As prescribed by Paulina Constancia
The Crowning with Thorns
Matthew 27:29-30. Weaving a crown of thorns they fixed it on his head, and placed a reed in His right hand. To make fun of Him they knelt before Him saying: “Hail, King of the Jews.” They spat on Him, and took the reed and kept striking Him on the head.
Source: Regnum Christi
Mockery is an attack on the dignity of another person, and Jesus suffered it in silent solidarity with all of those who have borne it throughout all of time. In this case, the mockery was joined with torture suffered in a hidden place where no one except his tormentors could find him. In our times, too, there are thousands, perhaps millions of people, who live hidden away in captivity – in jails, in slavery, in war zones, in places of torture, or even in homes – and whose cries for help go unheard by the rest of the world. They find themselves completely at the mercy of their captors, who attack them in soul and body with mockery and torture. Why does man do this to man? What is it inside him that drives him to pour out such hatred and venom on a defenseless victim? It is like an accumulation of evil inside, and evil flourishes where love is lacking. Then, all too often, the tortured and abused become the next generation of torturers. But Jesus puts the vicious cycle to an end: he takes the worst, most hideous and demonic acts of aggression and extinguishes the evil in his merciful heart. He becomes a fountain of healing for both the tortured and the torturers.
Let us pray especially for people who suffer abuse, and also for those who inflict it on them.
Henri Nouwen on Contrition
“It is tragic to see how the religious sentiment of the West has become so individualized that concepts such as “a contrite heart,” have come to refer only to the personal experiences of guilt and willingness to do penance for it. The awareness of our impurity in thoughts, words and deeds can indeed put us in a remorseful mood and create in us the hope for a forgiving gesture. But if the catastrophical events of our days, the wars, mass murders, unbridled violence, crowded prisons, torture chambers, the hunger and the illness of millions of people and the unnamable misery of a major part of the human race is safely kept outside the solitude of our hearts, our contrition remains no more than a pious emotion. ” –Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out