These lines were adapted from what I wrote during my silent retreat this winter.  I thought they would be appropriate to share on Passion Sunday since each of the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary are included in the Passion account.

Palm Sunday B

The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

A somber painting of ultimate love

And yet it is so often in those sober moments of reflection we know we are loved

For coming through the crucible everything is purified

From the cross, everything is loved.

The Agony in the Garden

Your agony is the proof that you loved your humanity and did not despise its burden

Your agony is proof that you loved us and did not despise our burden

In a garden too alone, with sleeping disciples you cried for what was lost

In a garden not alone but with your Father, you decided to save it

With fainting sorrow, you cried for your destiny

You asked if there were any other way

Why are tears always the pathway to salvation?

The Scourging

I want to speed through this mystery for I prefer not to dwell

On the sound of the whip and the pain of the lash

The excess of violence of one they were going to already kill

The dirty malevolence of the machine doing its bidding

But perhaps my impatient gloss of these mysteries allows me to avoid thinking of

Those who endure the whip each day

Their wound grooved deeper by repeated deprivations and injustice

Of which I do not partake; yet of which I am a part of

Maybe the scourging holds a truth surer than a mirror

By his stripes, we are healed

The Crown of Thorns

This king is to wear but one crown, a jagged circle of bitter sarcasm

It is now put upon Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews

The crown does not rest, but pierces

It does not hail nobility, but mockery

With this crown he can be only be the king of suffering

With this crown, he can only be the king of the humiliated

With this crown, he can only be the king of the discarded and unwanted, of the forgotten and blighted

With this crown, he is paid the highest homage

The Way of the Cross

I wonder as he walked if he thought we were worth it?

Were we worth it for just the few weeping women who comforted him?

Were we worth it as his disciples the most courageous of whom kept at a safe distance?

Were we worth it for the betrayal and our cries for the criminal Barabbas?

Every step toward the hill is a decision to forgive our sins

Every lurch forward is an answer in our favor.

Thank God

For this is Christ’s way of the cross and not ours

This is about his love, his mercy and his justice

It is not about our worthiness, but about his peace

Only grace, God’s gift of love, can change the night to day

It does not come cheap

Jesus dies on the Cross

For He dies for us and with us

He dies for us to save us from the sins, the weight that suffocates him

He dies with us so that he who was born of a woman dies like a man

He dies for us so that we might never die

He dies with us for the consolation of those who also know the cruelty of injustice

He dies for us because he has loved us

He dies with us so that we might love him