The Scourging at The Pillar
Fruit of the Mystery: Purity of Heart
Lets Give Him Our Hearts
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5).
When mediating on the sorrowful mysteries, I try to imagine myself as Mary, having to watch her child endure so much pain and suffering while having complete faith in God’s will. As a mother, it would be gut-wrenching to watch my child be chained to a pillar and scourged with whips — whips with metal balls on the end that tear into the flesh. As mothers, we want to take away our children’s pain. We do not want them to suffer, and we certainly do not want to be a witness to that suffering. Mary watched her son be tied to a pillar, beaten, bruised, stripped of his clothes, and spat upon, his flesh torn open with a reed. She witnessed this suffering knowing he was innocent, pure of heart — The Messiah.
These events happened because of a choice made by Pontius Pilate, who “knew it was out of envy that they delivered him up” (Matthew 27:18). Pilate gave the crowd a choice between Jesus (the Son of the Father) and Barabbas (whose name literally means “son of the father”). They chose Barabbas, a violent criminal, and rejected the Son of God, who represents love.
“Pilate said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Let him be crucified.’ And he said, ‘Why what evil has he done?’ but they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified’” (Matthew 27:22-23).
Pontius Pilate had a choice to make: He could choose to stand with what was right and just, making the unpopular decision to release an innocent man, or he could cave to the pressure of a hostile crowd. We read about Pilate’s decision in Matthew 27:24-26: “So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hand before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this righteous man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’ And all the people answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.”
That statement — “I am innocent of this righteous man’s blood” — shows us that Pilate wanted to remove responsibility for his actions. But he will forever be remembered as the man who had Jesus scourged and delivered to be crucified.
We all face choices about doing what is right — what will keep our heart pure. Do you look the other way when you hear others gossip, or do you ask them to stop? Do you stand up for injustices online, or do you keep scrolling? Do you teach your children to stand up for what is just, or do you tell them not to make waves?
When we are faced with a decision, it’s important not to cower to popular culture. When we do not stand for what is just, we are just as guilty as the people who committed the sin. We will all have to face the choices we make. Strive to be proud of those choices! Isaiah tells us, “but he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed” (53:5 ). Jesus, a man who was pure of heart and innocent — our Messiah — was beaten and bruised for our transgressions. He allowed this suffering to happen for the love of us and the love of his Father. His bruises and the punishment that he endured made us whole. He gave us the Kingdom; let’s give him our hearts.
About Dominique: Dominique Pennington is a Catholic revert. She is married, and stay at home mom of three. She currently resides in Virginia. Dominique can be found on Instagram @mamapraystherosay sharing her Catholic Faith.