The King of the Jews. A kingdom of holiness and grace

Pilate, perhaps thinking that this would appease the hatred of the Jews, took Jesus and had him scourged. It is the scene we contemplate in the second sorrowful mystery of the Rosary: "Tied to the pillar. Full of wounds.

"Sounds the beating of the straps on his broken flesh, on his unblemished flesh, which suffers for your sinful flesh. -More blows. More viciousness. More still... It is the height of human cruelty.

"Finally, surrendered, they untie Jesus. -And the body of Christ also surrenders to the pain and falls, like a worm, cut in pieces and half dead.

"You and I cannot speak. -No words are needed. -Look at him, look at him... slowly.

"Then... Will you be able to be afraid of atonement?"

And then the soldiers, weaving a crown of thorns, put it on his head and clothed him with a purple robe. And they came to him and said, Hail, King of the Jews. And they slapped him. Today, as we contemplate Jesus proclaiming his kingship before Pilate, we should also meditate on this scene from the third sorrowful mystery of the Rosary: "The crown of thorns, hammered down with hammers, makes him the King of mockery.... (...). And, with blows, they wound his head. And they slap him... and spit on him (...).

"You and I, have we not crowned him again with thorns, and slapped him, and spit on him?

"No more, Jesus, no more...".

Pilate went out again and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him. Jesus therefore went out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Ecce homo. Behold the man.

The Lord, dressed in mockery with the royal insignia, conceals and at the same time makes us glimpse, under that tragic appearance, the greatness of the King of kings. The whole of creation depends on a gesture of his hands. When he is at his weakest, he does not hesitate to assert that title which he holds in his own right. His kingdom is the kingdom of Truth and Life, the kingdom of Holiness and Grace, the kingdom of Justice, Love and Peace16. As we contemplate these scenes of the Passion, we Christians cannot forget that Jesus Christ is "a King with a heart of flesh, like ours". Nor can we forget that there are many who ignore and reject him.

"Faced with this sad spectacle, I feel inclined to make amends to the Lord. Hearing this clamor that does not cease and that, more than voices, is made up of ignoble deeds, I feel the need to cry out loud: oportet illum regnare!

As we contemplate the King with the crown of thorns, we tell him that we want Christ to reign in our lives; in our hearts, in our works, in our thoughts, in our words, in everything we do.