK-CROWNING. Contemplate this most painful scene. As depicted in the movie, The Passion of the Christ, the torturer who constructed the Crown of Thorns loudly cries out derisive and sarcastic insults: HAIL, THE KING OF THE WORMS!!! Then the torturer presses and pushes the sharp crown of thorns deep into the Sacred Head of humble and gentle Jesus.
- CONTEMPLATE WHAT HAPPENS TO JESUS. Upon receiving the Crown of Thorns, Jesus winces in agonizing pain but accepts this suffering for love of you and me. Try to imagine in your contemplation the thorns passing through Jesus’ hair, piercing His brow, penetrating His skull, some say even arriving at His brain. Contemplate the Crown of Thorns encircling Jesus’ entire Head and the pain reverberating through His whole being.
- HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD. Of course, due to the thrust and sharpness of the thorns, Jesus’ Precious Blood comes spurting forth. Muster up courage to contemplate the Precious Blood of Jesus running down His face, running down His cheeks, entering into His beard, even trickling down to the floor. Talk to Jesus, console Him and thank Him for shedding His Precious Blood for the salvation of your immortal soul. Sorrow with and for Jesus humbly enduring the painful crown of thorns embedded in His Sacred Head, and the endless blasphemies hurled at Him the whole night and even into the morning.
- THE REED: GIVE HIM A SCEPTER IF HE IS INDEED KING! To further humiliate Jesus, they concoct another derisive and insulting plan: why not find a reed that can serve to represent the scepter that a King holds as a symbol of his power. So that is what they do. They find and force a reed into His bound hands, and there Jesus sits with a crown of sharp and penetrating thorns on His head and a reed—a mock-scepter in His hands. Now they are ready to salute and hail Jesus as King with the utmost sarcasm and venom. Contemplate Jesus and console Him as much as you can with a sincere and compassionate heart. Tell Jesus how much you desire for Him to be the Lord of Lords and King of Kings of your entire life!!!
- A NIGHT OF SUFFERING, INSULTS, AND MOCKERY. So this is how Jesus spends the entire night before He is forced to carry His cross and stretch out His hands to be nailed to the cross, all for love of you and me. You might even try to imagine that you are present in the background in that small, asphyxiating, foul-smelling, and dungeon-like cell where Jesus is spending the last hours of His life before being crucified. Imagine what they say to Him, imagine what they do to Him, and then console and comfort your loving Savior. Be assured that your love and presence are a great solace to Him!
- LIKE A LAMB LED TO THE SLAUGHTER; HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH. Contemplate the Prophecy of the Prophet Isaiah in depicting Jesus as the gentle and innocent Lamb that was led to the slaughter and did not resist. Talk to Jesus about your own sufferings and beg Jesus for the grace to understand the meaning of suffering, especially the meaning of your sufferings in the light of His Passion and Suffering.
TRIPLE COLLOQUY. Saint Ignatius invites us at times to make a triple Colloquy or conversation. By Colloquy is meant a heart to heart conversation.
- Talk to Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, about the suffering of Jesus that you have been contemplating—Jesus the suffering-servant. Conclude with the Hail Mary.
- Talk to Jesus from the depths of your heart and tell Him how much you love Him and how much you want to console His Broken Heart. Conclude with the prayer Anima Christi—Soul of Christ.
- Talk to God the Father who allowed Jesus to suffer for all of humanity, but in a special way for your own personal salvation. Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer—the Our Father…