Second Mystery: Jesus is stripped and scourged – Man does not live by bread alone.
Jesus, it is in your hunger that the Evil One comes to you to tempt you. The first temptation you face is to satisfy your bodily needs and desires. “If you are the son of God, turn these rocks into bread.” How easy it is for us to fall into this temptation! We were made with physical bodies that require nourishment to live, and God deigned this good. Yet, in our hunger, too often we become obsessed with our physical bodies, our health, and our comfort. We look for the easy way out, not wanting to put forth any extra energy to seek God and His will for us. We become too focused on food – what will we eat, how will it taste, how much should we have – and on drink. Or perhaps we seek to satisfy our need for physical closeness and intimacy by giving in to lust. When we succumb to any of these temptations, we become slaves to our bodies and our bodily desires, instead of our bodies being governed by our will and reason. We are dehumanized and are reduced to being little more than beasts.
Yet, Jesus, you overcame this temptation: “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God.” You renewed our dignity as humans and remind us life is not to be found by feeding our body’s needs and desires; it is to be found in God. Yet, in being stripped and scourged, you suffered the penalty for our sins of the flesh. As these sins strip us, dehumanize us, and ultimately leave us in physical agony, so was it done to you. Good Jesus, as we meditate on your scourging at the pillar, may we gather strength against temptations to sins of the flesh with your words, “Man does not live by bread alone.”