May 10, 2013

Friday Mysteries

Teach me mortality, frighten me into the present. Help me to find the heft of these days. --Jack Gilbert
My favorite of the rosary mysteries are the sorrowful ones because of the love displayed for us.  I read the passages in Scripture that refer to each of the mysteries and was struck by Jesus quoting Psalm  31 when He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.” I hadn't realized that, and it made me hunger for more commentary on the Psalms. It  seems like Scripture rarely stands alone for me, I need to hear what everyone else and their brother has to say about it.

It was the first time I realized  that Jesus not only had a reed stuck in his hand to mock him as king, but they  struck him with it as well. A little detail perhaps, but it seems important to remember exactly when he went through for our salvation. And hopefully to realize his sacrifice was “powerful enough” to take away my sins and, conversely, that my sin was painful to Him. I thought also about how He sweat blood for us. I guess the text doesn't actually say that; it says drops like blood fell. But I always imagine, romantically  perhaps, as Christ wanting so much to free us from our sins that his blood was  already escaping from his body in anticipation of its saving power. Kind of as if his body couldn't contain the blood with which he would seal the new covenant.

During the fourth mystery I looked at a picture of that particular mystery on  my iPhone app as many times before. I always tend to mistake Jesus in the  picture as the strong man carrying the cross (actually Simeon) rather than the figure bent below it. How challenging not to overlook Christ in the poor or weak!  My eyes naturally gravitate towards strength and vigor when Christ, like Paul  later, would find his greatest power in weakness.

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