MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: Meditation Of The Crowning Of Our Lord. I

BOSCH, Hieronymus 
Christ Mocked (Crowning with Thorns) 
1495-1500

The 25. Meditation of the Crowning of Our Lord.
Then they unclothing him, put a scarlet Garment about him, and weving a Crown of thorns, they put it upon his head and a Reed in his right hand.
Consider first, that those Torturers devised a new kind of torment, which might both afflict, and also make him to be mocked: That he, which called himself King of the Jews, might be clothed in royal ornaments.

Consider secondly, in this place four kinds of mockings. First, they pull off all his clothes, which a little before he had put on, renewing the grief of his wounds, to which the cloth cleaved, and stripping his holy and virginal body naked, not without shame and confusion. Secondly, they put on a scarlet garment, that his purple blood shed all over his body, and the purple garment put upon him might show forth a royal ornament. Thirdly, instead of a Diadem they set upon his head a Crown, woven of many bushy thorns, which (saith Tertullian) did tear & deface the Temples of our Lord. Fourthly, they gave him a Reed in his hand, instead of a Scepter. O thou Christian, behold thy King, behold the triumph of his coronation.

Consider thirdly, that the great benefits which our Lord prepared for us, are signified by these illusions. For first the taking off of his garments, whereby our Lords body deformed with so many wounds, spotted with blood, spittle, & dirt, & loathsome to behold. was uncovered; signifieth the foulness of thy soul, defiled with the spots of so many sins; which foul spots, Christ by his passion removed from thee upon himself, that he might cleanse thee from all filth. Secondly, by the scarlet Garment is signified our nature, which is bloody and guilty of death, which Christ assuming to the unity of his person, did Sanctify; and also thy sins, being as red as a Worm, which Christ took away by his Passion; and also the members of the Church the body of Christ, which being in this world diversely afflicted, are covered with this garment of Christ, that they shall not faint, but increase in merits. For nothing doth so much comfort the afflictions of a Christian man, nothing doth so much advance piety, as the earnest meditation of Christ. Thirdly his Crown of thorns is thy barren and sharp pricking sins, sprung through concupiscence out of the cursed earth of thy body. Fourthly, our Lord holdeth a Reed in his hand, whereby is signified, that by things accounted base in the world, as his Cross, Passion, and Humility, he winneth the Kingdom of the whole world, and upholdeth all frail, vain, and scrupulous men by his Passion, and right hand. Do thou pray our Lord to make thee partaker of all these things, and remember that it is indecent for dainty and delicate members to lie under a head full of thorns.

Fr. Francois Coster S.J.

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