Hey there! Hope y’all are doing well! It was 85 degrees here this week, and then down to 30 this morning. Go figure. They say if you don’t like the weather in the Midwest, just wait a few hours and it will change, ha ha. We’re still in Lent, and we still have time to take a good look at where we really are, spiritually speaking. Grab a cuppa and find a comfy spot to reflect a bit.
Over the past couple of weeks, a particular image has jumped out at me several times. It’s the crowning with thorns, one of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary. There are some really great paintings of the scene. To get to my favorite, click here.
The Scripture account says this:
28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, 29 and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spat upon him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. Matthew 27:28-30 (RSVCE)
What affected me was seeing how I have been part of this scene. Who, me? I wasn’t even born yet when this happened…
How often do we strip Him of His rightful authority in our own lives? Or go through the motions, looking good on the outside? How often do we say He’s Lord, and even go to church, but our minds and our hearts are someplace else? How often do we put a fake crown on Him, put a fake scepter in His hand, and maybe we even kneel before Him, and call Him ‘Lord’, but… how often do we fail to follow His ways? How often do we make a mockery of true devotion to Him? How often do we turn and attempt to use the Sacred Scriptures against the very One who wrote them? “Lord, it says if I pray I can have anything I want. Where’s that Beach House? Where’s my mate?” Where’s that great job, new car, ad infinitum. Or how often do we simply look at it and say, ‘Forget that! I’m not doing that, it’s crazy, it’s out of date!’ That’s total disrespect.
Take a few extra minutes today and put yourself into the picture, see where you fit. There are several Centurions in my favorite painting of the scene: I can see myself in any of them – kneeling in mock reverence while at the same time being deliberately disobedient someplace, or just totally distracted; clothing Him in the purple robe of supposed authority, but denying His right to direct my life; pounding that crown of thorns into His head, as I demand that He ‘gimme’. Or maybe I’m simply standing by, laughing in agreement with the world as ‘they’ do these things to Him.
If this makes you uncomfortable, don’t run.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth.
If it breaks your heart, let it.
If you need to pray awhile, take the time. Make the time. Pour out your heart to Him. He already knows the truth, so just agree with Him about it. Uncover it all so He can change your heart and heal you.
Find a church, a pastor, a priest. Lent is all about coming clean. Let it happen.