Thứ Năm, 13 tháng 4, 2017

APRIL 14, 2017 : GOOD FRIDAY OF THE LORD'S PASSION

Good Friday of the Lord's Passion 
Lectionary: 40

See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him
so marred was his look beyond human semblance
and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man
so shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
for those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by people,
a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
one of those from whom people hide their faces,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people,
a grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers,
though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood.
But the LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked;
and he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses.

R. (Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.
I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors."
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the LORD.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Verse Before The GospelPHIL 2:8-9
Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name.

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, "Whom are you looking for?"
They answered him, "Jesus the Nazorean."
He said to them, "I AM."
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, "I AM, "
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
"Whom are you looking for?"
They said, "Jesus the Nazorean."
Jesus answered,
"I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go."
This was to fulfill what he had said,
"I have not lost any of those you gave me."
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave's name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
"Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?"

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
"You are not one of this man's disciples, are you?"
He said, "I am not."
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
"I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said."
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
"Is this the way you answer the high priest?"
Jesus answered him,
"If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
"You are not one of his disciples, are you?"
He denied it and said,
"I am not."
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
"Didn't I see you in the garden with him?"
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
"What charge do you bring against this man?"
They answered and said to him,
"If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you."
At this, Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law."
The Jews answered him,
"We do not have the right to execute anyone, "
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
"Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered,
"Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?"
Pilate answered,
"I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?"
Jesus answered,
"My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
So Pilate said to him,
"Then you are a king?"
Jesus answered,
"You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
"I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
They cried out again,
"Not this one but Barabbas!"
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
"Hail, King of the Jews!"
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
"Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him."
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, "Behold, the man!"
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
"Crucify him, crucify him!"
Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him."
The Jews answered,
"We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God."
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
"Where are you from?"
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
"Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?"
Jesus answered him,
"You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin."
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
"If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar."

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge's bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
"Behold, your king!"
They cried out,
"Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!"
Pilate said to them,
"Shall I crucify your king?"
The chief priests answered,
"We have no king but Caesar."
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
"Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews."
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
"Do not write 'The King of the Jews,'
but that he said, 'I am the King of the Jews'."
Pilate answered,
"What I have written, I have written."

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
"Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, "
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.

This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, "I thirst."
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
"It is finished."
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.


Meditation: "It is finished"
The cross brings us face to face with Jesus' suffering. He was alone - all his disciples had deserted him except for his mother and three women along with John, the beloved disciple. And his death was agonizing and humiliating. Normally a crucified man could last for several days on a cross. Jesus' had already been scourged, beaten with rods, and a crown of thorns pressed into his skull. It is no wonder that he died mid-afternoon. Pilate publicly heralded Jesus "The King of the Jews" as he died upon the cross, no doubt to irritate and annoy the chief priests and Pharisees (John 19:19).
Jesus was crucified for his claim to be King. The Jews had understood that the Messiah would come as their king to establish God's reign for them. They wanted a king who would free them from tyranny and foreign domination. Many had high hopes that Jesus would be the Messianic king. Little did they understand what kind of kingship Jesus claimed to have. Jesus came to conquer hearts and souls for an imperishable kingdom, rather than to conquer perishable lands and entitlements.
Jesus' death on the cross defeated sin and death for us
We can find no greater proof of God's love for us than the willing sacrifice of his Son on the cross. Jesus' parting words, "It is finished!" express triumph rather than defeat. Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirit knowing that the strife was now over and the battle was won. Even on the cross Jesus knew the joy of victory. What the Father sent him into the world to do has now been accomplished. Christ offered himself without blemish to God and he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (see Hebrews 9:24-26).
As we gaze on his wounds - we touch the scars of his resurrection
While the close company of Jesus' disciples - his apostles - had deserted him and hid out of fear from the Jewish authorities, Jesus' mother and some of the women who were close to Jesus stood close to him while he hung upon the cross. Augustine of Hippo (
354-430 A.D) in his sermon on John's passion account focuses on the gaze of the women who witnessed the shedding of his blood and the offering of his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world. Augustine invites us to present ourselves before Jesus crucified who took our sins upon himself and nailed them to the cross. Through the eyes of faith we, too, gaze upon the bloodied body of our Redeemer who paid the price for our sins - and we touch the scars of his resurrection who defeated death for our sake so that we may know the victory of his cross and resurrection and receive the promise of everlasting life and glory with him in his kingdom: 
"As they were looking on, so we too gaze on his wounds as he hangs. We see his blood as he dies. We see the price offered by the redeemer, touch the scars of his resurrection.  He bows his head, as if to kiss you.  His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you. His arms are extended that he may embrace you. His whole body is displayed for your redemption. Ponder how great these things are. Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind: as he was once fixed to the cross in every part of his body for you, so he may now be fixed in every part of your soul." (GMI 248)
The miracle of my salvation
In the cross of Christ we see the triumph of Jesus over his enemies - sin, Satan, and death. Christian writers down through the centuries have sung the praises of the Cross of Christ. Paul the Apostle exclaimed, "But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).
Hear what Gregory Nazianzen (329-389 AD), an early church father and bishop of Constantinople, wrote about the triumph of Christ's exaltation on the cross :
"Many indeed are the wondrous happenings of that time: God hanging from a cross, the sun made dark and again flaming out; for it was fitting that creation should mourn with its creator. The temple veil rent, blood and water flowing from his side: the one as from a man, the other as from what was above man; the earth shaken, the rocks shattered because of the rock; the dead risen to bear witness to the final and universal resurrection of the dead. The happenings at the sepulcher and after the sepulcher, who can fittingly recount them? Yet no one of them can be compared to the miracle of my salvation. A few drops of blood renew the whole world, and do for all men what the rennet does for the milk: joining us and binding us together. (On the Holy Pasch, Oration 45.1)
Rupert of Deutz (1075-1129), a Benedictine theologian and abbot, wrote:
"The cross of Christ is the door to heaven, the key to paradise, the downfall of the devil, the uplifting of mankind, the consolation of our imprisonment, the prize for our freedom."
The throne of love and sign of God's mercy
The Cross of Christ is the safeguard of our faith, the assurance of our hope, and the throne of love. It is also the sign of God's mercy and the proof of forgiveness. By his cross Jesus Christ has pardoned us and set us free from the tyranny of sin. He paid the price for us when he made atonement for our sins. The way to peace, joy, and righteousness in the kingdom of God and the way to victory over sin and corruption, fear and defeat, despair and death is through the cross of Jesus Christ. Do you follow the Lord Jesus in his way of the cross with joy, hope, and confidence?
"Lord Jesus Christ, by your death on the cross you have won pardon for us and freedom from the tyranny of sin and death. May I live in the joy and freedom of your victory over sin and death."
A Daily Quote for LentChrist nailed our weakness to the cross, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"As evening drew near, the Lord yielded up His soul upon the cross in the certainty of receiving it back again. It was not wrested from Him against His will. But we too were represented there. Christ had nothing to hang upon the cross except the body He had received from us. And in doing so He nailed our human weakness to the cross." (excerpt from Commentary on Psalm 140,5)

FRIDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD (GOOD FRIDAY)
FRIDAY, APRIL 14, JOHN 18:1--19:42
Day of Fast and Abstinence

(Isaiah 52:13 ̶ 53:12; Psalm 31; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9)

KEY VERSE: "It is finished" (v.30).
TO KNOW: The passion and death of Jesus is ritually expressed in the liturgy of Good Friday. It is the only day of the year when Mass is not celebrated. The service held in the afternoon recalls the "hour" of Jesus' crucifixion. The red vestments signify the blood that Jesus shed. Just as Jesus was stripped of his garments, the altar is laid bare. The readings are somber; Jesus is the suffering servant of the Lord. The assembly listens to John's Gospel recounting Jesus' passion and death. The mental and physical pains that Jesus suffered cannot be measured. The crown of thorns pierced his head; his back whipped with forty lashes; carrying the cross to the place of his crucifixion and, to add to all this torment, Jesus' hands and feet were nailed to the wood of the cross. At Jesus' last words, "It is finished" (Jn 19: 30), we bow our heads and kneel in prayer. Then we come forward to venerate the cross of salvation, and to receive the body and blood of the Lord in communion. By the wounds of the Lord, we are healed; he is the source of eternal salvation for all who believe in him.
TO LOVE: Gaze at a crucifix and remember the sacrificial love Jesus has for each of us.
TO SERVE: Lord, "through the cross you brought joy to the world" (Antiphon, Veneration of the Cross).
NOTE: Good Friday is a day of fast and abstinence. All Catholics between the age of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. One full meatless meal is allowed on the days of fast. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, are allowed. Together the two meals should not exceed the full meal. Drinking of ordinary liquids does not break the fast.
NOTE: The crimes during the Passion of Christ cannot be attributed to all Jews of that time, nor to Jews today. The Jewish people should not be referred to as rejected or cursed. The Church ever keeps in mind that Jesus, his mother Mary, and the Apostles were all Jewish. As the Church has always held, Christ freely suffered his passion and death because of the sins of all, that all might be saved. -- Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs

Friday 14 April 2017
Good Friday. 

‘After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said, “It is accomplished”; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.’ John 19:30
This is the absolute end. This is the moment I have been dreading all through Lent as I wait beside my dying beloved. My sense of being loved has deepened, but my fear of losing my beloved has deepened just as much. In the Gospel of John, at the very end of the passion, Jesus seems completely in control of both living and dying. From the cross he calmly arranges care for his Mother and he diligently ensures that Scriptures are being fulfilled. Then, after his death blood and water flow from his pierced heart: the sacrifice is completed and his life giving Spirit is released.
In all the pain and rejection that Jesus has endured I see someone who is as human and vulnerable as I am. In the moment of dying, however, I also see a power of love that transcends death. Tearful, I hold the hand of my dying loved one. I do not know what the future will be. Into your hands, Oh Lord, I give my heart

GOOD FRIDAY

On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Good Friday, in the Adoration of the Cross, in the chanting of the 'Reproaches', in the reading of the Passion, and in receiving the pre-consecrated Host, we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord.

The Church - stripped of its ornaments, the altar bare, and with the door of the empty tabernacle standing open - is as if in mourning. In the fourth century the Apostolic Constitutions described this day as a 'day of mourning, not a day of festive joy,' and this day was called the 'Pasch (passage) of the Crucifixion.'

The liturgical observance of this day of Christ's suffering, crucifixion and death evidently has been in existence from the earliest days of the Church. No Mass is celebrated on this day, but the service of Good Friday is called the Mass of the Presanctified because Communion (in the species of bread) which had already been consecrated on Holy Thursday is given to the people .

Traditionally, the organ is silent from Holy Thursday until the Alleluia at the Easter Vigil , as are all bells or other instruments, the only music during this period being unaccompanied chant.

The omission of the prayer of consecration deepens our sense of loss because Mass throughout the year reminds us of the Lord's triumph over death, the source of our joy and blessing. The desolate quality of the rites of this day reminds us of Christ's humiliation and suffering during his Passion. We can see that the parts of the Good Friday service correspond to the divisions of Mass:
·         Liturgy of the Word - reading of the Passion.
·         Intercessory prayers for the Church and the entire world, Christian and non-Christian.
·         Veneration of the Cross
·         Communion, or the 'Mass of the Pre-Sanctified.'
The Veneration of the Cross
In the seventh century, the Church in Rome adopted the practice of Adoration of the Cross from the Church in Jerusalem, where a fragment of wood believed to be the Lord's cross had been venerated every year on Good Friday since the fourth century. According to tradition, a part of the Holy Cross was discovered by the mother of the emperor Constantine, St. Helen, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326. A fifth century account describes this service in Jerusalem. A coffer of gold-plated silver containing the wood of the cross was brought forward. The bishop placed the relic on the a table in the chapel of the Crucifixion and the faithful approached it, touching brow and eyes and lips to the wood as the priest said (as every priest has done ever since): 'Behold, the Wood of the Cross.'

Adoration or veneration of an image or representation of Christ's cross does not mean that we are actually adoring the material image, of course, but rather what it represents. In kneeling before the crucifix and kissing it we are paying the highest honor to the our Lord's cross as the instrument of our salvation. Because the Cross is inseparable from His sacrifice, in reverencing His Cross we are, in effect, adoring Christ. Thus we affirm: 'We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has Redeemed the World.'

LECTIO DIVINA: GOOD FRIDAY
Lectio Divina: 
 Friday, April 14, 2017


The Passion of Jesus according to John
John 18:1 – 19:42
1. Recollection in prayer – Statio
Come, you who refresh us,
the soul’s delightful guest,
come take away all that is mine,
and pour into me all that is yours.Come, you who are the nourishment of every chaste thought,
source of all mercies, sum of all purity.
Come and burn away all that in me is cause
of my not being able to be consumed by you.
Come, Spirit,
who are ever with the Father and the Bridegroom,
and rest over the brides of the Bridegroom.
(St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, O.Carm.,
in La Probatione ii, 193-194.)
2. A prayerful reading of the Word – Lectio
From the Gospel according to John
1 After he had said all this, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron valley where there was a garden into which he went with his disciples. 2 Judas the traitor knew the place also, since Jesus had often met his disciples there, 3 so Judas brought the cohort to this place together with guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees, all with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Knowing everything that was to happen to him, Jesus came forward and said, 'Who are you looking for?' 5 They answered, 'Jesus the Nazarene.' He said, 'I am he.' Now Judas the traitor was standing among them. 6 When Jesus said to them, 'I am he,' they moved back and fell on the ground. 7 He asked them a second time, 'Who are you looking for?' They said, 'Jesus the Nazarene.' 8 Jesus replied, 'I have told you that I am he. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go.' 9 This was to fulfil the words he had spoken, 'Not one of those you gave me have I lost.' 10 Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, 'Put your sword back in its scabbard; am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?'
12 The cohort and its tribune and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him. 13 They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had counselled the Jews, 'It is better for one man to die for the people.'
15 Simon Peter, with another disciple, followed Jesus. This disciple, who was known to the high priest, went with Jesus into the high priest's palace, 16 but Peter stayed outside the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the door-keeper and brought Peter in. 17 The girl on duty at the door said to Peter, 'Aren't you another of that man's disciples?' He answered, 'I am not.' 18 Now it was cold, and the servants and guards had lit a charcoal fire and were standing there warming themselves; so Peter stood there too, warming himself with the others.
19 The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, 'I have spoken openly for all the world to hear; I have always taught in the synagogue and in the Temple where all the Jews meet together; I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why ask me? Ask my hearers what I taught; they know what I said.' 22 At these words, one of the guards standing by gave Jesus a slap in the face, saying, 'Is that the way you answer the high priest?' 23 Jesus replied, 'If there is some offence in what I said, point it out; but if not, why do you strike me?' 24 Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 As Simon Peter stood there warming himself, someone said to him, 'Aren't you another of his disciples?' He denied it saying, 'I am not.' 26 One of the high priest's servants, a relation of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, 'Didn't I see you in the garden with him?' 27 Again Peter denied it; and at once a cock crowed.
28 They then led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was now morning. They did not go into the Praetorium themselves to avoid becoming defiled and unable to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came outside to them and said, 'What charge do you bring against this man?' They replied, 30 'If he were not a criminal, we should not have handed him over to you.' 31 Pilate said, 'Take him yourselves, and try him by your own Law.' The Jews answered, 'We are not allowed to put anyone to death.' 32 This was to fulfil the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way he was going to die.
33 So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him and asked him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?' 34 Jesus replied, 'Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others said it to you about me?' 35 Pilate answered, 'Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?' 36 Jesus replied, 'Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. As it is, my kingdom does not belong here.' 37 Pilate said, 'So, then you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'It is you who say that I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.' 38 'Truth?' said Pilate. 'What is that?' And so saying he went out again to the Jews and said, 'I find no case against him. 39 But according to a custom of yours I should release one prisoner at the Passover; would you like me, then, to release for you the king of the Jews?' 40 At this they shouted, 'Not this man,' they said, 'but Barabbas.' Barabbas was a bandit.
19:1 Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; 2 and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head and dressed him in a purple robe. 3 They kept coming up to him and saying, 'Hail, king of the Jews!' and slapping him in the face. 4 Pilate came outside again and said to them, 'Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case against him.' 5 Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said, 'Here is the man.' 6 When they saw him, the chief priests and the guards shouted, 'Crucify him! Crucify him!' Pilate said, 'Take him yourselves and crucify him: I find no case against him.' 7 The Jews replied, 'We have a Law, and according to that Law he ought to be put to death, because he has claimed to be Son of God.'
8 When Pilate heard them say this his fears increased. 9 Re-entering the Praetorium, he said to Jesus, 'Where do you come from?' But Jesus made no answer. 10 Pilate then said to him, 'Are you refusing to speak to me? Surely you know I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?' 11 Jesus replied, 'You would have no power over me at all if it had not been given you from above; that is why the man who handed me over to you has the greater guilt.'
12 From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted, 'If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar's; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.' 13 Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated him on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha. 14 It was the Day of Preparation, about the sixth hour. 'Here is your king,' said Pilate to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, 'Away with him, away with him, crucify him.' Pilate said, 'Shall I crucify your king?' The chief priests answered, 'We have no king except Caesar.' 16 So at that Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. They then took charge of Jesus,
17 and carrying his own cross he went out to the Place of the Skull or, as it is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified him with two others, one on either side, Jesus being in the middle. 19 Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran: 'Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews'. 20 This notice was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the writing was in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. 21 So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate, 'You should not write "King of the Jews", but that the man said, "I am King of the Jews". ' 22 Pilate answered, 'What I have written, I have written.'
23 When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; 24 so they said to one another, 'Instead of tearing it, let's throw dice to decide who is to have it.' In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled: They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothes. That is what the soldiers did.
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, 'Woman, this is your son.' 27 Then to the disciple he said, 'This is your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
28 After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed and, so that the scripture should be completely fulfilled, he said: I am thirsty. 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a hyssop stick, they held it up to his mouth. 30 After Jesus had taken the wine he said, 'It is fulfilled'; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.
31 It was the Day of Preparation, and to avoid the bodies' remaining on the cross during the Sabbath -- since that Sabbath was a day of special solemnity -- the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. 32 Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. 33 When they came to Jesus, they saw he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs 34 one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water.
35 This is the evidence of one who saw it -- true evidence, and he knows that what he says is true -- and he gives it so that you may believe as well. 36 Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture: Not one bone of his will be broken; 37 and again, in another place scripture says: They will look to the one whom they have pierced.
38 After this, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus -- though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews -- asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took it away. 39 Nicodemus came as well -- the same one who had first come to Jesus at night-time -- and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, following the Jewish burial custom. 41 At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. 42 Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
3. Reflecting on the Word – Meditatio
3.1. A key to the reading:
- Jesus master of his fate
I would like to suggest that we meditate in the spirit of Mary, at the foot of the cross of Jesus. She, the strong woman who understood the full meaning of this event of the passion and death of the Lord, will help us cast a contemplative glance at the crucified (Jn 19: 25–27). We are looking at chapter 19 of John’s Gospel, which begins with the scene of the scourging and the crowning with thorns. Pilate presents “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews” to the chief priests and to the guards who call for his death on the cross (Jn 19, 6). Thus begins for Jesus the way of the cross towards Golgotha, where he will be crucified. In the story of the Passion according to John, Jesus reveals himself as master of himself and in control of all that is happening to him. John’s text is full of phrases that point to this theological fact, that Jesus offers his life. He actively, not passively, endures the events of the passion. Here are just some examples putting the stress on some phrases and words. The reader may find other examples:
Knowing everything that was to happen to him, Jesus came forward and said: "Who are you looking for?" They answered, "Jesus the Nazarene". He said, "I am he!". Now Judas the traitor was standing among them. When Jesus said to them "I am he", they moved back and fell on the ground. He asked them a second time, "Who are you looking for?" They said, "Jesus the Nazarene". Jesus replied, "I have told you that I am he. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go". This was to fulfil the words he had spoken, "Not one of those you gave me have I lost". (Jn 18: 4-9)
Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe” (Jn 19: 5),
Jesus replied, “You would have no power over me at all, if it had not been given you from above.” (Jn 19: 11).
On the cross too, Jesus takes an active part in his death, he does not allow himself to be killed like the thieves whose legs were broken (Jn 19: 31-33), but commits his spirit (Jn 19: 30). The details recalled by the Evangelist are very important: Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ (Jn 19: 26-27). These simple words of Jesus bear the weight of revelation, words that reveal to us his will: “this is your son” (v. 26); “this is your mother” (v. 27). These words also recall those pronounced by Pilate on the Lithostrotos: “This is the man” (Jn 19: 5). With these words, Jesus on the cross, his throne, reveals his will and his love for us. He is the lamb of God, the shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. At that moment, by the cross, he gives birth to the Church, represented by Mary, his sister Mary of Cleophas and Mary Magdalene together with the beloved disciple (Jn 19: 25).
- Beloved and faithful disciples
The fourth Gospel specifies that these disciples “stood by the cross” (Jn 19: 25-26). This detail has a deep meaning. Only the fourth Gospel tells us that these five persons stood by the cross. The other Evangelists do not say so. Luke, for instance, says that all those who knew him followed the events from a distance (Lk 23: 49). Matthew also says that many women followed these events from afar. These women had followed Jesus from Galilee and served him. But now they followed him from afar (Mt 27: 55–56). Like Matthew, Mark gives us the names of those who followed the death of Jesus from afar (Mk 15: 40-41). Thus only the fourth Gospel says that the mother of Jesus and the other women and the beloved disciple “stood by the cross”. They stood there like servants before their king. They are present courageously at a time when Jesus has already declared that “it is fulfilled” (Jn 19: 30). The mother of Jesus is present at the hour that finally “has come”. That hour foretold at the wedding feast of Cana (Jn 2: 1ff). The fourth Gospel had remarked then that “the mother of Jesus was there” (Jn 2: 1). Thus the person that remains faithful to the Lord in his destiny, he/she is a beloved disciple. The Evangelist keeps this disciple anonymous so that each one of us may see him/herself mirrored in the one who knew the mysteries of the Lord, who laid his head on Jesus’ chest at the last supper (Jn 13: 25).
3.1.1.  Questions and suggestions to direct our meditation and practice
● Read once more the passage of the Gospel and look in the Bible for the texts mentioned in the key to the reading. Look for other parallel texts that may help us penetrate deeper into the text presented for our meditation.
● In spirit, and with the help of the prayerful reading of John’s text, visit the places of the Passion, stop on Calvary to witness with Mary and the beloved disciple the events of the Passion.
● What struck you most?
● What feelings does this story of the Passion arouse in you?
● What does the fact that Jesus actively bears his passion mean for you?
4. Oratio
O Eternal Wisdom, Infinite Goodness, Ineffable Truth, You who probe hearts, Eternal God, help us to understand that you can, know and want to! O Loving and Bleeding Lamb, crucified Christ, fulfil in us that which you said: “Anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12). O perfect light, from whom all lights proceed! O light for whom light was created, without whom all is darkness and with whom all is light. Light up, light up, do light up! Let your whole will penetrate all the authors and collaborators you have chosen in this work of renewal. Jesus, Jesus love, Jesus, transform us and make us conform to you. Uncreated Wisdom, Eternal Word, sweet Truth, silent Love, Jesus, Jesus Love!
(St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, O.Carm.,
in The Renewal of the Church, 90-91.)
5. Contemplatio
Repeat frequently and calmly these words of Jesus when he offered himself:
“Father into your hands I commend my spirit”