I’m having a little bit of writer’s block, so I am going to post some old writing of mine, writing I did for a end-of -the-year project, they are scripture reflections technically, because they are reflections I wrote on the 2nd Joyful mystery: The Visitation (Lk:1:39-56) and the 3rd (Mk 15:16-20; Mt27:27-31; Jn 19:2-5) and 4th (Mt 27:32-33; Mk 15: 21-22; Lk 23:26:32; Jn 19:16-17) Sorrowful mysteries, the Crowning of Thorns and the Carrying of the Cross. Please use these to pray with, they are how I imagine these events taking place, using the best paragraph-work I could muster about 11 months ago.
The Visitation (Lk 1:39-56)
“Elizabeth?” The voice of the young maiden sounded from the entrance of a humble home. An old woman came, almost skipping from the other side of the building with a big grin from cheek to cheek, seeking to behold the radiant face of her cousin. “Blessed are you among women!” she shouted, unable to contain her excitement as she wrapped her arms around Mary. “And Blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Elizabeth stepped back and grasped the hands of the young Virgin, “And Why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy!” Mary’s hands were placed over Elizabeth, to feel the child John, who was still squirming inside of her. “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord!” The weight of her cousin’s words rested on the Immaculate Heart, as she pondered these blessings.
The Spirit which filled her moved her heart, asking her to sing a canticle of praise and she obeyed, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.” But Mary did not appear to be lowly, she was shining, reflecting the rays of the sun as her melodious song entranced Elizabeth and now Zechariah, who had entered the room. “Surely from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” The birds of the air had joined their twittering to the voice of the Theotokos, harmonizing with her Spirit-led canticle. “His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.” Zechariah smiled and nodded, relating the song to his own pride at being chosen to offer incense, which blinded him to believing the angel’s message for him regarding his son. “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.” Birdsong faded away as Heaven and Earth waited for the Virgin’s final verse. “He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” Tears streamed down the faces of the three who were gathered, the words of the canticle, which still echoed in the air, also echoed in their hearts.
The Crowning of Thorns (Mk 15:16-20; Mt 27:27-31; Jn 19:2-5)
The Son of Man was brought into the barracks, bruised, bloodied and bound. Already stripped of his garments, the soldiers decided to attire this Jewish King, as appropriate for His office. Accompanied by mocking, the whole cohort gathered, up to six hundred soldiers, attempting to garb the defenceless King. A military cloak, which once was a bright scarlet, now a faded and sun-damaged purple, was placed upon His shoulders; the fabric sinking into his fresh wounds. On his knees the Messiah accepted the facsimile of a royal purple robe and with this act, the Coronation ceremony had begun. His crown and sceptre were brought before Him, with the sound of jeering applause, the crown of thorns protruding outwards was lifted up for all to see, for the Romans it was a poor imitation of the glorious crown of Caesar which symbolized the power of the Sun shining brightly as it rested on his head. It was made much too small for the head of the Jewish Man, and the reed sceptre was lifted high, than brought down over the crown, hammering it into His Head. He knelt there and received the sceptre after a whipping from this symbol of his Royalty. Every minute movement made by the Suffering Servant sent shockwaves of pain across his whole body, as fabric rubbed against His flesh and reopened His wounds. One guard shouted,
“AVE REX JUDÆORUM!”
Every knee bowed at His name, in false homage to the King of Kings. The Regal Face lifted, beads of blood mixing with the tears streaming down His cheeks, for the Man of Sorrows was weeping for all those who would never understand this moment. Six Hundred soldiers rose from their kneeling position, each calling out to the King in mockery, spitting at the suspected rebel leader they thought was audacious enough to attempt to overthrow Rome and supplant Caesar as the Emperor. Amidst the cacophony came an order and a deafening silence fell upon the room, save for the dripping of blood onto the stone floor. The Lamb of God was raised to his feet and half-dragged into the courtyard to his place beside Pontius Pilate, who looked at the Bridegroom, adorned in his Wedding Garments and shouted to the Jewish crowds,
“BEHOLD THE MAN!”
The Carrying of the Cross
(Mt 27:32-33; Mk 15: 21-22; Lk 23:26:32; Jn 19:16-17)
The Jewish carpenter ascended the Mountain outside the city, with the echo of His people’s cries still ringing in his ears, “Crucify Him!” Accompanying each of his steps were splinters scraping into his shoulder from the wooden cross. Soldiers served as an escort to this apparently conquered King, as he was paraded up that path, each scuffling step became more laborious than the last. In the midst of his parade, the Man looked to his left and saw her, who was blessed among women. All they managed to communicate to each other was a simple glance because of the Royal Guard, but it said as much as was necessary. The Woman’s face was that of anguish, for a sword had begun to drive itself into her Immaculate Heart, but it was also filled with worry, because, by all appearances the Saviour of the World was about to die without saving anyone. In response to his Mother, the Man’s face was filled with sorrow, telling her that there was no other way to accomplish his mission. She pondered this in her heart as part of her preparation for what was to come. A Roman Soldier struck the Son and his parade continued until the weakened man was suddenly on the ground, unable to lift himself under the weight of the cross. A Cyrenian passerby was spotted and compelled to assist this feeble man carry his burden.
Simon looked down at the pitiable criminal, now clothed in gravel along with the embedded fragments of wood. Indignantly, he helped this battered man carry the instrument of his demise. His back arched under the weight of the burden as he took his position behind the accused. Twice more the man fell during his ascent, drained of strength after stopping to speak to people who managed to slip past his guards. One woman, overflowing with kindness, wiped the face of the one sentenced to death, soothing and consoling him through her act of love. Other women were in a state of grief, believing they had lost the Messiah who would free them from oppression. They did not realize that the Christ was supposed to be obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Simon saw these encounters and listened to this forsaken Teacher, learning from the one with true authority. He who was once compelled walked with a new spirit, casting off the old man of indignation and clothing himself with the new man of love and mercy after seeing the endurance of the Nazarene in the midst of his affliction.
Jesus recalled the two who had made this trek up the mountain long before. In that time there was a promise of a lamb for the sacrifice. Now the hour of fulfilment had come. The Lamb of God that was promised had finally arrived.