The Scourging at the Pillar
The Scourging of Our Lord was so terrible, it is difficult to contemplate. But we must, because it is an important part of the Story-His story and humanity’s story. Of all stories, this is the ONE we must pay attention to. This is the ONE we may not fall asleep listening to. The rest of the world may forget. But we, as recipients of the fruit of His sufferings, those redeemed by His Blood, must never forget.
Pontius Pilate, Roman Procurator of Judea.....man of the world....who would expect him to be so naive? He thought a brutal scourging would appease the enemies of Our Lord, but even this would not appease them. Even the broken, battered Man brought before them once again, one last chance, would not change their corrupt hearts. But we, looking at this same Man, are moved to pity and sorrow, not only for Christ, but for His mother and also His Father in Heaven. “Why?” we ask, “Why must this have happened? And what is this story to me?”
The unabashed chastisement of the sacred Body of Our Lord seems to enfold within itself every sin of the flesh ever committed-whether it be sexual sin, over-indulgence or simply the desire for comfort at too high a cost. This perfectly describes the current state of the western world, deconstructed Christendom-a miserable field of debris, from sparkling, glowing screens to the body parts of unborn babies. We must all enter into Our Lord’s Scourging because we are all guilty. Having passed through it, we are made pure again. In Holy Communion, we receive this same Body, bloodied for our Redemption-this Precious Blood, which soaked the ground of Jerusalem. As rainwater hydrates the earth, the Blood of Christ creates a substantial change, which requires something of all who walk upon it. It is ignored at one’s own peril. The glory of the Passion of Christ is that we are resurrected with Him. It is the Story with the happiest ending.
Seductive images which stand in contrast to the image of our Scourged Savior, sacrilegious sacraments of matrimony, all manner of impurity....we must stand up and be a light to the world, reminding all of the sacredness of the body. O Jesus, cruelly scourged for my sins, give me strength to stand against the tide of this corrupt culture, to rescue those drowning in the onslaught and bring them home to Thee. Amen.