Wednesday, April 4, 2007

OF CROWN, MITERS, AND HOT DOGS

Spiritual reflections on the crown of thorns often focus on the physical pain that it caused Jesus. One might picture two guards with mischievous glee, thinking that they had a riotous idea, sneaking away, the one goading the other into making a crown “for the so called king.” “We’ll make it out of the branches of this thorn bush,” he says with conspiratorial slyness and with great fervor they attack the dry bush, ripping at its branches and carefully weaving a crown careful lest they should puncture their own flesh with its thorns.

Soon back in front of the crowd and standing next to Jesus one of them, the one who had the idea originally, shouts something along the lines of, “Every king should have a crown shouldn’t he? What think you of this one?” As they cheer, the crown is slammed down upon the sacred head of Our Savior.

It is here that many speculate about the length and number of thorns, how deeply they must have dug into his scalp, the blood that escaped from His body and His helplessness in reaching up to ease His torment. But perhaps the physical pain is not the most insidious part of this cruel venture.

While not exactly denying His kingship, they instead ridicule His claim to kingship; make light of it, denying that it has any meaning. They do not listen or debate His ideas, they make fun of the man and destroy His message. It is a degrading and cheap yet effective way to silence a voice and discredit a person and destroy his dignity. How terribly frustrating it must be to have what you know is a good message and to have your credibility so wickedly destroyed that no amount of speaking will persuade anyone to take what you have to say seriously even if it be for their own good.

Alice Von Hildebrand stated, “(Ridicule) was, for example, the poison tool used against Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, making him the butt of cruel jokes. His noble message was doomed.”

Is this why Christ remained silent?

IN OTHER NEWS:

Bishop Lennon, the new bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland held his first Chrism Mass with his priests yesterday. It was a stunningly beautiful liturgy and with an equally moving message in his homily. He called his sons to fidelity to Christ, His Church, and Scripture and Tradition.

This was connected to his mentioning of his visit to all of the Catholic high schools in the diocese. During his visits he spoke with student representatives of each of the schools for a minimum of an hour. When asked what they want from their high schools, the students resolutely spoke of wanting to know what their faith teaches. They are confused but are willing to engage the faith fully IF WE GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED. Perhaps this is sign of good things to come from this bishop, especially in light of some things that will be happening over the Triduum:

Some of our Catholic high schools are scheduling games during Good Friday. In at least one case, it is a Catholic school against another Catholic school. Another school is scheduling an AWAY game for over the Easter weekend. Have they lost their collective minds? Have these schools who have students in them thirsting for the faith losing sight of our mission? What in the name of all get out (I’d love to be more forceful here) are they thinking? What more important day should families be together in their parish to celebrate than on the holiest day of the Christian calendar? I am furious.




That being said, the chancellor has refused requests to release people from fast and abstinence this Friday (kudos to him). Why do they want it? Because it is the home opener for the Cleveland Indians. Sheesh!

8 comments:

sparky said...

Hooray, Bishop Lennon! A one hour minimum at every high school! He really understands what we need! God bless the kids to realize there is more to the faith than what they are being taught! I was the class of '88 at a local Catholic high school, and it wasn't until I was an adult that I realized I was ignorant of the faith. It is a dark, agonizing place to be, to want to know what the faith teaches but not knowing where to look. If the schools get fixed, maybe this next generation will save mine.

Anonymous said...

Interesting about the crown of thorns...for some reason, I had never considered it as having been slammed down on his head, but that makes sense. I just read in a Bible commentary yesterday that it's likely the crown wasn't the woven strip usually portrayed, but rather, a cap-like weave which would have covered his head - like a cap, that is. So he would have had direct contact with the thorns all over his scalp, they would have torn as the "crown" was put on, they would have dug deeply, and we all know how much head wounds bleed.....

All to take on the punishment for Adam and then for Israel......


~ Adoro te Devote

MJ said...

Catholic Schools scheduling games on Good Friday...
Not only what message is this sending to the students playing and their families but what about the community of Catholics and non catholics alike. We don't practice what we preach! How can we say this is the holiest week of the year and then take away the opportunity to worship? A game is more important?

MJ said...

This may be a really late comment but I really HATE (is that strong enough) going to confession. The blog on "Lord Have Mercy..." about God wanting Eve and Cain to verbilize their sins made sense to me. I just bought the book and am looking forward to reading it. Thank you.

sattvicwarrior said...

dude… you say
is this why christ remained silent?
I SAY!!!!!
UHHHHHH. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
REALITY CHECK HERE PLEASE!!!!
HE REMAINED SILENT BECAUSE HE WAS PROBABLY COMATOSE AND BEATEN INTO SUBMISSION , HE WAS HUMAN !!. SOMETHING THE CHURCH REALLY DOWNPLAYS BECAUSE ITS SEEMS TO BE MORE "FUN" TO GAIN REDEMPTION THROUGH SUFFERING AND GUILT I SUPPOSE AND TO LOOK AT THINGS FOR WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO BE RATHER THAN WHAT THEY REALLY ARE!!!!!!!.

Fr. V said...

Gotta be careful about things like that Sattvicwarrior, unless you want to discount anything else Christ said just before and just after this point.

MJ - never too late to post! Yes, practice what we preach or what we are doing is silly - then the schools are are nice institutions, not Catholic ones and not part of our mission. There are even parishes that have lost focus of their purpose of being. When we do not have time for sacraments makes you wonder why an instition carries the banner Catholic. Are things improving . . .

Sparky - Your comments echo the loud response in conversations being had today and some Emails I got. I DO see hope! It is slow - but I beleive that it is coming - even in our high schools.

The Monk said...

There are far worse things going on at Cleveland Catholic high schools - baseball will not destroy souls. On the other hand, participating in the pro-homosexual "Day of Silence" very well may destroy souls.

Some of us students will be wearing red ties that day to remember the true victims of "The Gay Agenda."

http://keepignatiuscatholic.blogspot.com/index.html

AMDG

Anonymous said...

Catholic schools scheduling games on Good Friday boggles my mind.

Here in Germany (at least in this state, not in all of them) any sports events are prohibited by the law on Good Friday. That's not only for schools, but for the professional leagues as well. No soccer, no basketball, no nothing.
Also, any events in restaurants, pubs clubs and discos are prohibited, as is dancing and playing loud music.