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Jesus the Betrayed Bridegroom

I’ve written these reflections on the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary for those of us who have been wounded by betrayal. Anyone with whom we have allowed ourselves to be vulnerable, trusted or loved has the power to betray us. The betrayal of infidelity and pornography addiction  is only one form of devastating betrayal. Often we are betrayed by our spouses, friends, siblings, parents, and even our children. Those we trust in positions of authority or counsel such as doctors, therapists, priests, and church members can also betray us. Some betrayals are devastating and sever relationships but we all suffer the confusion and heartache of lesser betrayals almost daily.

As we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, let us reflect on the many forms of betrayal Jesus endured, including the times we betray our Lord, whether intentionally or unintentionally. With a heart shattered by the grief of betrayal, He willingly accepted His Passion and death. Jesus chose love, love of His betrayers, because He is Love. Let us ask our Lord and Blessed Mother for mercy and forgiveness when we betray others and for the courage and the strength to forgive those who betray us.

 

The 1st Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden

Fruit of the Mystery: Sorrow for sin

Scripture: Luke 22:47-53

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?” And when those who were about him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and captains of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

 

Reflection: Mother Mary, Your Son knew the deep pain of betrayal and the immense suffering He was about to endure, yet He surrendered to His Father’s will because His love for me is His greatest passion. As I pray, I offer my heartache and grief to you. May my offering comfort you and Jesus. Please help me to grow in awareness of any acts or words I commit that betray the ones I love.

 

Dearest Jesus, When I imagine the betrayals you experienced in the garden I realize that you, my Lord, truly know the pain I am feeling. After sharing the Passover meal, instituting the Eucharist, and washing the feet of those you loved so dearly, they betrayed you in your hour of need. Your disciples could not keep themselves awake to pray with you and then Judas comes and betrays you with a kiss, the kiss of death. But even these betrayals would not, could not, prevent you from fulfilling your mission, your calling, your earthly work. Please continually remind me that my life’s calling is to be like You, to love always. 

 

Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, Fatima Prayer

 

The 2nd Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar

The Fruit of the Mystery: Purity

 

Scripture: Isaiah 53:3-6

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 

Reflection:

Mother Mary, how your most pure heart must have ached as you stood helplessly witnessing your son’s scourging at the pillar. How did you contain the tormented sobs of your heart as you saw mankind’s betrayal of the gift of Love you bore and brought into the world? Please comfort me as I cry out in disbelief, confusion, and pain as the depth of my wounds is revealed to me. 

 

Dearest Jesus, You were utterly alone during your time of greatest suffering. Even your mother could not run to you, hold you, and tenderly care for your wounds. I, too, feel so alone. Be with me, Lord and let me feel your loving touch on my wounds.

 

Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, Fatima Prayer

 

The 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns

The Fruit of the Mystery: Courage

 Scripture: John 19:1-6

Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple robe; they came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no crime in him.”

 

Reflection: Mother Mary, oh what courage you had! Your courage is revealed to me from the moment of your Fiat through your son’s passion and death and into the upper room with the apostles on Pentecost. Authentic love of God and of my spouse, family, and neighbors requires such courage. Blessed Mother, please pray for me that I may have the courage to risk loving in the midst of betrayal.

 

Dearest Jesus, You were courageous in enduring not only the physical tortures but also the emotional torment. You silently endured being ridiculed and mocked by the very ones You were suffering and dying to save. Imagining your beautiful face pierced by a crown of thorns and your beautiful soul pierced by words and looks of contempt saddens my heart. And yet, this reflection also enflames within me a desire to love courageously for Your sake.

 

Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, Fatima Prayer

 

The 4th Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross

The Fruit of the Mystery: Patience

Scripture: Luke 23:26-34

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyre′ne, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

 

Reflection:

Mother Mary, I find it so difficult to be patient in suffering. Did it seem that time stood still and your son’s suffering would never end? Your patience, your ability to stay with Jesus and endure horrific emotional suffering calmly and resolutely, grew out of your great faith and trust in God’s promises. Please stay with me in my seemingly unending time of anguish and help me to be patient.

 

Dearest Jesus, thank you for carrying Your cross for me. Help me to patiently carry the cross of betrayal that has been placed on my shoulders. Be patient with me as I try to accept my cross and to see this suffering as the bridge to authentic healing and one day resurrection.

 

Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, Fatima Prayer

 

The 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion

The Fruit of the Mystery: Perseverance 

Scripture: Mark 15:33-41

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land[c] until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “E′lo-i, E′lo-i, la′ma sabach-tha′ni?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Eli′jah.” And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Eli′jah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Mag′dalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger[f] and of Joses, and Salo′me, who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him; and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

 

Reflection:

Mother Mary, In the midst of this suffering I often think I am dying little deaths every day and am afraid that I am helpless to prevent the death of my love for the one who has betrayed me. I imagine that your profound grief at the death of Love on the cross may have been comforted in a small way by relief that your precious Son’s suffering had finally ended. You thought Love’s story was finished but by God’s grace I know it was not. Please pray that I may persevere in suffering my moments of crucifixion but always retain my hope in the resurrection of Love.

 

Dearest Jesus, hold my shattered heart together with the healing power of your love that flowed forth from your wounds in the moment of Love’s greatest suffering and triumph. I unite myself, heart, mind, body, and soul, to You with the hope that as I die with You I will also rise with You. 

 

Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Hail Holy Queen

 

Closing Prayer: I thank You, my Jesus and Mother Mary, for willingly suffering the pain and grief of betrayal so I might know that I do not suffer alone. I do desire the grace necessary to forgive those who have betrayed me and to learn to trust and love without fear again. Keep me always close to You and be my strength in this season of healing. Amen. 

Copyright 2024, Laura Ercolino

Laura is a mother, writer, artist, spiritual mentor, and founder of Hope’s Garden. She has experienced the redemptive power of the spousal love of Christ the Bridegroom and like the Bride of The Song of Songs is passionate about sharing the truth of His intimate love for each one of us. Creativity and art have been at the heart of her healing journey and she feels called to share her creative talents with the hope of bringing beauty and the love of God to others.

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