This is no ordinary “What to Expect” type of book, although it does include some information on the physical changes that mom and baby experience during pregnancy. It is more of a spiritual guide through pregnancy, touching on areas that most pregnancy “instruction manuals” won’t give more than a passing mention. It’s the book I wish I had back before each of my kids was born. (It’s not just for first-time mamas!)
There’s no doubt it was painful to be scourged. Jesus’s flesh was torn by the shards on the end of the whips.
Picture the people observing. There’s no reason to suspect the Romans would have had any fondness for him, but in the crowd of leering, goading people, there had to be people who had listened to Jesus’s preaching. There must have been people who were close to him, who had even cheered him on in his ministry and encouraged his miracles. It’s possible that his mother was there, too, seeing her son ripped to shreds.
What must it have felt like to see those people laughing and even enjoying the scourging? How must Jesus have felt in their betrayal? How much more did it hurt, knowing his mother—who had also done no wrong—was suffering as she watched (or would suffer later while seeing him)?
We’ve all experienced betrayal. There’s a special sting when we find out that someone who seemed to be our number-one fan maybe isn’t so much or seems to have changed his or her mind. There’s also a prick I often give myself, thinking that I know what someone else thinks of me. I’ll get myself all worked up, thinking that Susie believes I’m a total idiot about the decision I made (and am standing by).
Is it worse to be betrayed or to be flogged for something we didn’t do? I change my mind on this, depending on the day.
The lesson in this mystery is one that I need: Jesus understands. Oh boy, does he understand. Maybe he wasn’t ever pregnant with his fourth kid and up to his ears in housework and feeling the pressure of a distant family member to come visit as soon as the baby’s born. Having gone through the exact scenario isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for being able to understand though. Can’t you picture his pain and torture in this mystery? Can’t you imagine, to some extent, the horror and weight of it?
Turn to Jesus, in this mystery, and tell him about what scourges you. Give him the heaviest burden you have, the one you think he will least understand. Use this mystery as your common ground, as the place where you meet him. Let him guide you to the place of blessing, where the pain might make sense or have a purpose, perhaps even eternally.
As we pray this decade of the rosary, let’s hold all those brave women who have said yes to difficult and challenging motherhood in our intentions in a special way. Don’t forget, too, that we are praying for an increase in all respect life intentions as part of our rosary together this month. (If you’re not familiar with how to pray the rosary, you can find great resources at Rosary Army.)
Our Father . . .
10 – Hail Mary . . .
Glory Be . . .
O My Jesus . . .
Now for the fun part: you can WIN STUFF!
UPDATE: Giveaway closed! Comments #1 and #4 are the winners and will be contacted so I can arrange delivery of their prizes.