The mysteries of the Rosary : part 3

THE FIVE SORROWFULL MYSTERIES
The sorrowful mysteries of the rosary leads us to reflect on the passion of 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 takes 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 so also 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 at the time, for a criminal to be tied or chained to a pillar and flogged. Jesus endured this 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 he 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 the streets of Jerusalem; 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 because of her Son, a sword will 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

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 life. As we meditate on this mystery, we call on Mary who stood at the foot of the cross to pray for us.

Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA

Joel Okojie is an ordained Catholic Priest in the Order of St. Augustine. He has been a Priest for over a decade. He served as pastor in two different parishes, he was one time Novice Master and a member of the Provincial Council of the province of St. Augustine of Nigeria, and he is currently on a mission in response to the needs of the Church in Canada.

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