Christ the King in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary

Jesus is King of the universe.  He deserves our obedience, love and respect.  Of course to  believe this you need to believe in the Holy Bible and the Holy Catholic Church.

From scripture we find the child Jesus referred to as king at the annunciation.  “and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of (king) David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever”. Luke 1:32.  He is called “the new born king of the Jews” by the  the Magi who come to adore Him, Matt. 2:2.

In Luke 4:5-6 the devil offers Jesus his kingdom; “And the devil led him into a high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world….I will give all this power, and glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will give them.  If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine”.

When preaching, Jesus continually talks about “the Kingdom of God”.  Many of the parables talk about the king who will come and destroy those tenants.  It is very clear in the discourse of the returning of Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46, He describes Himself as “then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty”….”And the king answered”.

But the kingship of Jesus is especially clear in the passion narratives. That is why I would like to meditate on the kingship of Jesus in the five sorrowful mysteries.

1) The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemani.

mystery-rosary6Here in the garden we see no explicit royalty of Jesus.  He is praying that He can drink the cup of suffering awaiting Him.  His whole body sweats blood from the knowing that He will be carrying the wait of the whole world’s sins on the cross.  Because He is king, he can take all the guilt of humanity on Himself.  He is the suffering servant or suffering king from Isaiah.  Humbly He begins His royal passion.  He carries Himself as a poor king.  The powers of the kingdom of darkness came in the night to arrest Him.

2) The Scourging at the Pillar

mystery-rosary7The Jewish priests and authorities are threatened by this humble king, just like king Herod was by the baby king.  So to destroy this fear of loosing their power, they use the power of the kingdom of the devil, the pagan Roman empire, to destroy Jesus.  When brought before Pontus Pilate, their accusation was that He had said ” that He is Christ the king”. Luke, 23:2.  After Pilate interrogates Jesus about being a king, he declares Jesus is innocent and nonetheless sends Him off to be scourged.  As the suffering king, Jesus takes the horrific blows with royal virtue.

3) The Crowning with Thorns:

mystery-rosary8This mystery of the Rosary is filled with royal actions.  Again the power of the devil in the pagan Roman soldiers attempts to humiliate the humble divinity of Jesus.  These soldiers have all the worldly power over Jesus and abuse that power.  First they strip Him of his poor clothing.  Then they mock Him by putting on Him the royal color purple.  They put a cane in His hands to symbolize authority and spit on Him.  Then the final crowning of Christ the king with the crown of thorns.  Jesus accepts all this abuse of power remaining silent.  These soldiers abused their power in secret, but their shameful actions have been told all over the world where the Bible has been proclaimed.  They thought they had gotten away with their abuse of their power, but every time we pray this mystery of the Rosary, we think about their unjust actions.

4) Jesus Carries the Cross to Calvary.

mystery-rosary9Jesus is condemned to death.  But really the whole reason He came as a small baby king was to obey His Father’s will and give up His life to pay for our sins.  So as a humble king, Jesus bears the cross that will become His throne of glory.  He had to take the torture of the crucifixion in order to break the power of the king of darkness, the devil.  You could say He carried the cross as His kingly scepter.  Ever since Good Friday, the cross has been a effective instrument to destroy the kingdom of satan.

5) The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus on the Cross.

mystery-rosary10Again a humble king was stripped of His clothing exposed to all the world, but never of His divinity.  In John’s Gospel Pilate had put over Him I.N.R.I.  This is translated; Iesus Nazaarenus Rex Iudeaorum.  “And there was also a superscription written over Him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew: This is the King of the Jews”.  Luke 23:38.  In Mark 15, 32 we read; “Let Christ the king of Israel come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe”.  Jesus the king, forgave those who were torturing Him to death.  The good thief on the cross next to Jesus asked to be remembered when Jesus would come into His kingdom.  The cross turned into Jesus’ throne.  He died on His royal throne.

Here are a few ways we can treat Jesus as our King;

1) is to obey Him.  Obey His commandments and do God’s will.

2) is to adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament.  Talk to Him heart to heart.

3) is to kneel to receive Him in Holy Communion.

4) is to genuflect when ever we are in front of the Tabernacle and look at it and say “I am doing this for you because you are my King and I love you.

5) work for the restoration of the Kingdom of Jesus in the church and in the world.