|The Flagellation of Christ, William-Adolphe Bouguereau|
I used one of the leather bracelets from a leather braided bracelet kit my daughter had. You could use strips of leather, brown felt, or even brown paper. It doesn't need to be costly. I glued on a few cut off pieces from a tuna can lid to convey the idea of the metal and bone pieces that were tied into the scourge and that tore our Lord's skin so cruelly.
|Jesus Carried up to a Pinnacle of the Temple, Tissot|
Secondly, Satan was tempting Jesus to make a very public spectacle, so that everyone could see that He was the Son of God. The Temple was a very busy place with many people always coming and going. If Jesus did as Satan was asking, He would have instantly become a great celebrity and a man to whom everyone listened. Satan was trying to appeal to Jesus's pride, but he did not know that Jesus was perfectly humble. So, once again, our Lord resists all the temptations of the enemy.
|The Scourging, Caravaggio|
Jesus suffered the scourging without a word. He fulfilled by His suffering an ancient prophesy about the Messiah:
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. ~Isaiah 53:3-7 (RSV)
Jesus could have exercised His royal and divine power and authority. He could have struck down Pilate and the soldiers who taunted and scourged Him. It would have been no effort at all for Him to stop these tortures and show Himself as the glorious King of Heaven that He is. But He did none of these things. He did not give us an example of pride and power, but one of humility and silence. In the desert, Jesus resisted the temptations of Satan by His perfect humility. At the end of His life, Jesus followed the Will of God perfectly because of His humility.
Jesus, when we are tempted to show everyone how great we are, help us to remember Your example of humility. Help us to remember how much you suffered to teach us humility and silence, and help us not to act or speak in ways that are boasting and proud.
|St. Catherine of Alexandria at Prayer, Titian|
Meditation #3: We are almost halfway through Lent. This coming Sunday (that is, March 18th--this was supposed to be posted on Sunday the 11th, but I got anxious!) will be Laetare Sunday--the halfway point! We have been thinking a lot about how Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for us, and also about other ways in which He suffered for us. We have been trying to be faithful to our Lenten penances. We have been thinking about living holy lives, too, and growing in patience, humility, holiness, and self-control. Now is a good time for us to take stock of how we are doing. What are we doing well? What are we struggling with? Whatever we need help with, we can be sure our Lord will give us all the help we need if we just ask Him for it. He suffered so much for our salvation--it's easy to see that He wants us to be holy and that He will help us in every way to become holy. Let's take some time today to pray and ask Him for all the help we need.