3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
“They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.” Mark 15:17-20
The fruit of the mystery is moral courage.
Humiliation, in one form or another, is part of the package. It is only avoidable if we decide to deny Christ. Every single day, we’ll be presented with moments of choice: either choose Christ and risk mockery and scorn, or deny Him and remain safe, comfortable, hidden.
In a shallow culture that reveres only the Self and demands tolerance of all things while it is bitterly intolerant of Christ and His Church, we can’t play both sides.
If we’re truly following Jesus, we are going to be mocked. We will be the object of scorn and ridicule. We are going to be attacked as closed-minded, oppressive, backward, intellectually-stunted, bigoted, fanatical. We’re going to be hated and persecuted. If we’re not being treated as such, perhaps we’d better re-examine our lives and our faith. If we don’t stand out from the world, then we could be in serious trouble.
It will cost us dearly sometimes to stand firm in our faith, to go against the current societal tide, to defend the unchanging truth that others dismiss as merely religious belief. But the Humble Savior listened to the vile mockery spewing from the soldiers’ mouths and decided that your soul and my soul was worth the degradation. He could have silenced them in an instant if He’d wanted, but He loved us – He loved them – so much that He submitted to their abuse quietly. Like a lamb to the slaughter, He opened not His mouth.
Discipleship will exact a price — at the very least, humiliation and scorn for His sake. Someday it might even cost our lives. But what is the cost of the alternative?