This week we are sharing reflections from east London Christians on the third of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, the Crowning with Thorns

Click here for an introduction to the People's Rosary Project, and links to earlier meditations.

The Crowning with Thorns

The soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort.

They clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’

They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.

Mark 15.16-19

I see this as one of the important mysteries in leading us to Calvary, and also beyond it
Rámond Mitchell, St George-in-the-East

As Rámond explains, this mystery expresses both Jesus' embrace of the Passion, and the victory it will win for sinful humanity.

The Sorrowful Mysteries are so powerful because they talk about how we treated Jesus when he came among us
Susan Graves, Catholic Parish of Manor Park

Susan explains how these Mysteries challenge us, as we reflect on our treatment of strangers who bear the image of our suffering Lord

We have to think about how we endure our own times of suffering
Rámond Mitchell, St George-in-the-East

Rámond reflects on the way this mystery teaches us to respond to suffering in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The soldiers are playing cruel games with Jesus. They know that he claims to be a king. But now he is in their hands; now it pleases them to humiliate him, to display their power over him, and perhaps to offload vicariously on to him their anger against their rulers...

The history of religions knows the figure of the mock king - related to the figure of the 'scapegoat'. Whatever may be afflicting the people is offloaded onto him: in this way, it is to be driven out of the world.

Without realising it, the soldiers were actually accomplishing what those rites and ceremonies were unable to achieve: "Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed" (Is 53.5).

Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week

You are invited to pray the Rosary now.

Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus who was crowned with thorns for us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

If you have not prayed the Rosary before, you can read our introductory page here.

The People's Rosary is a project of the Centre for Theology and Community and De Mazenod Retreat House in east London.

We are grateful for the support of the Lady Peel Trust in developing this project.