The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary take us into the heart of the Paschal Mystery, Jesus’ pouring out of His Love for us as He gives Himself back to the Father in our human nature. The simple fact that Jesus experienced personally human suffering to the point of death is something worth contemplating. It tells us that the Incarnation is a complete reality. Jesus, the Son of God, endured everything that human life offers, including all its joys and sorrows.
The Sorrowful Mysteries are:
· The Agony in the Garden, is where Jesus enters into the moment of decision, acknowledging the Father’s Will that He accept the Cross. In this Mystery, we see that Jesus Himself had to struggle in His human nature to conform His human will to the divine Will. He prays for deliverance and at the same time commits to carry through as His Father wills.
· The Scourging at the Pillar shows us how Jesus endured suffering in the flesh. Taking our sins upon Himself, He shows His willingness to be one with us in every suffering. “By His wounds we are healed.” He suffers in the flesh for the sins we commit in the flesh.
· The Crowning with Thorns is a particular poignant moment. Jesus’ Kingship is recognized and acknowledged even as it is ridiculed. In the declaration of Pilate “Behold the Man” (John 19:6), we see that Christ our King sums up all our human nature and is established as the New Adam.
· The Carrying of the Cross reveals the depth of Jesus’ Love for humanity, as He stretches His human nature beyond endurance. The encounters along the way that are called to mind in the devotion of the Stations of the Cross serve to draw us into a greater awareness of the depth of Jesus’ suffering for us.
· The Crucifixion is the final Sorrowful Mystery, inviting us to contemplate the Lord of Glory Who loved us to the end and Who gave up His life for His friends. Reflecting on the Seven Last Words, the Scriptural accounts of what Jesus said to those who were with Him in His final hours, can offer us a greater realization of how Jesus transforms everything, even death, “making all things new” (see Revelation 21:5).
Having passed through the Joyful, Luminous and Sorrowful Mysteries, we reach the end of life in this world and Faith opens us to the glory yet to come. We learn from Jesus and those who accompanied Him in His final hours to accept suffering as part of life and to allow the Spirit to transform it into a means of grace for ourselves and others.
Mary, Queen of the Rosary, pray for us!