Jesus is rejected by the Jewish mob and is scourged. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Counsel from the Holy Spirit so he can make holy choices, especially when faced with difficult decisions, and by pursuing the Virtue of Self-control so he can remember and meditate upon the Scourging of Jesus and grow in Chastity.
See: Holy Week – The Passion of Our Lord – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 26:14-27:66; Holy Week – Friday – The Passion of Our Lord – Jn 18:1-19:42
In the first two phases of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, Pilate and Herod find Jesus to be innocent of crimes against Rome. In the third phase, Pilate attempts to free Jesus but the chief priests, elders and Jewish mob prefer the murderer Barabbas.
Pilate confirms Jesus is innocent and does not deserve death (Lk 23:13-15) and attempts to release the innocent Jesus using the Roman governor’s annual tradition of releasing a prisoner from a death sentence at the Feast of the Passover. Pilate offers to free either Jesus or the well-known rebel, murderer, and bandit Barabbas (Mt 27:16, Mk 15:7, Lk 23:19, Jn 18:40), assuming the Jews would choose the righteous Jesus; Barabbas is a murderer like Satan (Jn 8:44), while Jesus has performed numerous public miraculous works of mercy. Pilate considers Jesus to be a “just man” (Mt 27:24), as does Pilate’s wife who was tormented over the “righteous” Jesus in a dream (Mt 27:19). The chief priests and elders convince the Jewish mob to choose Barabbas in an act of evil hypocrisy: the Jewish leaders have falsely accused the innocent Jesus of political rebellion and demand He be killed, the exact crime Barabbas is guilty of and they demand his freedom.
Worried the mob will riot, Pilate has Jesus chained to a pillar and scourged (Jn 19:1). Tradition holds Jesus received an almost fatal scourging, evidenced by His need for assistance in carrying the Cross and the horrific wounds left on the Shroud of Turin, perhaps the actual burial cloth of Jesus; the scourge likely used on Jesus was made of leather straps attached with iron hooks and balls and pieces of jagged bone. The Shroud of Turin reveals the man wrapped in the Shroud had extensive scourging wounds to the back, sides and legs with over 100 wounds, which in some places were likely ripped to the bone, causing severe blood and plasma loss.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be astounded by God’s Divine Providence: Jesus causes Pilate at His trial to offer an evil man called “the son of the father” (Barabbas) as an alternative to the Son of the Almighty Father; Divine Judge, Jesus allows the Jews to freely choose the evil Barabbas instead of Him and condemn themselves; Divine Prophet, Jesus influences the dreams of the wife of Pilate on the night before His trial.
Seek the Gift of Counsel to make holy choices
Realize: The chief priests, elders and the Jewish mob present at the trial of Jesus are given an obvious choice between good (Jesus) and evil (Barabbas) and freely choose evil; every Catholic can has been given free will by God and will be held to account for his choices.
Believe: Reflect upon the reality of Man’s Freedom (CCC 1730-1748).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I might always be guided by You to make holy choices which do God’s will, especially when faced with difficult decisions that effect my personal Judgment.
Meditate upon the Scourging to grow in Chastity
Realize: The Scourging from the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary has traditionally been meditated upon to seek the fruits of purity and mortification for those who struggle with the deadly sin of Lust.
Believe: Reflect upon the Battle to grow in Chastity (CCC 2337-2345, 2396) and Mortification (CCC 1430, 1438, 2015, 2549).
Pray: Jesus, Scourged Christ, help me build the Virtue of Self-Control (a part of Temperance) so I have the self-discipline to maintain a regular habit of physical and mental mortification so I can grow in Chastity.