The Crowning of Thorns

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, 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!” And they spat upon him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.

Jesus Christ had thorns forced into his flesh. The Evangelists’s claim — that if everything about Jesus were recorded “the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” — approaches literal truth. How can enough be said of this Crowning?

Jesus Christ had thorns pressed into his head. It is bitter, yes. But turn the world on its head and see that Christ blooms up from the thorns. He is the blood-red Rose we offer to the Father, that we might be reconciled and brought back to our home. Christ’s Sacrifice reaches the Father and is pleasing to him — not only because it is beautiful, but because it is raised on a thorny stem. For Love, in order to be Love, demands suffering. The image of Christ crowned teaches us of what a lifetime of friends, lovers, and children gives a glimpse — you cannot grow a rose without its thorns.

They struck him on the head. The thorns were pressed into the wellspring of life itself. They were embedded in the most fertile soil of flesh, blood, water, bread and wine. How could they do anything but flower? And they do: The thorns woven around the Sacred Heart of Jesus flower in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

For Mary is the first to be given the title Immaculate, the first to be free from sin by the death and resurrection of Christ. The sacrifice of Christ is brought to fruition in Her — it blooms in her. She is an example of what we are all to be. And she represents the Church.

The suffering of Christ blooms within the Church and rises with the incense, a pure sacrifice to God the almighty. Because of Christ’s death, we have eternal life. Thank God for the thorns that bring forth such a flower.

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