“Take this, all of you ...”
The first sorrowful mystery: The Agony in the Garden
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son (John 3:16).Thus, the Word became Flesh, and now in the flesh, Jesus will feel rejection, humiliation, excruciating pain, and abandonment. Sin came into the world in a garden where man said no. Providentially, our redemption begins in a garden where Jesus says, “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus knows the hour has come and He prays. What the Father is asking of Him, as a man, is excruciatingly difficult. Aware of what is about to happen, what He must undergo for our sake, He sweats. Drops of blood and perspiration mingle. The Father sends angels to strengthen Him.
He who knew no sin became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).He offers himself up for all of us. He offers himself for me personally. What we could not do, he does for us. Jesus gives his life so that we may experience eternal life. “Take this, all of you.”
“This is my body”
The second sorrowful mystery: The Scourging at the PillarPilate orders Jesus to be scourged. For the first time, Jesus is stripped. His body is bare, exposed to the whips and lashes of instruments of torture. They tear His flesh into pieces. It is not Pilate’s orders nor the soldiers’ cruelty, however, that binds Jesus to the pillar. Jesus has already offered His body for us. Now, He goes of His own will, freely giving Himself up for us. The prophecy of Isiah is fulfilled.
The chastening for our well-being fell upon him. And by his scourging we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).He offers us his body so our sins may be forgiven, and we may be restored. His flesh heals our souls. “This is my body.”
“This is the chalice of my blood.”
The third sorrowful mystery: The Crowning with ThornsThe King of kings is crowned. Creatures mock their Creator. The very blood that falls because of the ridicule is our saving grace. They slap Him; they spit upon Him. Again, water and blood mingle – the human with the divine. His humiliation brings us dignity.
Therefore, Jesus suffered … to consecrate the people by his own blood (Hebrews 13:12).The drops of blood fall not into a golden chalice but into his eyes, down his face, and onto the ground. God wishes that not a drop of His Son’s blood be wasted. Veronica, moved by compassion and courage, performs an act of mercy. The precious blood leaves an image of the holy face on her veil. We who partake of His blood, likewise, carry the same image and are called to perform works of mercy. God desires that not a drop of blood be wasted. “This is the chalice of my blood.”
“... which will be poured out for you”
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus Carries the CrossJesus gives us His all. The cross is placed on His bruised shoulders and rent back. He is determined to see this through. He steps forth to Calvary to continue being poured out for us. Weakened, He falls three times, but gets back up again. When the cross was getting too heavy, He reached out for help; thereby, not only Simon, but we can help Jesus carry His cross.
“If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).This is the self-sacrificial love of Jesus. It is a love that knows no bounds. It is a love that is totally “poured out for you.”
“Do this in Memory of Me”
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus Dies on the CrossThe most humiliating and shocking moment in His life is what Jesus wishes for us to always remember about Him. Crucified between two common criminals, taunted and jeered, even as He hangs dying, He prays.
“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).He wants us to know how much He loves us, wishes to forgive us, desires us to be with Him forever. Even from the cross, He continues to give: He promises paradise to the repentant thief; He entrusts His Mother to us and us to His Mother; and He places His spirit into the Father’s hands. He thirsts. He who gives Living Water thirsts. He thirsts for our souls. He desires only us. Every Sunday, at every Mass, every Friday, whether we go to Mass or not, every day, He hopes that we remember. Remember how much He loves us and what He did to save us. When celebrating the sacrifice of the Mass, “Do this in remembrance of me.” When the inconveniences of life pop up, “Do this in remembrance of me.” When trials and sufferings overwhelm us, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Jesus has been there, done that. He will help us to make our lives an offering to Him.
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Copyright 2019 Kelly Guest
About the Author
God has given Kelly lots of wonderful opportunities to follow Him. She was a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville, an education coordinator for a Catholic Charities' program for pregnant teens, a middle school teacher, a director of religious education and is now a youth minister. Her most challenging and rewarding calling, though, is wife and mother of ten children. What she has learned, she blogs at CatholicMom.com.