While meditating on the Passion of Jesus is never easy it is the third sorrowful mystery, the crowning with thorns, that I find the hardest to comprehend.
Both Matthew (27:27-31) and John (19:1-3) mention the crowning with thorns, but it was just one part of the violence against Jesus. The soldiers spat at Him, slapped Him and mocked His kingship. And Jesus allowed their actions.
To the soldiers, He was just another man who called himself a king. They were in a foreign country as unwelcome visitors. No doubt they had experienced a time or two when a person of a higher rank insulted or shamed them. So the soldiers took it out on their prisoners, especially Jesus, the so-called King of the Jews.
But with all that Jesus had to suffer: the agony of the garden, the betrayals by his friends Judas and Peter, the accusations of the Pharisees, as well as the crucifixion and death, why was this additional insult necessary?
Perhaps this irony of a crown of thorns is to help us reflect on how we treat Jesus as the king in our lives. Do we accept His rule willingly with all it entails? Do we trust that Jesus is working in our lives when we don’t see or feel it? Or do we worry and plan so that we can maintain control? How many times have our actions been like the soldiers actions to Jesus, mockingly proclaiming Him as king? Or how many times do our sins like those thorns cause pain for Jesus?
Like the prodigal son, let us demonstrate our sincere sorrow for those times when we did not treat Jesus as a king. Let us seek Him in the Divine Mercy chaplet, praying “with great confidence to submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.”
Note: Novena to Divine Mercy begins on Good Friday, in preparation of the Feast of Divine Mercy on April 2nd.