The sorrowful mysteries are a prayer to remind us that Jesus loved us so much that he died on the cross for us. In praying the sorrowful mysteries, we can appreciate the mystery of Christ’s passion and death, and how it applies to our own lives.
First Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
Yes, in Gethsemane is where Jesus’ agony began, but let us not forget how he longed for this moment in which his love would transform the world. He accepted to suffer because he wanted break down the barriers of evil and suffering. However, he did not completely take them away as such because for some reason they are part human life. Jesus promised that to follow him would mean following him in the way of the Cross. And so, we should accept carrying those little crosses that come our away as part of the Christian calling.
During this current health emergency, each one of us to some extent is feeling the agony of lockdown. This moment of uncertainty is surrounded by the barriers of fear and self-preservation. It is a time of trial and yet at the same time we should not to lose hope and faith in God.
Let us be patient knowing that the hour will surely come, the hour in which we shall have peace and freedom as before. The God of Jesus is the one to whom we must entrust ourselves saying, “Father, not my will but yours be done!” Let us keep praying to God as well as doing what is in our human power, that is, following the guidelines of the health authorities. Eventually, prayer and doing what is expected of us will lead us to having normal life again.
Second Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
In the scourging, we see Jesus completely stripped of his human dignity and tortured mercilessly. How attached we all are to our own interests, to our comfort, to our public image, to the attention and approval of others. Perhaps we worship our own wellbeing, but the real master we must serve is the Lord!
Look at how Jesus surrenders to himself to doing the will of the Father. We go around in circles trying to avoid suffering in our lives. We dread confronting the pain or anything that takes away our comfort. But these sufferings, sacrifices such as caring for the sick, homeless, elderly, the poor are the ways through which we learn to entrust ourselves to God. The things that we might think are so humiliating or so demanding, these are the concrete situations where we entrust ourselves into the hands of God. Our sufferings are thus an opportunity for us to throw ourselves into the arms of God, trusting him in obedience and becoming true disciples.
Third Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
The crowning with thorns highlights the fact that the Kingdom of Jesus is utterly different from the kingdoms of this world. Sometimes the great and mighty of this world demand honour and service, but Christ the King of Kings prefers to be humiliated if it permits him to be of greater service to us.
The Kingdom that is ruled by Christ is entered by renouncing all that we own. The parable of the mustard seed reveals that the Kingdom of God will come to fruition in ways that we do not expect. This is made evident by the fact that our King who is crowned with thorns and faces a shameful death, becomes triumphant on third day. In this way, something small in our lives can become the great work of God. It is a way of providing the ground in which we shall be able to attain everlasting life.
Fourth Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
The carrying of the Cross emphasizes the burden Jesus bears in the service of each one of us. Prophet Isaiah tells of the suffering servant who does not turn away from pain and disgrace. Jesus does not turn away from our suffering. The attitude he displays during the passion is of one who can bear all shame and pain because he trusts in God. Let us imitate Jesus who never wavers in placing his trust in the Father. Christian life is a life called to service. We bring Christ to others by becoming Christ-like, especially by carrying the weight of others.
Fifth Mystery: The Crucifixion
The mystery of the Cross transforms us into new creatures. If we look at the Cross in a superficial way, then it looks like defeat. But if we look at it in contemplation, then we see the glory of Christ who has loved us as no other. Jesus on the Cross shows that his Kingdom does not eliminate suffering and death as such but teaches us to embrace them with courage and hope.
Our Blessed Mother beneath the Cross, it cannot be that your son shed his blood in vain. Help us to appreciate the love of your Son especially by entrusting ourselves totally to him. Once we do that, then we will experience what we can achieve through him, here on earth as well as eternal life.
As pray the sorrowful mysteries, Mary Our Mother teach us to attune our hearts to Christ, to his spirit of reconciliation, so that we can honestly and meaningfully pray the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Make us instruments of reconciliation – in the family, and in the workplace, in the community, in the Church and in the world. Amen.