Friday, February 22, 2019
Then the soldiers led Jesus into the courtyard of the palace; and they called together all the soldiers there. The soldiers then clothed Him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns to make a crown, they placed it on His head. And they began saluting Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They struck His head with a reed, spat upon Him, and knelt down in homage to Him. After mocking Him, they stripped Him of that purple cloak and gave Him back His clothes. Then they led Him out to crucify Him. – Mark 15:16-20
Mockery. One could call it the lashing of a person’s dignity. I have to believe that those sharp thorns were painful. Certainly the whips lefts their marks on His back. The nails that would be soon cruelly driven into his hands and feet would prove excruciating. But what about that mocking by the Roman soldiers? Did Jesus’ heart suffer when He was mocked?
I know when people have mocked me, it felt like thorns jabbed into my tender spirit. There was always anguish in the moment and over and over in the memories of that moment. It always felt cruel … but again I am a rather sensitive soul, maybe even too sensitive. I imagine Christ having a tenderness of heart … But then again … the mocking of my own soul wounded first my pride and my ego, and I sense Christ was a man accustomed to humility and a man whose ego was of no concern. Yet … the mockery of Christ was painful, the pain that comes in experiences of disappointment.
Why do people mock other people? Many people try to aggrandize themselves by belittling the vulnerable. Many people so want to be accepted by a group that they yield to a mob mentality. Many people, almost if by instinct, like to rid their tribe of those who are different. Many people simply have a stunted or deadened sense of empathy.
The story of the Passion of Christ includes that mocking by the soldiers, and I believe for reason of insight into the nature of humanity. Our sinful nature likes to ridicule others for it somehow makes us feel powerful over the vulnerable and strengthens our bonds with the like-minded crowd.
Loved Ones, mockery, no matter how subtly executed, is not found in the quality of spirit as found in Christ.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz