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Lenten Rosary Reflections

The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns (John 19:2)

(c) 2022 Josephine Lombardi

Not only is Jesus beaten and humiliated, but the Roman soldiers “wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head.” No doubt the pain of the thorns pressing into his skull causes him great agony. The blood would have covered his face, obstructing his vision. They mock him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

Humiliation and shame often go hand in hand with abuse–the victim is slandered and shamed as part of the cruelty. The aim is to destroy a person’s sense of self, paralyzing them with fear. Jesus knows how this feels. Unfortunately, for some, this sense of shame can lead to self-loathing. This calls for healing, as some people may be convinced that their woundedness and pain are greater than the power and mercy of God. Some may be tempted to create a “god” of their wound and feel they cannot be redeemed or made whole.

Jesus shows us that redemption and restoration are possible. God’s love and grace are greater than any wound that holds us hostage. We do not have to choose struggle and fear, for we can choose Christ, who is in us.

Today, let us pray for all people experiencing anguish and mental health struggles. The inability to perceive correctly, whether it is due to biological, social or psychological factors, can be disabling. Victims of torture and abuse should be remembered here as well. May they be delivered from all evil and may their minds be made well, finding joy and peace in the Lord.

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