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The mysteries of the Rosary : part 3

04 Feb 2015, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Mater Dei

THE FIVE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
The sorrowful mysteries of the rosary leads us to reflect on our Lord Jesus Christ, the reason for his birth. Jesus was born to suffer and die so that we may have eternal life. The five sorrowful mysteries of the rosary take us round in meditation on the supreme prize Jesus had to pay to set us free from the power of sin and death. The five sorrowful mysteries are The agony in the garden, the scourging at the pillar, the crowning with thorns, the carrying of the cross, and the Crucifixion.

1) The agony in the garden: This is the first of the five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary; it takes us back into the garden of Gethsemane, across the Kidron valley where Jesus experienced the psychological pains of his agony even before it came. He prayed to the father, saying: “Father if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will but Thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42).

Agony in the garden

Agony in the garden

It was in this garden he was arrested and chained so that we may gain freedom. The fall of man was in a garden, and the pains of our redemption started in a garden. Through the agony of this garden, we are led into the garden of hope and life. As we meditate on this mystery, we pray the Father to have mercy on us for the sake of the sorrowful passion of Jesus Christ. We also call on the blessed virgin Mary to pray for us.

2) The scourging at the pillar: This is the second mystery of the five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. It is about the horror Jesus went through in the hands of the Roma soldiers. Jesus was beaten like a common criminal, scourged (Jn. 19:1). It was normal for a criminal to be tied or chained to a pillar and flogged. Jesus endured these pains for the sake of love; by his stripes, we all are healed (Is. 53:5).

The Scourge at the pillar

The Scourge at the pillar

This second Mystery of the five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary reminds us of the healing power we have in the passion of Jesus Christ. As we meditate on it, may we be healed in Jesus’ name. Amen.

3) The Crowning with thorns: This is the third of the five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. This mystery leads us to reflects on how the king of kings was crown with thorns. “And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head… and struck him with their hands” (Jn. 19:2-3f).

Crowned with thorns

Crowned with thorns

You can imagine the pains Jesus went through at the hands of these people; imagine what the thorns did to his head. He had to go through it to set us free, to make us fit to wear the crown of glory. As we meditate on this mystery, let us ask the father to have mercy on our sinful souls for the sake of the sorrowful passion of Jesus Christ.

4) The carrying of the Cross: When Pilate eventually handed Jesus over to be crucified, “they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha” (Jn. 19:17-18). Jesus carried the cross through Jerusalem’s streets; what a shameful thing he was made to pass through for no fault of his. He carried the cross; he carried our sins upon himself.

Jesus carried the Cross

Jesus carried the Cross.

As we reflect on this Mystery, let us also imagine how Mary felt watching her Son been humiliated publicly. In fact, she was told that a sword would pierce through her Soul (Lk. 2:35). Father, for the sake of the sorrowful passion of Jesus and the sorrowful heart of Mary, have mercy on us.

5) The Crucifixion: Jesus carried the Cross to the place of the skull. “There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side and Jesus between them” (Jn.19:18). He was nailed to a branch of a tree.

The crucifixion of Jesus

The crucifixion of Jesus

The man fell because he took of the fruit of a tree, so also man is redeemed because Jesus was nailed to a branch of a tree. Jesus indeed is the new Adam that came to set us free from the sins of the old Adam. The death of Jesus brought life to the world; it is a death that gave birth to live. As we meditate on this mystery, we call on Mary, who stood at the foot of the cross to pray for us.

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