July 19, 2019

The Scourging: A Reflection

As I was praying the Rosary, and meditating on the sorrowful mysteries, I was transported by my imagination to the praetorium.  I saw our Lord tied to a pillar in the courtyard, surrounded by mocking roman soldiers.  I heard the crack of the whip and saw the flesh torn from the back of Jesus.  To my surprise I realized it was my hand that held the whip.

Almost beyond my control, my arm kept reaching behind me and then propelled the tethers of the whip forward, my wrist snapping back at just the right instant to cause the bone and lead filled ends to strike Jesus, and with brute force, rip into his body, spraying blood and flesh in all directions.  I kept thinking to myself, “Why am I doing this to Jesus?  I am a follower of Christ, a Christian, a believer, how can I do this to my savior?”

I came to realize it is my sinfulness that continues to scourge Jesus.  He took on the sins of all men; past, present and future.  Every time that I make a choice against God, (the definition of sin) I throw my arm behind me and strike our Lord with the whip.  I strike our Lord unknowingly by my sinful habits, habits that I overlook because they become ingrained; Sins that I commit without a thought, almost out of instinct.  These are the sins that caused me to discover my hand on the whip.

As I thought about this, I was more than a little disturbed.  I started to think of all the sins that are glorified in our culture; Sexual promiscuity, abortion, pornography, euthanasia, and the denial of God in the public forum to name a few.  How often and how horribly is Jesus being scourged by the sins of this world?

Our Lord turned his head and looked back at me, his eyes met mine, not with anger but with compassion.  Though he was suffering, he let me know with a look in his eyes that he gladly suffered his afflictions, that through them I might be saved, without them, I would be lost.  He reminded me of his words on the cross before he died, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  Jesus forgives me, even when it is my hand that wields the whip.

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Written by
David Seitz

DAVID SEITZ is a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order. He has developed and presented a variety of talks on the Catholic faith. David has been featured in the Michigan Catholic newspaper and has been a guest speaker for a variety of organizations and retreats.

After being challenged by a “former” Catholic, David realized that there are many misconceptions regarding what the Church really teaches. Inspired by the late Bishop Fulton Sheen’s statement "that there are very few people who hate the Church, but millions who hate what they mistakenly believe the Church teaches," he has developed a series of teachings to address the common misconceptions regarding the Catholic faith.

David has studied scripture in the M.A. theology program at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, is the formation minister for the Secular Franciscans, serves on the board of directors of Terra Sancta Pilgrimages and is founder of Tau Ministries, a nonprofit teaching organization. He is the father of three daughters, and resides in Waterford, MI.

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Written by David Seitz