The short tunic is pulled roughly over His head, then the longer tunic. I understand that the soldier regards this as another aspect of the process of torture.
Jesus staggers, nearly falls and the guards drag him off to the side. They push him down upon a rough-hewn bench, not out of kindness but to prepare Him for yet more pain and humiliation. From the corner a soldier rushes forward with a thick bundle of branches covered with thick, long thorns. He gestures at Jesus. The soldiers laugh uproariously and nod agreement.
One of them, who is older with graying hair, takes the tangle of thorny branches and hacks at it expertly with his sharp sword. He carves it into a crown-like cap and hands it back.
The two guards, not wanting to be stung by the thorns, use the tips of their own swords to place this ca-like crown on top of Jesusí head. Once it is there, they use the flat end of their swords and push with all their strength till the crown has sunk into place.
Laughter, scorn, rebuffs of every kind fill the air while Jesusí Head is pierced over and over by these thorns that are thick and tough. His forehead is pierced and blood seeps down into His eyes, and trickles along His nose and drips to the ground.
Our Lady, truly sobbing, reminds me that where, in H is Holy Infancy, His head was possessed of silky curls, there is now a long, sharp thorn where each silken curl lay!
Another soldier finds an old discarded military cloak, which is hastily thrown over His trembling shoulders, while yet another finds a reed and places it in His right hand.
Throughout, Jesus has uttered no cry, no word. But His prayer has been ceaseless and filled with the Divine Will.
How the demons laugh, their evil eyes glowing with hate. They move the soldiers to bend their knees and strike their breasts as one by one they come before this human wreck and proclaim: "Hail, King of the Jews!" while Jesus, His beautiful eyes no longer beautiful, accepts, endures, suffers and offers all to His Father in Perfect Love!
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Five of Lesson 10: Our Lady's Meditation on THE SCOURGING AND THE CROWNING WITH THORNS