“If, according to Holy Writ, every sinner deserves many strokes of the scourge, how many did not the innocent Saviour deserve, Who had taken upon Himself the thousands of millions of sins and Who now was to render complete satisfaction to Divine Justice.”
“But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas to them. And Pilate again answering, saith to them: What will you then that I do to the king of the Jews? But they again cried out: Crucify Him. And Pilate saith to them: Why, what evil hath He done? But they cried out the more: Crucify Him. And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people, released to them Barabbas, and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged Him, to be crucified.” (Mark 15, 11-15)
The Scourging of Christ was unimaginably horrific in its pain and if possible, even more painful in its humiliation.
Now, we have many inspirational passages both from our great saints and from good spiritual writers, about the horrific scourging, its pain, its humiliation and its meaning for us. I had planned to summarize a few for this post. But after my prayers this morning, my thoughts took a different path.
The scourging of Christ is about His Love! Love for the Father and love for us, a love which is wholly unmerited on our part. Look at His abasement, humiliated by being stripped to His loin cloth and made to endure the punishment of the worst criminals. His eyes meet ours, pleading for us to see His love for the Father, His need to meet the justice of God, to pay in full the debt we sinners can never pay, so that we may share with Him eternal happiness in Heaven.
The scourging of Christ is also about His hatred for sin. Many don’t fully grasp this. For Christ sees sin as it truly is, not at all in the way we see it. For the good see sin through their shame – focusing more on their feelings of shame than on His response to sin; and the bad see sin with resentment, blaming God’s “unreasonable demands” instead of themselves. Both fail to understand with their heart’s deepest wisdom, that Jesus hates sin because He cannot bear to see His loved ones so soiled, so degraded. For we are made in His image, yet we so quickly deface that image, crusting it over with all manner of putrescence, It breaks His Sacred Heart to see us so! He shows us His scourging, begs us to see how willingly He submits to it if only we will understand how badly these vile habits of ours hurt and humiliate Him.
You see, He never loses sight of the wondrous glory of our immortal souls – souls made tenderly out of love, for love and then, because of our refusal to love, these same souls are redeemed at great price by Love Himself. So please, look to His love! Keep His loving suffering before your eyes and shun the occasions of sin, praying each time that you turn from sin, “It is for love of Thee, Jesus, and for the salvation of sinners.”
The cure for our lukewarmness is here before us: It is to focus on His love which He shows us so tenderly in His Scourging; to remind ourselves of the immensity of His love and the pain we cause Him by our sins. By maintaining our focus on this scourging, we can gradually learn to avoid the small sins of our daily lives. It is these small sins that are the problem, for they lead to a hardness of heart and the dangerous apathy that destroys so many souls.
Forgive the shortcomings of this article. The thoughts of one’s heart have no words for its prayer is nothing but a mute longing, a dumb love that waits in the darkness and desolation for Love. But all can go there too. You do not have to be an “expert” able to dispute learnedly over canon law and the liturgy, opining on who is the pope and so on, that is, on all the burning issues of our times. Just take up your rosary, and be quiet and open your heart to Love. Our Lady has given you her own Immaculate Heart and the keys to Heaven, her Rosary. In the Sorrowful Mysteries you will learn the wordless lessons of this unfathomable Love.
May Our Lady of the Rosary keep you close to her Immaculate Heart always.
Please, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!
†Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!