Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thorns on His head and in my side

I did a tough bike ride today-- several very steep hills with the added adrenaline boost of constant vigilance for country dogs.  The Sorrowful Mysteries were a good choice for this particular Rosary Workout, and Tuesday is the traditional day devoted to meditating on these scenes from the Passion of our Lord.

I tackled an especially grueling climb during the Third Sorrowful Mystery, The Crowning of Thorns.  I forgot about the pain in my legs as I focused on the face of Christ-- the sharp thorns from the crown causing blood to run down his cheeks, the constant blows bruising his holy flesh as He quietly bore the pain and humiliation.  His eyes, though, are gentle and loving.  The soldiers are mocking and contemptuous, but Jesus continues to love them.  He sees in them something that they themselves do not--  That despite their hatred, they are His beloved children.  Perhaps Jesus thought of the words He had given His prophet, Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." (Jer 1:5)  It is even possible that one of these men was the centurion who stated at Jesus' death, "Truly this man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39).  Great love can change hearts and minds.

As I coasted down the back side of the hill, I thought about all the people whom I consider to be a thorn in my side.  The chatty mom of my son's friend who won't ever leave my home.  The person who blocks the aisle with a shopping cart when I'm in a hurry.  The woman at Mass who refuses to take her wailing baby outside.  The sarcastic, rude "Customer Service" rep.  Instead of irritation or anger, I need to follow Our Lord's example and show love.  Perhaps, then, I too can change hearts and minds.

Bible references for the Third Sorrowful Mystery, The Crowning with Thorns:
Matthew 27:29-30; Mark 15:16-20; John 19: 2-3
The virtues associated with this mystery are moral courage and love of our enemies.

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