The Crowning With Thorns
From "Mysteries of the Rosary" by Msgr. Edward I. Hession
“And they stripped him and put on him a scarlet cloak; and plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head.” Mt. 27:28
The soldiers, far from softened by
The sight of Jesus, red with blood,
Perceive a chance to mock the Jews
And Him, who only now they scourged.
One of the soldiers makes a jest:
"Did not we hear in Pilate's court
That this man claimed to be a king?"
"Yes, of the Jews," another said.
And straightway, nodding sneeringly,
They lift the Master to His feet,
And taking Him to Pilate's hall,
Begin a scene of mockery.
They strip the Savior of His robe
And place on Him a scarlet cloak,
Which is the sign of royalty.
They make a bench His regal throne.
"A king! A king! We have a king!"
And Jesus says not anything.
In mocking note the leader cries:
"What is a king without a crown?"
And diabolic minds devise
A plan of added mockery.
They plait a crown of piercing thorns
They've gathered from a briar bush,
Most carefully not to prick their hands.
And as the soldiers genuflect,
Two "heralds" bear the thorny crown
And place it on the Savior's Head.
Then with a reed they strike His brow
To force the thorns into His Flesh;
And in His Hand they place the reed,
The symbol of His kingly power.
They bend the knee before the Lord,
They spit into His Holy Face,
They mock Him: "Hail, King of the Jews."
Oh what a King is seated here:
A bench to form His royal throne!
His scepttre is a broken reed!
His crown is one of braided thorns!
But oh, the RoyalbBood of Him
Who sits upon the regal throne
Blots out this ignominious note!
"Kneel down, he soldiers, and adore!
This is the King of Kings!
Who rules the Heavens and the earth
And all created things.
" Give Him allegiance to the end-
Cast off your cruelty,
And give this King of Love and Truth
Your love and loyalty!
"Below His scepter bow your head,
Be numbered in His fold!
Bring out a throne of precious gems,
Replace these thorns with gold!
" But it is more than gems and gold
He chooses as His part;
His is a wish to have your love,
To reign within your heart!"
* * *
Then Pilot bids the palace guards
To bring to him the Prisoner;
And to the mob now gathering,
To priests and to the rabble says:
"Behold I bring Him forth to you
To say I find no cause in Him."
And as the Savior reappears,
He says to them: "Behold the Man."
Behold the bruises of the scourge!
Behold the thorn-crownesd Sacred Head!
Behold the Man besmeared with blood!
Of whom Isaias saidbofbopd:
"Despised and most abject of men...
Acquainted with infirmities...
And by His bruises we are healed."
But far from softening their hearts,
The sight of Jesus spursbthem on,
And with a voice unanimous
They cry: "Let Him be crucified!"
And Pilate answers mockingly
That they should do this of themselves,
Well knowing they had not the power
To take the life of any man.
The ancients shout: "We have a law,
And by this law He ought to die;
He made Himself the Son oif God!"
And hearing this he fears the more,
And seeks a chance to free the Lord.
The priests and scribes stir up the mob
To clamor for the Master's dearth;
They say: "If you release this man
You do not act as Caesar's friend,
For this man makes himself a king!"
And Pilate makes his last attempt,
And says to them, "Behold your King."
They cry, "Let him be crucified!"
"Away with him! Away with him!"
The question comes from Pilate's lips:
"But shall I crucify your King?"
The ancients and the priests cry out:
"We have no king but Caesar!"
"Ye blinded men - look there and see
The God-Man, Christ your King!
Do you reject His love for you
And all His sufferings?
" You cut yourselves from off His fold?
Renounce His sovereignty?
Do you cast off the yoke that's light
For Caesar's tyranny?
"Unhappy men! Unholy thought!
What shall your madness bring?
Rejection! Slavery! Despair!
In place of Christ, your King!"
And Pilate, weakling that he is,
Sees that his words do not prevail,
But that a tumult might be made.
And taking water, cleans his hands,
And speaks before the multitude:
"I wash my hands of this man's blood!
Look you to it!" And say they all:
"His Blood's on us and on our children."
Pilate hands him to the mob;
And taking Him, they lead Him forth.
Reprinted for Council 13307 with the permission of Abbey Press, Inc.