by M. J. Joachim
Begin by praying one Our Father and one Hail Mary.
Eternal Father, through Mary’s unblemished hands and the Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You the many thousands of wounds, the gruesome pains, and the Precious Blood of the flogging, as atonement for my and all of humanity’s sins of the flesh, as protection against such sins and the preservation of innocence, especially among my (children, grandchildren, etc.) and relatives.
Thousands, literally thousands of wounds, and here I was complaining about a sore thumb the other day. Do we even realize how much Jesus physically suffered to show His love for us? Do we have any idea how powerful His sacrifice truly was and still is today?
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I end up minimizing the love of God, dismissing some of the events as historical things that happened a long time ago. It’s true. They did. But God is eternal, and Mass – the Liturgy of the Eucharist, is available to all of us, practically on demand, if we want it to be. Even those who are home-bound or hospitalized have access to Christ through Holy Communion.
Speaking historically, the actual flogging took place hundreds of years ago. Speaking honestly, its symbolic nature takes place all the time. We are Christ present to the world, called to cast out our own weakness, redeem our souls through the power of love – not by beating ourselves silly, but by recognizing Christ in each person we meet and treating each person with dignity, respect and as though we are meeting Christ Himself in them.
Try to do that with someone who makes your stomach turn, because they’re so bitter about life, that every word coming out of their mouth is rancid. Better yet, look lovingly and with kindness on the drug addict or prostitute who, for whatever reason, can’t seem to change their ways and look and act a little more human. Dare we mention the opposite political party members?! I don’t care which side you’re on, if you have a Facebook profile and any friends at all, you’re likely to run into political hate speech!
These are things we all need to work on every single day, things most of us do automatically, presumably without thinking at all. These are the sins flogged into Jesus, sins that cut to the core of every human being – lashing them, opposing them, gossiping about them, judging them and making them feel just a little bit less worthy than the rest of us. These are the things true Christians never should do or tolerate. They represent the baseness in society that has the power to condemn us all!
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Photo credit: Flagellation of Christ, Peter Paul Rubens, GFDL – GNU Free Documentation License
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