Third Sorrowful Mystery
Jesus is crowned with thorns.
The coronation of an earthly monarch is a ceremony of pomp and circumstance attended by the world’s powerful and wealthy with most of us witnessing only from afar. These earthly rulers then go on to lead lives of privilege effective maybe as figure-heads and not much involved in the lives of ordinary people.
The crowns they wear are heavy with gold and jewels, a long way from the thorny brambles twisted into the crown pressed onto the head of Jesus.
On the feast of Christ the King a few years ago Pope Francis reflected:
“Jesus’ reign is truly not of this world (cf. Jn 18:36); but for this reason… For the grandeur of his kingdom is not power as defined by this world, but the love of God, a love capable of encountering and healing all things. Christ lowered himself to us out of this love, he lived our human misery, he suffered the lowest point of our human condition: injustice, betrayal, abandonment; he experienced death, the tomb, hell. And so our King went to the ends of the universe in order to embrace and save every living being. He did not condemn us, nor did he conquer us, and he never disregarded our freedom, but he paved the way with a humble love that forgives all things, hopes all things, sustains all things (cf. 1 Cor 13:7). This love alone overcame and continues to overcome our worst enemies: sin, death, fear… (Pope Francis, 20 November 2016)
We get to choose the crown we wear.
We can spend our earthly life striving for the earthly crown, a tempting goal but with with fleeting rewards.
Or we can side with Jesus, walking with him, suffering with him and dying with him. This makes little sense to earthly ambitions, but this prize is lasting, eternal even, and the rewards are also abundant in the present, the prize of health and integrity, joy and peace in intimacy with Jesus and His family of faith now and for eternity.
Take a few minutes year to pray the Third Sorrowful Mystery today without accompaniment – just you and your beads, with family or friends, or alone. As you thumb through the beads consider your choice of crown.