Thursday, November 3, 2011

They Would Crown Him Again

Eternal Father, through Mary’s unblemished hands and the Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You the wounds, the pains and the Precious Blood of Jesus’ Holy Head from the Crowing with Thorns, as atonement for my and all of humanity’s sins of the spirit (Sins of the spirit are sins against our faith), as protections against such sins and for the spreading of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth.
--- from The Prayers of St. Bridget on the Passion of Jesus

I have always viewed the Crowning of Thorns and the associated mockery of Jesus on Holy Thursday night as one of the worst parts of His Passion. Alone, He was mocked for all which He had said and done. His torturers did not believe anything of what He preached, not even the miracles which their own eyes may have seen. What more could He do, and yet they still didn’t believe. And so they mocked Him. For me, that would have given me great temptation to despair. I would have been thinking of the future: And when the Son of Man returns, will He find anyone of faith? I would have been very tempted to doubt the value of my life, and my sacrifice. And why: because there were then, and are now, some who don’t want to wait for a heavenly, even if eternal, salvation. They want what they can see and feel and find happiness in --- now. And they trust only their senses and feelings about what that is, therefore they declare themselves to be the ones who know best of what is good for them. They don’t trust promises; they want satisfaction now. They have no faith in what Jesus promised; they can only mock it.

As I read the prayer of St. Bridget, I understood that there are many who have little faith in His promises even today. They are like Adam and Eve: for all they had and were given, they wanted more and wanted it now.

As I read of some priests who are forming groups (to give support to themselves in numbers) to DO changes in the Church’s rites and actions, and other groups of priests forming groups to demand a democracy in the Church’s governing, I somewhat feel the same sadness which Jesus must have felt on Holy Thursday. These priests have lost faith in Him and His promises and His Church. They want happiness for themselves and those they minister to, now. They say they are members of His Church, followers, yet they want to lead. In saying He leads yet defining the way themselves, they mock Him. They crown Him with thorns yet again, a leader they will not follow. Even as they want to shift the Church’s teachings, as if they were on sand, they forget that they were built on Rock.

In championing a democratic Church, they are in effect saying: “Let us vote on what is sin.” And even further, they may vote differently again tomorrow, or next week, or next year. “It changes with the culture.” Even as Jesus died to open heaven, they say thanks: “But we’ll define who gets in.” Were the Jews to have had that right, the worshipping of Baal may have been considered a good thing. Today, many Catholics would vote for “de-sinning” many sexual sins, or many sins against the value of life, and perhaps they would vote to eliminate the shortage of priests by declaring that anyone may be a priest. They think they know what the people need.

They confuse “want” with “need”.

These are all things many may want, but the Church says they are sin, or are wrong-minded actions. By definition, sin IS desirable, so of course many want those things. Some say: “Who is the Church? We are Church!” No longer will they follow out of obedience, only out of their relative reasoning and feelings. In effect, they claim to be the successors of Jesus. For the popes who claim successorship to Peter and Jesus, they say: “Here is your crown of thorns. Lead us. Ha-ha.”

I personally don’t know if each and every thing, each and every Church leader says is proper --- is that really what Jesus said or did? Is that what He would do? What I do know, however, is that even Jesus had a respect for authority. Give unto Caesar, … . Even if I should suspect that some actions of the bishops are in error --- and certainly some are for they are but men, still I will obey, for not to is a form of disobedience. Not to is a declaring that I know more than those assigned by God. Not to is not having faith in Him, who said His Church will not fail. Not to is mocking His promises again, and I recall only too well how He must have felt that first time, at that first crowning.

I can’t stop praying in sorrow over that first mockery. Why would I ever want to participate in another?

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