Wednesday, April 16, 2014
REPROACHES of THE PASSION Set 7: You Gave Me a Crown of Thorns
O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer Me.
For you I struck down the kings of Canaan; you have struck My head with a reed.
“We have no king but Ceasar!” was the cry of the bloodthirsty crowd on that Good Friday. That was definitely a lie, because they hated the Romans, hated being under the dominion of Ceasar, and they could not wait for the Messiah to come soon enough to liberate them from the Roman rule. By this cry, they were rejecting God as their King, they were rejecting their place as the Chosen People. Recall in 1 Samuel, the people asked for a king so that they could be like the other nations around them, and while Samuel was distressed, God assured him that it was not Samuel they had rejected but God Himself as their King.
God established the Kings in Israel. He established them as a sovereign nation having an exclusive relationship with God as their King. He gave them a royal scepter, both as a historical symbol of power and the spiritual symbol of the Messianic reign. Just as to them, God has given us a royal scepter: a free intellect and free will. Unfortunately, we have taken the scepter and turned it into an instrument of destroying the Kingdom of God. We have turned our royal scepter into a reed with which to strike the head of Christ.
Forming a crown of thorns is not an easy feat. It took skill and thought to twist those thorns right. It was meant to hurt, especially considering the thorns were pressed onto the head of Christ. That was not an accidental thought. Let us think of all our willful, premeditated wrongdoings and sins. They are thorns piercing the Sacred Head of Jesus. Let us consider times we have encouraged others to sin; moments we have refrained from doing the right thing due to fear; moments we have flattered others instead of helping them by telling them the truth; moments we have been bad influence on others. At all those moments, we have offered a crown of thorns to Christ.
A crown of thorns and striking the Lord on the head with a reed were all acts of mockery, meant to hurt and humiliate Him. Think of how Christians are persecuted because of their faith; think of instances when the civil state dictates what the Church can or cannot do. Those are thorns pressed into the head of Jesus. From the Cross, the Savior asks us to remember His pain and humiliation.