March 16: The Crowning of Thorns

Updated: Apr 1

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

March 16, 2021

"And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, "Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly." John 19:2–3


In the third sorrowful mystery, we see a crown of thorns placed on the brow of Jesus. He is mocked and scorned by those who call for his Crucifixion.


It is easy, I think, to reflect on this mystery and see the cruelty of the soldiers who abuse and humiliate Christ. We may look on this moment and say to ourselves, "But I would never." With the privilege of retrospect, and with the gift of knowing the truth of Jesus' perfect kingship, we may not see ourselves in this sorrowful mystery.


I invite you to consider Pilate. John tells us that when the chief priests and guards called for Jesus to be crucified, Pilate replied, "Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” Despite his belief in Jesus' innocence, Pilate does nothing to stop his torture and execution. He washes his hands of the responsibility to ensure justice. This is especially heinous given his place of authority and the power he wields in this context.


It is Jesus whose authority is perfect, who in his kingship aligns himself with the suffering and the sinful.


How often do we wash our hands of the responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us? How often do we acknowledge an injustice in front of us, yet fail to use our power to stop it?


May we have the wisdom to know injustice when we see it. May we have the courage to act when we know it.


These reflections are meant to challenge us on our journey through Lent. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments with us.

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