The Holy Crown of Thorns


Writer’s Introduction: That is the fourth of a collection of meditations based mostly on the Lenten Votive Lots of the Ardour of Jesus which were prayed all through the historical past of the Church in numerous usages. Some have their origin in early medieval occasions and had been utilized in numerous locations in Europe and specifically non secular orders. Some may be discovered within the 1955 and 1962 editions of the Missale Romanum. Some parallel prayers may be discovered within the present English version of the Roman Missal in addition to the Missal of the Holy Land. These meditations are given to supply us an previous but new option to enter into the Ardour of Jesus and the salvation He provides us that’s rooted in scripture, custom, and historical past of the Church. Could praying with and reflecting on them provide help to to develop in Divine Intimacy with Our Lord Jesus and His saving graces this Lenten season and everytime you enter into prayer.

The textual content of this mass may be discovered here.

Opening Acquire: Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that we who for remembrance of the fervour of our Lord Jesus Christ reverence His Crown of thorns on earth might need to be topped with glory and honor in heaven by Him Who lives and reigns with You within the unity of the Holy Spirit, God endlessly and ever. 

The crown of a king or a queen is likely one of the most noticeable symbols all through human historical past, representing the majesty of their workplace’s authority, vocation, and mission given to them by God. Crowns had been additionally worn in Historical Jewish occasions by the bridegroom on their wedding ceremony day, as additionally seen within the crowning of the Bride and Groom within the wedding ceremony rites of the Jap Catholic and Jap Orthodox Church buildings. The Crown will not be solely a logo of authority and workplace, but it surely represents the binding of the lives of the bride and groom to one another in love even unto dying. The crown of thorns and the cross of Jesus exhibits me the union between spousal love, fact, and authority that Jesus needs to point out within the lifetime of His church and each believer.

We see Our Lord Jesus in his ardour after being scourged by the Roman troopers, clothed in a purple gown, handed a reed, and having a crown of thorns positioned upon his head. (Cf. Matthew 23:27-29; Mark 15:16-19; Luke 22:11; John 19:1-5) This stuff are given to Jesus in mockery of his id as Messiah, Son of God, and the King of Israel. The crown of thorns conveys one thing in regards to the genuine id and mission of Jesus, the Church, and each disciple.   

Within the lesson of the mass (Tune of Songs 3:7-8), an attention-grabbing scene is described: “Behold, sixty valiant ones of essentially the most valiant of Israel, surrounded the mattress of Solomon, All holding swords, and most skilled in struggle: each man’s sword upon his thigh, due to fears within the night time.”  Who’re these sixty valiant ones who encompass King Solomon’s mattress, the place the place he binds himself in like to his bride? They’re those who guard him and his bride and act along with his authority and in his identify. They might be his guard, twice as many as his father King David had (2 Sm 23:8-39). (Arminjon, The Cantata of Love, Tune of Songs 3:7, 204) Jesus because the New Solomon definitively fulfills this promise each within the paschal thriller and within the lifetime of the Church extends to our current age. The entourage of the valiant males surrounding the mattress of Solomon is seen within the instance of the successors of the apostles seen within the presence of the saintly popes, bishops, clergymen, docs, saints, and administrators, who “with discretion and sacred knowledge, watch over the nice of these souls entrusted to them, at all times able to defend them with the sharp religious sword of the true phrase of God, elucidated, by their instance.” (Juan Arintero, Tune of Songs: A Mystical Exposition, 3:7, 327)

 How the devoted lengthy for this safety in all ages of the Church’s life, particularly in our age! How will we lengthy for clergymen who’re true pastors and religious fathers! They’re those who lovingly kind, nourish, problem, and defend them with the sword of the gospel. They guard in opposition to “fears within the night time,” which represents the fact of sin and evil that seeks to pervert and destroy her ranks. These males, who’re the sixty valiant ones, characterize the best of the priesthood. They aren’t simply directors who search worldly consolation and success at the price of souls. They’re fathers who’re current and espoused to Christ and His bride. They’re clergymen who dwell lives of humble, devoted integrity regardless of their very own weak point and sin. They search to dwell the religion they preach with their lips with the deeds of their lives, and their willingness to shed their blood for the salvation of souls. The pastors are those who’re known as first to protect the mattress of the brand new Solomon that’s His Church in religion, hope, love, holiness, and humble integrity. When these virtues are missing, then there’s a temptation to dominate and compromise the deposit of religion for worldly achieve and esteem thus scattering the flock of Jesus. (Cf. Jer 10:21 & 23:1-3, John 10:8) 

We see this excellent of the sixty valiant ones of King Solomon contrasted in opposition to the group of the troopers of the Roman Legion who pay Jesus mock honors by calling him a king (Gospel of the Mass – John 19:1-3). Of their insincerity, ridicule, and blasphemy, they mockingly level to the reality of who Jesus is by doing three issues two him: 1) they place a mock crown on his head, 2) then they offer him mock clothes to put on, 3) and bestow on him mock acclamations (Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on John, C 19, L 1 n. 2374). Saint Thomas Aquinas speaks about the way it was customary for a king to put on a crown of Gold within the historic world. (cf. Sir 45:12; Ps 21:3) By the crown of thorns, Jesus removes the thorns of sin, which ache us by regret of conscience. (cf. Jer 4:3)  He additionally takes away the thorns of punishment that burden us (Gen 3:18) (Commentary on John, C. 19, L 1 n. 2375). The purple tunic with the crown that Jesus wears is harking back to the royal dignity and honor bestowed upon the Roman Emperor (Cf. 1 Macc 8:14). It additionally signifies the sufferings of the Struggling Servant in addition to these of the martyrs, “which stains purple your complete physique of Christ, that’s, the Church. (Commentary on John, C 19, L 1, n 2376.) They mock him by saying “Hail, King of the Jews!” within the widespread handle to their king. This exhibits an entire lack of respect to his particular person and his kingship. Aquinas additionally notes that this implicates mystically “these greet Christ mockingly who profess him with phrases however deny him with their deeds. (Cf. Titus 1:16; Matt 7:21) (Commentary on John, C. 19, L 1 n. 2377) 

The throne of King Solomon is referenced (Tune of Songs 3:Sep 11), and the daughters of Jerusalem are urged to Go forth in direction of it. This throne can be contrasted with each the throne of Christ the King, his cross (cf. Introit of Mass, Tune of Songs 3:11):

King Solomon has made him a litter [throne] of the wooden of Lebanon: The pillars thereof he manufactured from silver, the seat of gold, the going up of purple: the midst he lined with charity for the daughters of Jerusalem. Go forth, you daughters of Sion, and see king Solomon within the diadem, wherewith his mom topped him within the day of his espousals, and within the day of the enjoyment of his coronary heart.

The ornamentation of a king’s throne had necessary symbolism within the Historical world. It represented his authority, energy, and may. The throne of Jesus from which he reigns is his cross which within the historic world of the Roman Empire was some of the horrible methods to die. Jesus takes the final word signal of dying and transforms it into the throne by which he conquers sin, dying, and devil by love and binds himself to his wayward bride for whom he lays down his life. 

Within the early Church, there was a hesitancy, at first, to depict Our Lord Jesus Crucified in artwork. This was as a result of so many Christians had been executed by the hands of the Romans by crucifixion. After the legalization of Christianity within the Roman Empire and throughout the Center Ages, one would see then the rise of the depiction of Jesus Christ crucified in liturgical artwork.  Typically the cross can be closely ornamented with gems and high quality metals within the method because the throne of King Solomon is depicted. Such liturgical ornamentation represented the providing of 1’s life that each believer is named to make earlier than the cross in prayer and the presence of Jesus within the Eucharist at each mass earlier than receiving him. Jesus pours out his blood for me and endures mocking and mock in love for him. The least I can do is provide the gems and diamonds of my life – what’s Most worthy to me regardless of their finite nature in order that he can rework them into a spot the place His glory and new life are seen. 

After I adorn Jesus with my love and my brokenness, he can rework me right into a saint by His grace – a dwelling thriller of the presence of He who’s the Divine Bridegroom of my soul. He then adorns me on this worship along with his personal life and inclinations (Tune of Songs 4:11; Isaiah 61:10-11). Mary exhibits this similar gesture with the anointing of the ft of Jesus with oil and the brushing of his ft along with her hair whereas at Bethany. (Cf. John 12:3) The life of religion isn’t nearly my very own agenda or making a great earthly utopia of my very own making. I comply with Jesus in His Church to enter into the love of Divine Union and share that love between us with others, particularly the poor and forgotten. With out the whole reward of self-made in worship by sacraments and day by day prayer, I danger then changing into just like the troopers who mocked Jesus or Judas who betrayed him. We pray then for the grace and religion to exit to behold Christ our King and His nice love for us amidst his ardour and dying. We additionally pray that as he provides himself completely amidst ache, mockery, and dying in his ardour, we could also be given the grace to supply our lives anew in our goodness and brokenness as comfort that adorns him. In doing so, might we be topped ever extra deeply with His love and salvation that he provides us by his ardour, dying, and resurrection (Cf. Tune of Songs 4:11).  

Opening Acquire: Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that we who for remembrance of the fervour of our Lord Jesus Christ reverence His Crown of thorns on earth might need to be topped with glory and honor in heaven by Him Who lives and reigns with You within the unity of the Holy Spirit, God endlessly and ever. 

Picture credit score: Deposit Pictures.

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