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Catholic Caucus: Daily Readings, Good Friday of the Lord's Passion ^ | 04-14-17 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 04/13/2017 9:45:14 PM PDT by Salvation

April 14, 2017

Good Friday of the Lord's Passion

Reading 1 Is 52:13—53:12

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.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25

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.

Reading 2 Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9

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 Gospel Phil 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.

Gospel Jn 18:1—19:42

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.

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From: Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Fourth Song of the Servant of the Lord

[13] Behold, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be exalted and lifted up,
and shall be very high.
[14] As many were astonished at him —
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the sons of men —
[15] so shall he startle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they shall see,
and that which they have not heard they shall understand.

[1] Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
[2] For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
[3] 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.

[4] Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
[5] 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.
[6] 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.

[7] He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb,
so he opened not his mouth.
[8] By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
[9] And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

[10] Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him;
he has put him to grief;
when he makes himself an offering for sin,
he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand;
[11] he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous;
and be shall bear their iniquities.

[12] Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out his soul to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.


52:13-53:12. This fourth Song of the Servant is one of the most commented on
passages in the Bible, as regards both its literary structure and its content. From
the point of view of structure, it interrupts the hymn-style of chapter 52 (which is
taken up again in chapter 54); the style here is more reflective; the theme, the va-
lue of suffering. In terms of content, the song is unusual in that it shows the ser-
vant triumphing through his humiliation and suffering. Even more than that — he
makes the pains and sins of others his own, in order to heal them and set them
free. Prior to this, the idea of “vicarious expiation” was unknown in the Bible. The
passage is original even in its vocabulary: it contains forty words that are not to
be found elsewhere in the Bible.

The poem, which is very carefully composed, divides into three stanzas: the first
(52:13-15) is put on the Lord’s lips and it acts as a kind of overture to what follows
—taking in the themes of the triumph of the servant (v. 13), his humiliation and
suffering (v. 14), and the stunning effect that this has on his own people and on

The second stanza (53:1-11a) celebrates the servant’s trials, and the good ef-
fects they produce. This is spoken in the first person plural, standing for the peo-
ple and the prophet: both feel solidarity with the servant of the Lord. This stanza
has four stages to it: first (53:1-3) it describes the servant’s noble origins (he grew
up before the Lord like a young plant: cf. v. 2) and the low esteem in which he is
held as a “man of sorrows”. Then we learn that all this suffering is atonement for
the sins of others (53:4-6). Traditionally, suffering was interpreted as being a pu-
nishment for sins, but here it is borne on behalf of others. This is the first lesson
to be learned by those who see him “stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted”,
and it marks the climax of the poem. Thirdly (53:7-9), the point is made, again
that he has freely accepted suffering and meekly, offers himself as a sacrifice of
atonement (he is like a lamb, like a sheep). His death is as ignominious as the
suffering that precedes it. Finally (vv. 10-11a) we are told how fruitful all this suf-
fering is: like the patriarchs of old (the text seems to imply) the servant will have
many offspring and a long life and be a man of great wisdom.

In the third stanza (53:11b-12) the Lord speaks again, finally acknowledging that
his servant’s sacrifice is truly efficacious: he will cause many to be accounted
“righteous”, that is, he will win their salvation (v. 11) and will share in the Lord’s
spoils (v. 12).

The fourth song of the servant of the Lord was from very early on interpreted as
having a current application. When the Jews of Alexandria made the Greek trans-
lation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) around the second century BC, they
tinkered a little with the text to indicate that the servant in the poem stood for the
people of Israel in the diaspora. Those Jews, who encountered huge obstacles in
their effort to maintain their identity in that Hellenistic and polytheistic environ-
ment, found comfort in the hope that they would emerge enhanced, just like the

Jews of Palestine identified the victorious servant with the Messiah, but they re-
interpreted the sufferings described here to apply them to the pagan nations. The
Dead Sea Scrolls interpret this song in the light of the ignominy experienced by
the Teacher of Righteousness, the probable founder of the group that established
itself at Qumran.

Jesus revealed his redemptive mission to be that of the suffering servant prophe-
sied by Isaiah here. He referred to him on a number of occasions — in his reply
to the request made by the sons of Zebedee (”the Son of man came not to be
served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”: Mt 20:28 and par.);
at the Last Supper, when he announced his ignominious death among transgres-
sors, quoting 53:12 (Lk 22:37); in some passages in the fourth Gospel (Jn 12:32,
37-38); etc. He also seems to refer to it in his conversation with the disciples of
Emmaus (Lk 24:25ff) to explain his passion and death. Therefore, the first Chris-
tians interpreted Jesus’ death and resurrection in terms of this poem; evidence
of this is the expression “in accordance with the scriptures” in 1 Corinthians 15:
3; the words “for our trespasses” (Rom 4:25; 1 Cor 15:3-5); the Christological
hymn in the Letter to the Philippians (Phil 2:6-11); and expressions used in the
First Letter of Peter (1 Pet 2:22-25) and in other New Testament passages (Mt
8:17; 27:29; Acts 8:26-40; Rom 10:16; etc.).

Patristic tradition reads the song as a prophecy that found fulfillment in Christ
(cf. St Clement of Rome, “Ad Corinthios”, 16:1-14; St Ignatius Martyr, “Epistula
ad Polycarpum”, 1, 3; the so-called “Letter of Barnabas”, 5, 2 and “Epistula ad
Diognetuin”, 9, 2; etc.). The Church uses it in the Good Friday liturgy.

52:14. “Beyond human semblance”: this phrase sums up the description given in
53:2-3 and shows the intense pain reflected in the servant’s face: the description
is so graphic that Christian ascetical writing, with good reason, reads it as antici-
pating the passion of our Lord: “The prophet, who has rightly been called ‘the Fifth
Evangelist’, presents in this Song an image of the sufferings of the Servant with a
realism as acute as if he were seeing them with his own eyes: the eyes of the bo-
dy and of the spirit. [...] The Song of the Suffering Servant contains a description
in which it is possible, in a certain sense, to identify the stages of Christ’s Pas-
sion in their various details: the arrest, the humiliation, the blows, the spitting,
the contempt for the prisoner, the unjust sentence, and then the scourging, the
crowning with thorns and the mocking, the carrying of the Cross, the crucifixion
and the agony” (Bl. John Paul II, “Salvifici Doloris”, 17; cf. idem, “Dives in Misere
cordia”, 7).

53:1. St Paul cites this verse to prove the need for preaching (Rom 10:16). The
verse also underlines the extraordinary degree of undeserved suffering endured
by the Servant. It is sometimes interpreted as a further sign of the humility of
Christ, who, being divine, took on the form of a servant: “Christ is a man of hum-
ble thought and feeling, unlike those who attack his flock. The heart of God’s ma-
jesty, the Lord Jesus Christ, did not come with loud cries of arrogance and pride;
he came in humility, as the Holy Spirit said of him: “Who has believed what we
have heard?” (St Clement of Rome, “Ad Corinthios”, 16, 1-3).

53:4-5. “He has borne our griefs [or pains]”: the servant’s sufferings are not due
to his own personal sins; they are atonement for the sins of others. “The suffe-
rings of our Savior are our cure” (Theodoret of Cyrus, “De Incarnatione Domini”,
28). He suffered on account of the sins of the entire people, even though he was
not guilty of them. By bearing the penalty for those sins, he expiated the guilt in-
volved. St Matthew, after recounting some miraculous cures and the casting out
of devils, sees the words of v. 4a fulfilled in Christ (Mt 8:17). He interprets Jesus
Christ as being the servant foretold by the prophet, who will cure the physical suf-
fering of people as a sign that he is curing the root cause of all types of evil, that
is, sin, iniquity (v. 5). The miracles worked by Jesus for the sick are therefore a
sign of Redemption: “Christ’s whole life is a mystery of ‘redemption’. Redemp-
tion comes to us above all through the blood of his cross (cf. Eph 1:7; Col 1:13-
14; 1 Pet 1:18-19), but this mystery is at work throughout Christ’s entire life”
(”Catechism of the Catholic Church”, 517).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 04/13/2017 9:54:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Our Confidence is Based on Christ’s Priesthood

[14] Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. [15] For we have not a
high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in eve-
ry respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning. [16] Let us then with
confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find
grace to help in time of need.

Christ Has Been Made High Priest by God the Father

[7] In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud
cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard
for his godly fear. [8] Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what
he suffered; [9] and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation
to all who obey him, [10] being designated by God a high priest after the order of


14-16. The text now reverts to its main theme (cf. 2:17), that is, the priesthood
of Christ. It highlights the dignity of the new high priest, who has passed through
the heavens; and His mercy, too, for He sympathizes with our weaknesses. We
have, therefore, every reason to approach Him with confidence. “The believers
were at that time in a storm of temptation; that is why the Apostle is consoling
them, saying that our High Priest not only knows, as God, the weaknesses of
our nature: as man, He has also experienced the sufferings that affect us, al-
though He was free from sin. Since He knows our weaknesses so well, He can
give us the help we need, and when He comes to judge us, He will take that
weakness into account in His sentence” (”Interpretatio Ep. Ad Haebreos, ad loc.”).

We should respond to the Lord’s goodness by staying true to our profession of
faith. The confession or profession of faith referred to here is not simply an exter-
nal declaration: external confession is necessary but there must also be commit-
ment and a spirit of fidelity. A Christian needs to live up to all the demands of his
calling; he should be single-minded and free from doubts.

15. “If we should some time find ourselves sorely tempted by our enemies, it will
greatly help us to remember that we have on our side a high priest who is most
compassionate, for He chose to experience all kinds of temptation” (”St. Pius V
Catechism”, IV, 15, 14). In order to understand and help a sinner to get over his
falls and cope with temptation, one does not oneself need to have experience of
being tempted; in fact, only one who does not sin knows the full force of tempta-
tion, because the sinner gives in prior to resisting to the end. Christ never yielded
to temptation. He therefore experienced much more than we do (because we are
often defeated by temptation) the full rigor and violence of those temptations
which He chose to undergo as man at particular points in His life. Our Lord, then,
allowed Himself to be tempted, in order to set us an example and prevent us from
ever losing confidence in our ability to resist temptation with the help of grace (cf.
notes on Matthew 4:1-11 and paragraph).

“There is no man”, St. Jerome comments, “who can resist all tests except He
who, made in our likeness, has experienced everything but sin” (”Comm. In Ioan-
nam”, II, 46). Christ’s sinlessness, often affirmed in Sacred Scripture (Romans 8:
3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 8:46; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:21-24), follows logically from His
being God and from His human integrity and holiness. At the same time Christ’s
weakness, which He chose to experience out of love for us, is a kind of invitation
from God to pray for strength to resist sin. “Let us adore Christ who emptied Him-
self to assume the condition of a slave. He was tempted in every way that we are,
but did not sin. Let us turn in prayer to Him, saying, ‘You took on our human
weakness. Be the eyes of the blind, the strength of the weak, the friend of the
lonely’” (”Liturgy of the Hours”, Christmas Day, Evening Prayer I).

16. The “throne” is the symbol of Christ’s authority; He is King of the living and
the dead. But here it speaks of a “throne of grace”: through the salvation worked
by Christ, the compassionate Priest and Intercessor, God’s throne has become
a judgment seat from which mercy flows. Christ has initiated for mankind a time
of forgiveness and sanctification in which He does not yet manifest His position
as Sovereign Judge. Christ’s priesthood did not cease to operate with His death;
it continues in Heaven, where He forever pleads on our behalf, and therefore we
should have confident recourse to Him.

“What security should be ours in considering the mercy of the Lord! ‘He has but
to cry for redress, and I, the Ever-Merciful, will listen to him’ (Exodus 22:27). It is
an invitation, a promise that He will not fail to fulfill. ‘Let us then with confidence
draw near to the throne of grace, and we may receive mercy and find grace to
help in time of need’. The enemies of our sanctification will be rendered power-
less if the mercy of God goes before us. And if through our own fault and human
weakness we should fall, the Lord comes to our aid and raises us up” (St. J. Es-
criva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 7).

7-9. This brief summary of Christ’s life stresses his perfect obedience to the Fa-
ther’s will, his intense prayer and his sufferings and redemptive death. As in the
hymn to Christ in Philippians 2:6-11, the point is made that Christ set his power
aside and, despite his being the only-begotten Son of God, out of obedience
chose to die on the cross. His death was a true self-offering expressed in that
“loud voice” when he cried out to the Father just before he died, “into thy hands
I commit my spirit” (Lk 23:46). But although Jesus’ obedience was most obvious
on Calvary, it was a constant feature of “the days of his flesh”: he obeyed Mary
and Joseph, seeing in them the authority of the heavenly Father; he was obedient
to political and religious authorities; and he always obeyed the Father, identifying
himself with him to such a degree that he could say, “I have glorified thee on
earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do [...]. All mine
are thine and thine are mine” (Jn 17:4, 10).

The passage also points to Jesus’s prayer, the high point of which occurred in
Gethsemane on the eve of his passion. The reference to “loud cries and suppli-
cations” recalls the Gospel account of his suffering: “And being in an agony he
prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling
down upon the ground” (Lk 22:44).

Hebrews 5:7-9 is probably referring not so much to his prayer in the Garden, still
less to any prayer of Christ asking to be delivered from death, but to our Lord’s
constant prayer for the salvation of mankind. “When the Apostle speaks of these
supplications and cries of Jesus,” St John Chrysostom comments, “he does not
mean prayers which he made on his own behalf but prayers for those who would
later believe in him. And, due to the fact that the Jews did not yet have the ele-
vated concept of Christ that they ought to have had, St Paul says that ‘he was
heard’, just as the Lord himself told his disciples, to console them, ‘If you loved
me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is grea-
ter than I’ [...]. Such was the respect and reverence shown by the Son, that God
the Father could not but take note and heed his Son and his prayers” (”Hom.
on Heb”, 11).

7. “In the days of his flesh”, a reference to the Incarnation. “Flesh” is synony-
mous with mortal life; this is a reference to Christ’s human nature—as in the pro-
logue to St John’s Gospel (cf. Jn 1:14) and many other places (Heb 2:14; Gal
2:20; Phil 1:22-24; 1 Pet 4:1-2) including where mention is made of Jesus being
a servant and capable of suffering (cf. Phil 2:8; Mt 20:27-28). Jesus’ human na-
ture “in the days of his flesh” is quite different from his divine nature and also from
his human nature after its glorification (cf. 1 Cor 15:50). “It must be said that the
word ‘flesh’ is occasionally used to refer to the weakness of the flesh, as it says
in 1 Cor 15:50: ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’. Christ had a
weak and mortal flesh. Therefore it says in the text, ‘In the days of his flesh’, re-
ferring to when he was living in a flesh which seemed to be like sinful flesh, but
which was sinless” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Heb”, 5, 1). So, this
text underlines our Lord’s being both Victim and Priest.

“Prayers and supplications”: very fitting in a priest. The two words mean much
the same; together they are a form of words which used to be employed in peti-
tions to the king or some important official. The plural tells us that there were
lots of these petitions. The writer seems to have in mind the picture of the Re-
deemer who “going a little farther fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt”
(Mt 26:39). St Thomas comments on this description of Christ’s prayer as fol-
lows: “His action was indeed one of offering prayers and supplications, that is,
a spiritual sacrifice: that was what Christ offered. It speaks of prayers in the
sense of petitions because ‘The prayer of a righteous man has great power’ (Jas
5:16); and it speaks of supplications to emphasize the humility of the one who
is praying, who falls on his knees, as we see happening in the case of him who
‘fell on his face and prayed’ (Mt 26:39)” (”Commentary on Heb.”, 5, 1).

To emphasize the force of Christ’s prayer, the writer adds, “with loud cries and
tears”. According to rabbinical teaching, there were three degrees of prayer, each
stronger than the last—supplications, cries and tears. Christian tradition has al-
ways been touched by the humanity of the Redeemer as revealed in the way he
prays. “Everything that is being said here may be summed up in one word — hu-
mility: that stops the mouths of those who blaspheme against Christ’s divinity
saying that it is completely inappropriate for a God to act like this. For, on the
contrary, the Godhead laid it down that [Christ’s] human nature should suffer all
this, in order to show us the extreme to which he truly became incarnate and
assumed a human nature, and to show us that the mystery of salvation was ac-
complished in a real and not an apparent or fictitious manner” (Theodoret of Cy-
rus, “Interpretatio Ep. ad Haebreos, ad loc.”). Christ’s prayer, moreover, teaches
us that prayer must 1) be fervent and 2) involve interior pain. “Christ had both [fer-
vor and pain], for the Apostle by mentioning ‘tears’ intends to show the interior
groaning of him who weeps in this way [...]. But he did not weep on his own ac-
count: he wept for us, who receive the fruit of his passion” (St Thomas, “Com-
mentary on Heb., ad loc.”).

“He was heard for his godly fear.” St John Chrysostom’s commentary is very ap-
posite: “’He gave himself up for our sins’, he says in Gal 1:4; and elsewhere (cf.
1 Tim 2:6) he adds, ‘He gave himself as a ransom for all’. What does he mean
by this? Do you not see that he is speaking with humility of himself, because of
his mortal flesh? And, nevertheless, because he is the Son, it says that he was
heard for his godly fear” (”Hom. on Heb.”, 8). It is like a loving contention between
Father and Son. The Son wins the Father’s admiration, so generous is his self-

And yet Christ’s prayer did not seem to be heeded, for his Father God did not
save him from ignominious death—the cup he had to drink—nor were all the Jews,
for whom he prayed, converted. But it was only apparently so: in fact Christ’s pra-
yer was heard. It is true that, like every one, the idea of dying was repugnant to
him, because he had a natural instinct to live; but, on the other hand, he wished
to die through a deliberate and rational act of his will, hence in the course of the
prayer, he said, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk 22:42). Similarly Christ wan-
ted to save all mankind—but he wanted them to accept salvation freely (cf. “Com-
mentary on Heb., ad loc.”).

8. In Christ there are two perfect and complete natures and therefore two different
levels of knowledge — divine knowledge and human knowledge. Christ’s human
knowledge includes 1) the knowledge that the blessed in heaven have, that is,
the knowledge that comes from direct vision of the divine essence; 2) the know-
ledge with which God endowed man before original sin (infused knowledge); and
3) the knowledge which man acquires through experience. This last-mentioned
knowledge could and in fact did increase (cf. Lk 2:52) in Christ’s case. Christ’s
painful experience of the passion, for example, increased this last type of know-
ledge, which is why the verse says that Christ learned obedience through suffe-
ring. There was a Greek proverb which said, “Sufferings are lessons.” Christ’s
teaching and example raise this positive view of suffering onto the supernatural
level. “In suffering there is concealed’ a particular ‘power that draws a person in-
teriorly close to Christ’, a special grace [...]. A result of such a conversion is not
only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering but above all
that he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as
it were, ‘of his entire life and vocation’” (Bl. John Paul II, “Salvifici Doloris”, 26).

In our Lord’s case, his experience of suffering was connected with his generosity
in obedience. He freely chose to obey even unto death (cf. Heb 10:5-9; Rom 5:
19; Phil 2:8), consciously atoning for the first sin, a sin of disobedience. “In his
suffering, sins are canceled out precisely because he alone as the only-begotten
Son could take them upon himself, accept them ‘with that love for the Father
which overcomes’ the evil of every sin; in a certain sense he annihilates this evil
in the spiritual space of the relationship between God and humanity, and fills this
space with good” (”Salvifici Doloris”, 17). Christ “learned obedience” not in the
sense that this virtue developed in him, for his human nature was perfect in its
holiness, but in the sense that he put into operation the infused virtue his human
soul already possessed. “Christ knew what obedience was from all eternity, but
he learned obedience in practice through the severities he underwent particularly
in his passion and death” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Heb., ad loc.”).

Christ’s example of obedience is something we should copy. A Christian writer
of the fifth century, Diadochus of Photike, wrote: “The Lord loved (obedience) be-
cause it was the way to bring about man’s salvation and he obeyed his Father
unto the cross and unto death; however, his obedience did not in any sense di-
minish his majesty. And so, having—by his obedience—dissolved man’s disobe-
dience, he chose to lead to blessed and immortal life those who followed the
way of obedience” (”Chapters on Spiritual Perfection”, 41).

9. Obviously Christ as God could not increase in perfection. Nor could his sacred
humanity become any holier, for from the moment of his Incarnation he received
the fullness of grace, that is, he had the maximum degree of holiness a man
could have. In this connection Thomas Aquinas points out that Christ had union
(that is, the personal union to the Son of God gratuitously bestowed on human
nature): clearly this grace is infinite as the person of the Word is infinite. The
other grace is habitual grace which, although it is received in a limited human na-
ture, is yet infinite in its perfection because grace was conferred on Christ as the
universal source of the justification of human nature (cf. “Summa Theologiae”, III,
q. 7, a. 11). In what sense, then, could Christ be “made perfect”? St Thomas pro-
vides the answer: Christ, through his passion, achieved a special glory — the im-
passibility and glorification of his body. Moreover, he attained the same perfec-
tions as we shall participate in when we are raised from the dead in glory, those
of us who believe in him (cf. “Commentary on Heb., ad loc.”). For this reason our
Redeemer could exclaim before his death, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30)—referring not
only to his own sacrifice but also to the fact that he had completely accomplished
the redeeming atonement. Christ triumphed on the cross and attained perfection
for himself and for others. In Hebrews the same verb is used for what is translated
into English as “to be made perfect” and “to finish”. Christ, moreover, by obeying
and becoming a perfect victim, truly pleasing to the Father, is more perfectly posi-
tioned to perfect others. “Obedience” is essentially docility to what God asks of
us and readiness to listen to him (cf. Rom 1:5; 16:26; 2 Cor 10:5; Heb 4:3).
Christ’s obedience is a source of salvation for us; if we imitate him we will truly
form one body with him and he will be able to pass on to us the fullness of his

“Now, when you find it hard to obey, remember your Lord: ‘factus obediens usque
ad mortem, mortem autem crucis”: obedient even to accepting death, death on a
cross!’” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

5 posted on 04/13/2017 9:55:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 18:1-19:42

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

The Arrest of Jesus

[1] When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples across
the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.
[2] Now Judas who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there
with his disciples. [3] So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers
from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches
and weapons. [4] Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward
and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” [5] They answered him, “Jesus of Naza-
reth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with
them. [6] When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
[7] Again he asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Naza-
reth.” [8] Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these
men go.” [9] This was to fulfill the word which he had spoken, “Of those whom
thou gayest me I lost not one.’ [10] Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it
and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was
Malchus. [11] Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not
drink the cup which the Father has given me?”

[12] So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews seized
Jesus and bound him.

Jesus Before Annas and Caiaphas. Peter’s Denials

[13] First they led him to Annas; for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who
was high priest that year. [14] It was Caiaphas who had given counsel to the
Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

[15] Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. As this disciple
was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with
Jesus, [16] while Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was
known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and
brought Peter in. [17] The maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are not you al-
so one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.” [18] Now the servants and
officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing
and warming themselves; Peter also was with them, standing and warming him-

[19] The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
[20] Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always
taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together; I have
said nothing secretly. [21] Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me,
what I said to them; they know what I said.” [22] When he had said this, one of
the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you ans-
wer the high priest?” [23] Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, bear
witness to the wrong but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me? [24] An-
nas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

[25] Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “Are
not you also one of his disciples? He denied it and said, “I am not.” [26] One of
the servants the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off,
asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him? [27] Peter again denied it; and
at once the cock crowed.

The Trial before Pilate: Jesus is King

[28] Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was
early. They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be de-
filed, but might eat the passover. [29] So Pilate went out to them and said, “What
accusation do you bring against this man?” [30] They answered him, “If this man
were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over.” [31] Pilate said to
them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to
him, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.” [32] This was to fulfill the
word which Jesus had spoken to show by what death he was to die.

[33] Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, “Are
you the King of the Jews?” [34] Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own
accord, or did others say it to you about me?” [35] Pilate answered, “Am I a
Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what
have you done?” [36] Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if my
kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed
over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.” [37] Pilate said to him,
“So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was
born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness the truth. Every one
who is of the truth hears my voice.” [38] Pilate said to him, “’What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, “I find no
crime in him. [39] But you have a custom that I should release one man for you
at the Passover; will you have me release for you the King of the Jews?” [40]
They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

The Scourging at the Pillar and the Crowning with Thorns

[1] Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. [2] And the soldiers plaited a crown
of thorns, and put it on his head, and array him in a purple robe; [3] they came up
to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. [4] 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.” [5] So Jesus came out, wearing the crown
of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man! [6] 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.” [7] The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law he ought to
die, because he has made himself the Son of God.” [8] When Pilate heard these
words, he was the more afraid; [9] he entered the praetorium again and said to
Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. [10] Pilate therefore
said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to re-
lease you, and power to crucify you?” [11] Jesus answered him, “You would have
no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who deli-
vered me to you has the greater sin.”

Pilate Hands Jesus Over

[12] Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you re-
lease this man, you are not Caesar’s friend; every one who makes himself a
king sets himself against Caesar.” [13] When Pilate heard these words, he
brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at place called The Pave-
ment, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha. [14] Now it was the day of Preparation for the
Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!”
[15] They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to
them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king
but Caesar.” [16] Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

[17] So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place
called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. [18] There they
crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between
them. [19] Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, “Jesus of Na-
zareth, the King of the Jews.” [20] Many of the Jews read this title, for the place
where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in La-
tin, and in Greek. [21] The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, “Do not
write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.”’ [22]
Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

[23] When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four
parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven
from top to bottom; [24] so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast
lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the scripture, “They parted
my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

[25] So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother,
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. [26] When
Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to
his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” [27] Then he said to the disciple, “Be-
hold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

[28] After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished said (to fulfill the Scrip-
ture), “I thirst.” [29] A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full
of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. [30] When Jesus had received
the vinegar, he said “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus’ Side is Pierced. His Burial

[31] Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from re-
maining on the cross of the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews
asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
[32] So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who
had been crucified with him; [33] but when they came to Jesus and saw that he
was already dead, they did not break his legs. [34] But one of the soldiers pierced
his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. [35] He who
saw it has borne witness — his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the
truth — that you also may believe. [36] For these things took place that the scrip-
ture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of him shall be broken.” [37] And again ano-
ther scripture says, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.”

[38] After this Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for
fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pi-
late gave him leave. So he came and took away his body. [39] Nicodemus also,
who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes,
about a hundred pounds’ weight. [40] They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in
linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. [41] Now in the
place where he was crucified there was garden, and in the garden a new tomb
where no one has ever been laid. [42] So because of the Jewish day of Prepara-
tion, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.


1. The previous chapter, dealing as it did with the glory of the Son of God (cf.
Jn 17:1, 4, 10, 22, 24), is a magnificent prologue to our Lord’s passion and death,
which St John presents as part of Christ’s glorification: he emphasizes that Je-
sus freely accepted his death (14:31) and freely allowed himself to be arrested
(18:4, 11). The Gospel shows our Lord’s superiority over his judges (18:20-21)
and accusers (19:8, 12); and his majestic serenity in the face of physical pain,
which makes one more aware of the Redemption, the triumph of the Cross, than
of Jesus’ actual sufferings.

Chapters 18 and 19 cover the passion and death of our Lord—events so important
and decisive that all the books of the New Testament deal with them, in some
way or other. Thus, the Synoptic Gospels give us extensive accounts of what hap-
pened; in the Acts of the Apostles these events, together with the resurrection,
form the core of the Apostles’ preaching. St Paul explains the redemptive value of
Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, and the catholic epistles speak of his salvific death, as
does the Apocalypse, where the Victor, enthroned in heaven, is the sacrificed
Lamb, Jesus Christ. It should also be noted that whenever these sacred writings
mention our Lord’s death they go on to refer to his glorious resurrection.

St John’s Gospel locates these events in five places. The first (18:1-12) is Geth-
semane, where Jesus is arrested; after this (18:13-27) he is taken to the house
of Annas, where the religious trial begins and Peter denies Jesus before the high
priest’s servants. The third scene is the praetorium (18:28-19:16), where Jesus
is tried by the Roman procurator: St John gives an extensive account of this trial,
highlighting the true character of Christ’s kingship and his rejection by the Jews,
who call for his crucifixion. He then goes on (19:17-37) to describe the events
which occur after the procurator’s unjust sentence; this scene centers on Calva-
ry. St John then reports the burial of our Lord in the unused tomb near Calvary
belonging to Joseph of Arimathea.

The climax of all these events is the glorification of Jesus, of which he himself
had spoken (cf. Jn 17:1-5)——his resurrection and exaltation to his Father’s side.

Here is Fray Luis de Granada’s advice on how to meditate on the passion of our
Lord: “There are five things we can reflect on when we think about the sacred
passion. [...] First, we can incline our heart to sorrow and repentance for our sins;
the passion of our Lord helps us do this because it is evident that everything he
suffered he suffered on account of sins, so that if there were no sins in the world,
there would have been no need for such painful reparation. Therefore, sins—yours
and mine, like everyone else’s—were the executioners who bound him and lashed
him and crowned him with thorns and put him on the cross. So you can see how
right it is for you to feel the enormity and malice of your sins, for it was these
which really caused so much suffering, not because these sins required the Son
of God to suffer but because divine justice chose to ask for such great atonement.

“We have here excellent motives, not only to abhor sin but also to love virtues:
we have the example of this Lord’s virtues, which so clearly shine out during his
sacred passion: we can follow these virtues and learn to imitate then especially
his great humility, gentleness and silence, as well as the other virtues for this is
one of the best and most effective ways of meditating on the sacred passion —
the way of imitation.

“At other times we should fix our attention on the great good the Lord does us
here, reflecting on how much he loved us and how much he gave us and how
much it cost him to do so. [...] At other times it is good to focus our attention on
knowledge of God, that is, to consider his great goodness, his mercy, his justice,
his kindness, and particularly his ardent charity, which shines forth in the sacred
passion as nowhere else. For, just as it is a greater proof of love to suffer evils on
behalf of one’s friend than to do good things for him, and God could do both [...],
it pleased his divine goodness to assume a nature which could suffer evils, very
great evils, so that man could be quite convinced of God’s love and thereby be
moved to love him who so loved man.

“Finally, at other times one can reflect [...] on the wisdom of God in choosing this
manner of atoning for mankind: that is, making satisfaction for our sins, inflaming
our charity, curing our pride, our greed and our love of comfort, and inclining our
souls to the virtue of humility [...], abhorrence of sin and love for the Cross” (”Life
of Jesus Christ”, 15).

1-2. “When Jesus had spoken these words”: this is a formula often used in the
fourth Gospel to indicate a new episode linked with what has just been recounted
(cf. Jn 2:12; 3:22; 5:1; 6:1; 13:21; etc.).

The Kidron (etymologically “turbid”) was a brook which carried water only during
rainy weather, it divided Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, on slopes of which
lay the garden of Gethsemane (cf. Mt 26:32; Lk 21:37; 22:39). The distance from
the Cenacle, where the Last Supper took place, to the garden of Gethsemane
was little more than a kilometer.

3. Because Judea was occupied by Romans, there was a garrison stationed at
Jerusalem—a cohort (600 men) quartered in the Antonia tower, under the authority
of a tribune. In the Greek what is translated here as “a band of soldiers” is “the
cohort”, the name for the whole unit being used though only part is meant: it does
not mean that 600 soldiers came out to arrest Jesus. Presumably the Jewish au-
thorities, who had their own temple guard — referred to here as “officers from the
chief priests and the Pharisees” — must have sought some assistance from the
military. Judas’ part consisted in leading the way to where Jesus was and iden-
tifying the man to be arrested.

4-9. Only the fourth Gospel reports this episode prior to Jesus’ arrest, recalling
the words of the Psalm: “Then my enemies will be turned back in the day when
I call” (Ps 56:9). Our Lord’s majesty is apparent: he surrenders himself freely and
voluntarily. This does not, however, mean that the Jews involved are free from
blame. St Augustine comments on this passage: “The persecutors, who came
with the traitor to lay hold of Jesus, found him whom they sought and heard him
say, ‘I am he’. Why did they not lay hold of him but fell back to the ground? Be-
cause that was what he wished, who could do whatever he wished. Had he not
allowed himself to be taken by them, they would have been unable to effect their
plan, but neither would he have done what he came to do. They in their rage
sought him to put him to death; but he also sought us by dying for us. Therefore,
after he displayed his power to those who had no power to hold him, they did lay
hands on him and by means of them, all unwitting, he did what he wanted to do”
(”In Ioann. Evang.”, 112, 3).

It is also moving to see how Jesus takes care of his disciples, even though he
himself is in danger. He had promised that none of his own should perish except
Judas Iscariot (cf. Jn 6:39; 17:12); although his promise referred to protecting
them from eternal punishment, our Lord is also concerned about their immediate
safety, for as yet they are not ready to face martyrdom.

10-11. Once again we see Peter’s impetuosity and loyalty; he comes to our Lord’s
defense, risking his own life, but he still does not understand God’ plans of salva-
tion: he still cannot come to terms with the idea of Christ dying—just as he could
not when Christ first foretold his passion (Mt 16:21-22). Our Lord does not accept
Peter’s violent defense: he refers back to what he said in his prayer in Gethse-
mane (cf. Mt 26:39), where he freely accepted his Father’ will, giving himself up
to his captors in order to accomplish the Redemption.

We should show reverence to God’s will with the same docility and meekness as
Jesus accepting his passion. “Stages: to be resigned to the will of God; to con-
form to the will of God; to want the will of God; to love the will of God” (St. J. Es-
criva, “The Way”, 774).

13-18. Jesus is brought to the house of Annas, who, although he was no longer
high priest, still exercised great religious and political influence (cf. note on Lk 3:
2). These two disciples, St Peter and the other disciple, probably John himself,
are disconcerted; they do not know what to do, so they follow Jesus at a distance.
Their attachment to him was not yet sufficiently supernatural; discouragement has
displaced bravery and loyalty—and will soon lead to Peter’s triple denial. However
noble his feelings, a Christian will be unable to live up to the demands of his faith
unless his life has a basis of deep piety.

19-21. During this first interrogation—preliminary to his later examination by the
Sanhedrin (Lk 22:66-71)—Jesus lays stress on the fact that he has always acted
openly: everyone has had an opportunity listen to him and to witness his miracles
— so much so that at times he has been acclaimed as the Messiah (cf. Jn 12:12-
19 and par.). The chief priests themselves have seen him in the temple and in the
synagogues; but not wishing to see (cf. Jn 9:39-41), or believe (cf. Jn 10:37-38),
they make out that his objectives are hidden and sinister.

22-23. Again, we see Jesus’ serenity; he is master of the situation, as he is
throughout his passion. To the unjust accusation made by this servant, our Lord
replies meekly, but he does defend his conduct and points to the injustice with
which he is being treated. This is how we should behave if people mistreat us in
any way. Well-argued defense of one’s rights is compatible with meekness and
humility (cf. Acts 22:25).

25-27. Peter’s denials are treated in less detail here than in the Synoptic Gospels,
but here, as there, we can see the Apostles’ humility and sincerity which lead
them to tell about their own weaknesses. Peter’s repentance is not referred to
here, but it is implied by the mention of the cock crowing: the very brevity of St
John’s account points to the fact that this episode was well known to the early
Christians. After the resurrection the full scope of Jesus’ forgiveness will be evi-
denced when he confirms Peter in his mission as leader of the Apostles (cf. Jn

“In this adventure of love we should not be depressed by our falls, not even by
serious falls, if we go to God in the sacrament of Penance contrite and resolved
to improve. A Christian is not a neurotic collector of good behavior reports. Jesus
Christ our Lord was moved as much by Peter’s repentance after his fall as by
John’s innocence and faithfulness. Jesus understands our weakness and draws
us to himself on an inclined plane. He wants us to make an effort to climb a little
each day” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing By”, ‘75).

28. The Synoptics also report the trial before Pilate, but St John gives a longer
and more detailed account: Jn 18:28-19:16 is the center of the five parts of his ac-
count of the Passion (cf. note on 18:1). He describes the events that take place
in the praetorium, highlighting the majesty of Christ as the messianic King, and
also his rejection by the Jews.

There are seven stages here, marked by Pilate’s entrances and exits. First (vv.
29-32) the Jews indict Jesus in a general way as an “evildoer”. Then follows the
dialogue between Pilate and Jesus (vv. 36-37) which culminates in Christ stating
that he is a King, after which Pilate tries to save our Lord (vv. 38-40) by asking
the people if they want him to release “the King of the Jews”.

The centerpoint of the account (19:1-3) is the crowning with thorns, with the sol-
diers mockingly doing obeisance to Christ as “King of the Jews”. After this our
Lord is led out wearing the crown of thorns and draped in the purple robe (vv. 4-7)
— the shameful scene of the “Ecce Homo”. The Jews’ accusation now turns on
Jesus’ making himself the Son of God. Once again, Pilate, in the praetorium a-
gain, speaks with Jesus (vv. 8-12) and tries to probe further into his divine origin.
The Jews then concentrate their hatred in a directly political accusation: “Every-
one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar” (Jn 19:12). Finally
(vv. 13-16), in a very formal way, stating time and place, St John narrates how Pi-
late points to Jesus and says: “Here is your King!” And the leaders of the Jews
openly reject him who was and is the genuine King spoken of by the prophets.

“Praetorium”: this was the Roman name for the official residence of the praetor or
of other senior officials in the provinces of the Empire, such as the procurator or
prefect in Palestine. Pilate’s usual residence was on the coast, in Caesarea, but
he normally moved to Jerusalem for the major festival periods, bringing additional
troops to be used in the event of civil disorder. In Jerusalem, at this time and later,
the procurator resided in Herod’s palace (in the western part of the upper city) or
else in the Antonia tower, a fortress backing onto the northeastern corner of the
temple esplanade. It is not known for certain which of these two buildings was
the praetorium mentioned in the Gospel; it was more likely the latter.

“So that they might not be defiled”: Jewish tradition at the time (”Mishnah”; “Oha-
lot” treatise 7, 7) laid down that anyone who entered a Gentile or pagan house in-
curred seven days’ legal defilement (cf. Acts 10:28); such defilement would have
prevented them from celebrating the Passover. It is surprising that the chief priests
had a scruple of this sort given their criminal inclinations against Jesus. Once
more our Lord’s accusation of them is seen to be well founded: “You blind guides,
straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel” (Mt 23:24).

29-32. St John has omitted part of the interrogation which took place in the house
of Caiaphas and which is reported in the Synoptics (Mt 26:57-66 and par.), which
tell us that the meeting at Caiaphas’ terminated with Jesus being declared deser-
ving of death for the blasphemy of proclaiming himself the Son of God (cf. Mt 26:
65-66). Under the Law of Moses blasphemy was punishable by stoning (cf. Lev
24:16); but they do not proceed to stone him—which they certainly could have
done, even though the Romans were in control: they were ready to stone the a-
dulterous woman (cf. Jn 8:1-11) and a short time later they did stone St Stephen
(cf. Acts 7:54-60)—because they wanted to bring the people along with them, and
they knew that many of them regarded Jesus a Prophet and Messiah (cf. Mt 24:
45-46; Mk 12:12; Lk 20:19). Not daring to stone him, they will shrewdly manage
to turn a religious charge into a politics question and have the authority of the Em-
pire brought to bear on their side; they preferred to denounce Jesus to the procur-
ator as a revolutionary who plotted against Caesar by declaring himself to be the
Messiah and King of the Jews; by acting in this way they avoided risking the peo-
ple’s wrath and ensured that Jesus would be condemned by the Roman authori-
ties to death by crucifixion.

Our Lord had foretold a number of times that he would die in this way (cf. Jn 3:14;
8:28; 12:32-33); as St Paul later put it, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the
law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed be every one who
hangs on a tree”’ (Gal 3:13; cf. Deut 21:23).

33-34. There is no onus on Pilate to interfere in religious questions, but because
the accusation levelled against Jesus had to do with politics and public order, he
begins his interrogation naturally by examining him on the main charge: “Are you
the King of the Jews?”

By replying with another question, Jesus is not refusing to answer: he wishes to
make quite clear, as he has always done, that his mission is a spiritual one. And
really Pilate’s was not an easy question to answer, because, to a Gentile, a king
of the Jews meant simply a subverter of the Empire; whereas, to a Jewish natio-
nalist, the King-Messiah was a politico-religious liberator who would obtain their
freedom from Rome. The true character of Christ’s messiahship completely tran-
scends both these concepts—as Jesus explains to the procurator, although he
realizes how enormously difficult it is for Pilate to understand what Christ’s King-
ship really involves.

35-36. After the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish, Jesus re-
fused to be proclaimed king because the people were thinking in terms of an earth-
ly kingdom (cf. Jn 6:15). However, Jesus did enter Jerusalem in triumph, and he
did accept acclamation as King-Messiah. Now, in the passion, he acknowledges
before Pilate that he is truly a King, making it clear that his kingship is not an
earthly one. Thus, “those who expected the Messiah to have visible temporal po-
wer were mistaken. ‘The kingdom of God does not mean food and drink but righ-
teousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Rom 14:17). Truth and justice,
peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. That is the kingdom of Christ: the divine activity
which saves men and which will reach its culmination when history ends and the
Lord comes from the heights of paradise finally to judge men” (St. J. Escriva,
“Christ is Passing By”, 180).

37. This is what his kingship really is: his kingdom is “the kingdom of Truth and
Life, the kingdom of Holiness and Grace, the kingdom of Justice, Love and
Peace” (”Roman Missal”, Preface of the Mass of Christ the King). Christ reigns
over those who accept and practise the truth revealed by him—his Father’s love
for the world (Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 4:9). He became man to make this truth known and
to enable men to accept it. And so, those who recognize Christ’s kingship and
sovereignty accept his authority, and he thus reigns over them in an eternal and
universal kingdom.

For its part, “the Church, looking to Christ who bears witness to the truth, must
always and everywhere ask herself, and in a certain sense also the contemporary
‘world’, how to make good emerge from man, how to liberate the dynamism of the
good that is in man, in order that it may be stronger than evil, than any moral, so-
cial or other evil” (Bl. John Paul II, General Audience, February 1979).

“If we [Christians] are trying to have Christ as our king we must be consistent.
We must start by giving him our heart. Not to do that and still talk about the king-
dom of Christ would be completely hollow. There would be no real Christian sub-
stance in our behavior. We would be making an outward show of a faith which
simply did not exist. We would be misusing God’s name to human advantage. [...]
If we let Christ reign in our soul, we will not become authoritarian. Rather we will
serve everyone. How l like that word: service! To serve my king and, through him,
all those who have been redeemed by his blood. I really wish we Christians knew
how to serve, for only by serving can we know and love Christ and make him
known and loved” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing By”, 181-182).

By his death and resurrection, Jesus shows that the accusations laid against him
were based on lies: it was he who was telling the truth, not his judges and accu-
sers, and God confirms the truth of Jesus — the truth of his words, of deeds, of
his revelation — by the singular miracle of his resurrection. To men Christ’s king-
ship may seem paradoxical: he dies, yet he lives for ever; he is defeated and is
crucified, yet he is victorious. “When Jesus Christ him appeared as a prisoner
before Pilate’s tribunal and was interrogated by him...did he not answer: ‘For this
I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth’?
It was as if with these words [...] he was once more confirming what he had said
earlier: ‘You will know the truth, and truth will make you free’. In the course of so
many centuries, of so many generations, from the time of the Apostles on, is it
not often Jesus Christ himself that has made an appearance at the side of peo-
ple judged for the sake of truth? And has he not gone to death with people con-
demned for the sake of truth? Does he ever cease to be the continuous spokes-
man and advocate for person who lives ‘in spirit and truth’? (cf. Jn 4:23). Just as
he does not cease to be it before the Father, he is it also with regard to the his-
tory of man” (Bl. John Paul II, “Redemptor Hominis”, 12).

38-40. The outcome of the interrogation is that Pilate becomes convinced of Je-
sus’ innocence (cf. Jn 19:4, 12). He probably realizes that the accusations made
against Jesus were really an internal matter in which the Jews were trying to in-
volve him; but the Jewish authorities are very irate. It is not easy for him to find
a way out. He tries to do so by making concessions: first, he has recourse to a
passover privilege, offering them the choice between a criminal and Jesus, but
this does not work; so he looks for other ways to save him, and here also he
fails. His cowardice and indecision cause him to yield to pressure and commit
the injustice of condemning to death a man he knows to be innocent.

“The mystery of innocent suffering is one of the most obscure points on the en-
tire horizon of human wisdom; and here it is affirmed in the most flagrant way. But
before we uncover something of this problem, there already grows up in us an un-
restrained affection for the innocent one who suffers, for Jesus, [...] and for all in-
nocent people—whether they be young or old—who are also suffering, and whose
pain we cannot explain. The way of the cross leads us to meet the first person in
a sorrowful procession of innocent people who suffer. And this first blameless and
suffering person uncovers for us in the end the secret of his passion. It is a sacri-
fice” (Paul VI, Address on Good Friday, 12 April 1974).

1-3. Christ’s prophecy is fulfilled to the letter: the Son of Man “will be delivered to
the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon; they will
scourge him and kill him, and on the third day he will rise” (Lk 18:32f; cf. Mt 20:

Scourging was one of the most severe punishments permitted under Roman law.
The criminal was draped over a pillar or other form of support, his naked back ex-
posed to the lash or “flagellum”. Scourging was generally used as a preliminary
to crucifixion to weaken the criminal and thereby hasten his death.

Crowning with thorns was not an official part of the punishment; it was an initiative
of the soldiers themselves, a product of their cruelty and desire to mock Jesus.
On the stone pavement in the Antonia tower some drawings have been found
which must have been used in what was called the “king game”; dice were thrown
to pick out a mock king among those condemned, who was subjected to taunting
before being led off for crucifixion.

St John locates this episode at the center of his narrative of the events in praeto-
rium. He thereby highlights the crowning with thorns as the point which Christ’s
kingship is at its most patent: the soldiers proclaim him as King of the Jews only
in a sarcastic way (cf. Mk 15:15, 16-19), but the evangelist gives us to understand
that he is indeed the King.

5. Wearing the insignia of royalty, Christ, despite this tragic parody, projects the
majesty of the King of Kings. In Rev 5:12 St John will say: “Worthy is the Lamb
who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and
glory and blessing!”

“Imagine that divine face: swollen by blows, covered in spittle, torn by thorns, fur-
rowed with blood, here fresh blood, there ugly dried blood. And, since the sacred
Lamb had his hands tied, he could not use them to wipe away the blood running
into his eyes, and so those two luminaries of heaven were eclipsed and almost
blinded and made mere pieces of flesh. Finally, so disfigured was he that one
could not make out who he was; he scarcely seemed human; he had become
an altarpiece depicting suffering, painted by those cruel artists and their evil pre-
sident, producing this pitiful figure to plead his case before his enemies” (Fray
Luis de Granada, “Life of Jesus Christ”, 24).

6-7. When Pilate hears the Jews accuse Jesus of claiming to be the Son of God,
he grows still more alarmed: his wife has already unnerved him by sending him
a message, after a dream, not to have anything to do with this “righteous man”.
But the shouting (v. 12) orchestrated by the Jewish authorities pressures him in-
to agreeing to condemn Jesus.

Although technically Jesus is crucified for supposedly committing a political
crime (cf. note on Jn 18:29-32), in fact it is on clearly religious grounds that he
is sent to death.

8-11. Pilate is impressed by Jesus’ silence, by his not defending himself, and
when the procurator says that he has power to release him or to condemn him,
our Lord then says something quite unexpected—that all power on earth comes
from God. This means that in the last analysis even if people talk about the so-
vereignty of the king or of the people, such authority is never absolute; it is only
relative, being subject to the absolute sovereignty of God: hence no human law
can be just, and therefore binding in conscience, if it does not accord with divine

“He who delivered me”—a reference to all those who have contrived our Lord’s
death, that is, Judas, Caiaphas, the Jewish leaders, etc. (cf. 18:30-35). They are
the ones that really sent Christ to the cross; but this does not exonerate Pontius
Pilate from blame.

13. “The Pavement”, in Greek “Iithostrotos”, literally a “pavement”, a “flagged ex-
panse”, therefore a yard or plaza paved with flags. The Hebrew word “Gabbatha”
is not the equivalent of the Greek “lithostrotos”; it means a “height” or “eminence”.
But both words refer to the same place; however, its precise location is uncertain
due to doubts about where the praetorium was located: cf. note on Jn 18:28.

Grammatically, the Greek could be translated as follows: “Pilate... brought Jesus
out and sat him down on the judgment seat”: in which case the evangelist im-
plies that Pilate was ridiculing the Jewish leaders by a mock enthronement of the
“King of the Jews”. This would fit in with Pilate’s attitude towards the Jewish lea-
ders from this point onwards (vv. 14-22) and with the purpose of the inspired writer,
who would see in this the enthronement of Christ as King.

14. “The day of Preparation”, the “Parasceve”. The sixth hour began at midday.
Around this time all leavened bread was removed from the houses and replaced
by unleavened bread for the paschal meal (cf. Ex 12:15ff), and the lamb was of-
ficially sacrificed in the temple. St John notes that this was the time at which
Jesus was condemned, thereby underlying the coincidence between the time
of the death sentence and the time the lamb was sacrificed: Christ is the new
Paschal Lamb; as St Paul says (cf. 1 Cor 5:7), “Christ, our paschal lamb, has
been sacrificed”.

There is some difficulty in reconciling what St John says about the sixth hour
with the information given in Mark 15:25 about Jesus being crucified at the third
hour. Various explanations are offered, the best being that Mark is referring to
the end of the third hour and John to the beginning of the sixth hour: both would
then be talking of around midday.

15. The history of the Jewish people helps us understand the tragic paradox of
the attitude of the Jewish authorities at this point. The Jews were very conscious
all along of being the people of God. For example, they proudly asserted that
they had no Father but God (cf. Jn 8:4). In the Old Testament Yahweh is the true
King of Israel (cf. Deut 33:5; Num 23:21; 1 Kings 22:19; Is 6:5); when they wan-
ted to copy the neighboring peoples and asked Samuel for a king (cf. 1 Sam 8:5-
20), Samuel resisted, because Israel had only one absolute sovereign, Yahweh
(1 Sam 8:6-9). But eventually God gave in to their request and himself designa-
ted who should be king over his people. His first choice, Saul, was given sacred
anointing, as were David and his successors. This rite of anointing showed that
the Israelite king was God’s vicar. When the kings failed to meet the people’s ex-
pectations, they increasingly yearned for the messianic king, the descendant or
“Son” of David, the Anointed “par excellence” or Messiah, who would rule his
people, liberate them from their enemies and lead them to rule the world (cf. 2
Sam 7:16; Ps 24:7; 43:5; etc.). For centuries they strove heroically for this ideal,
rejecting foreign domination.

During Christ’s time also they opposed Rome and Herod, whom, not being a Jew,
they regarded as an illegitimate king. However, at this point in the Passion, they
hypocritically accept the Roman emperor as their true and only king. They also
reject the “easy yoke” of Christ (cf. Mt 11:30) and bring the full weight of Rome
down upon him.

“They themselves submitted to the punishment; therefore, the Lord handed them
over. Thus, because they unanimously rejected God’s government, the Lord let
them be brought down through their own condemnation: for, rejecting the domi-
nion of Christ, they brought upon themselves that of Caesar” (St John Chrysos-
tom, “Hom. on St John”, 83).

A similar kind of tragedy occurs when people who have been baptized and there-
fore have become part of the new people of God, throw off the “easy yoke” of
Christ’s sovereignty by their obstinacy in sin and submit to the terrible tyranny
of the devil (cf. 2 Pet 2:21).

17. “The place of a skull” or Calvary seems to have got its name from the fact
that it was shaped like a skull or head.

St Paul points to the parallelism that exists between Adam’s disobedience and
Christ’s obedience (cf. Rom 5:12). On the feast of the Triumph of the Cross the
Church sings “where life was lost, there life has been restored”, to show how,
just as the devil won victory by the tree of paradise, so he was overpowered by
Christ on the tree of the Cross.

St John is the only Evangelist who clearly states that Jesus carried his own cross;
the other three mention that Simon of Cyrene helped to carry it. See the notes on
Mt 27:31 and Lk 23:26.

Christ’s decisiveness in accepting the cross is an example which we should fol-
low in our daily life: “You yourself must decide of your own free will to take up the
cross; otherwise, your tongue may say that you are imitating Christ, but your ac-
tions will belie your words. That way, you will never get to know the Master inti-
mately, or love him truly. It is really important that we Christians convince our-
selves of this. We are not walking with our Lord unless we are spontaneously de-
priving ourselves of many things that our whims, vanity, pleasure or self-interest
clamor for” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 129).

As Simeon had prophesied, Jesus would be a “sign that is spoken against” (Lk
2:34)—a standard raised on high which leaves no room for indifference, demanding
that every man decide for or against him and his cross: “he was going therefore
to the place where he was to be crucified, bearing his own Cross. An extraordina-
ry spectacle: to impiety, something to jeer at; to piety, a great mystery. [...] Im-
piety looks on and laughs at a king bearing, instead of a scepter, the wood of his
punishment; piety looks on and sees the King bearing that cross for himself to
be fixed on, a cross which would thereafter shine on the brow of kings; an object
of contempt in the eyes of the impious, but something in which hereafter the
hearts of the saints should glorify, as St Paul would later say, But God forbid
that should glory; save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (St Augustine, “In
Ioann. Evang.”, 117, 3).

18. Knowing what crucifixion in ancient times entailed will help us understand
much better the extent of the humiliation and suffering Jesus bore for love of us.
Crucifixion was a penalty reserved for slaves, and applied to the most serious
crimes; it was the most horrific and painful form of death possible; it was also an
exemplary public punishment and therefore was carried out in a public place, with
the body of the criminal being left exposed for days afterwards. These words of
Cicero show how infamous a punishment it was: “That a Roman citizen should
be bound is an abuse; that he be lashed is a crime; that he be put to death is
virtually parricide; what, then, shall I say, if he be hung on a cross? There is no
word fit to describe a deed so horrible” (”In Verrem”, II, 5, 66).

A person undergoing crucifixion died after a painful agony involving loss of blood,
fever caused by his wounds, thirst, and asphyxiation, etc. Sometimes the exe-
cutioners hastened death by breaking the person’s legs or piercing him with a
lance, as in our Lord’s case. This helps us understand better what St Paul says
to the Philippians about Christ’s humiliation on the Cross: “[he] emptied himself,
taking the form of a servant [or slave], being born in the likeness of men... ; he
humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross (Phil

St John says little about the other two people being crucified, perhaps because
the Synoptic Gospels had already spoken about them (see notes on Lk 23:39-43).

19-22. The “title” was the technical term then used in Roman law to indicate the
grounds on which the person was being punished. It was usually written on a
board prominently displayed, summarizing the official document which was for-
warded to the legal archives in Rome. This explains why, when the chief priests
ask Pilate to change the wording of the inscription, the procurator firmly refuses
to do so: the sentence, once dictated, was irrevocable: that is what he means
when he says, “What I have written I have written.” In the case of Christ, this title
written in different languages proclaims his universal kingship, for it could be read
by people from all over the world who had come to celebrate the Passover — thus
confirming our Lord’s words: “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and
for this I have come into the world” (Jn 18:37).

In establishing the feast of Christ the King, Pope Pius XI explained: “He is said
to reign ‘in the minds of men’, both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and
the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is Truth itself and it is from him
that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills
of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the holy
will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free will
as to incite us to the most noble endeavors. He is King of our hearts, too, by rea-
son of his ‘charity which surpasseth all knowledge’, and his mercy and kindness
which draw all men to him; for there never was, nor ever will be a man loved so
much and so universally as Jesus Christ” (Pius XI, “Quas Primas”).

23-24. And so the prophecy of Psalm 22 is fulfilled which describes accurately
the sufferings of the Messiah: “They divide my garments among them, and for
my raiment they cast lots” (v. 18). The Fathers have seen this seamless tunic a
symbol of the unity of the Church (cf. St Augustine, “In Ioann. Evang.”, 118, 4).

25. Whereas the Apostles, with the exception of St John, abandon Jesus in the
hour of his humiliation, these pious women, who had followed him during his pub-
lic life (cf. Lk 8:2-3) now stay with their Master as he dies on the cross (cf. note
on Mt 27:55-56).

Bl. John Paul II explains that our Lady’s faithfulness was shown in four ways: first,
in her generous desire to do all that God wanted of her (cf. Lk 1:34); second, in
her total acceptance of God’s Will (cf. Lk 1:46f); third, in the consistency between
her life and the commitment of faith which she made; and finally, in her withstan-
ding this test. “And only a consistency that lasts throughout the whole of life can
be called faithfulness. Mary’s ‘fiat’ in the Annunciation finds its fullness in the si-
lent ‘fiat’ that she repeats at the foot of the Cross” (Homily in Mexico Cathedral,
26 January 1979).

The Church has always recognized the dignity of women and their important role
in salvation history. It is enough to recall the veneration which from the earliest
times the Christian people have had for the Mother of Christ, the Woman “par ex-
cellence” and the most sublime and most privileged creature ever to come from
the hands of God. Addressing a special message to women, the Second Vati-
can Council said, among other things: “Women in trial, who stand upright at the
foot of the cross like Mary, you who so often in history have given to men the
strength to battle unto the very end and to give witness to the point of martyrdom,
aid them now still once more to retain courage in their great undertakings, while
at the same time maintaining patience and an esteem for humble beginnings”
(Vatican II, “Message to Women”, 8 December 1965).

26-27. “The spotless purity of John’s whole life makes him strong before the
Cross. The other apostles fly from Golgotha: he, with the Mother of Christ, re-
mains. Don’t forget that purity strengthens and invigorates the character” (St. J.
Escriva, “The Way”, 144).

Our Lord’s gesture in entrusting his Blessed Mother to the disciple’s care, has a
dual meaning. For one thing it expresses his filial love for the Virgin Mary. St Au-
gustine sees it as a lesson Jesus gives us on how to keep the fourth command-
ment: “Here is a lesson in morals. He is doing what he tells us to do and, like a
good Teacher, he instructs his own by example, that it is the duty of good chil-
dren to take care of their parents; as though the wood on which his dying mem-
bers were fixed were also the chair of the teaching Master” (St Augustine, “In
Ioann. Evang.”, 119, 2).

Our Lord’s words also declare that Mary is our Mother: “The Blessed Virgin also
advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her
Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring
with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, associating herself with
his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of
this victim who was born of her. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus
dying on the cross as a mother to his disciple” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”,

All Christians, who are represented in the person of John, are children of Mary.
By giving us his Mother to be our Mother, Christ demonstrates his love for his
own to the end (cf. Jn 13:1). Our Lady’s acceptance of John as her son shows
her motherly care for us: “the Son of God, and your Son, from the Cross indica-
ted a man to you, Mary, and said: ‘Behold, your son’ (Jn 19:26). And in that man
he entrusted to you every person, he entrusted everyone to you. And you, who
at the moment of the Annunciation, concentrated the whole program of your life
in those simple words: ‘Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me ac-
cording to your word’ (Lk 1:38): embrace everyone, draw close to everyone, seek
everyone out with motherly care. Thus is accomplished what the last Council
said about your presence in the mystery of Christ and the Church. In a wonderful
way you are always found in the mystery of Christ, your only Son, because you
are present wherever men and women, his brothers and sisters, are present,
wherever the Church is present” (Bl. John Paul II, “Homily in the Basilica of Gua-
dalupe”, 27 January 1979).

“John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, brought Mary into his home, into his life.
Spiritual writers have seen these words of the Gospel as an invitation to all Chris-
tians to bring Mary into their lives. Mary certainly wants us to invoke her, to ap-
proach her confidently, to appeal to her as our mother, asking her to ‘show that
you are our mother”’ (St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing By”, 140).

Bl. John Paul II constantly treats our Lady as his Mother. In bidding farewell to
the Virgin of Czestochowa he prayed in this way: “Our Lady of the Bright Moun-
tain, Mother of the Church! Once more I consecrate myself to you ‘in your mater-
nal slavery of love’. “Totus tuus”! I am all yours! I consecrate to you the whole
Church—everywhere and to the ends of the earth! I consecrate to you humanity;
I consecrate to you all men and women, my brothers and sisters. All peoples
and all nations. I consecrate to you Europe and all the continents. I consecrate
to you Rome and Poland, united, through your servant, by a fresh bond of love.
Mother, accept us! Mother, do not abandon us! Mother, be our guide!” (”Fare-
well Address” at Jasna Gora Shrine, 6 June 1979).

28-29. This was foretold in the Old Testament: “They gave me poison for food,
and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink” (Ps 69:21). This does not mean
that they gave Jesus vinegar to increase his suffering; it was customary to offer
victims of crucifixion water mixed with vinegar to relieve their thirst. In addition to
the natural dehydration Jesus was suffering, we can see in his thirst an expres-
sion of his burning desire to do his Father’s will and to save a souls: “On the
Cross he cried out “Sitio”!, ‘I thirst’. He thirsts for us, for our love, for our souls
and for all the souls we ought to be bringing to him along the way of the Cross,
which is the way to immortality and heavenly glory” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of
God”, 202).

30. Jesus, nailed on the cross, dies to atone for all the sins and vileness of man.
Despite his sufferings he dies serenely, majestically, bowing his head now that he
has accomplished the mission entrusted to him. “Who can sleep when he wishes
to, as Jesus died when he wished to? Who can lay aside his clothing when he wi-
shes to, as he put off the flesh when he chose to?... What must be hope or fear to
find his power when he comes in judgment, if it can be seen to be so great at the
moment of his death!” (St Augustine, “In loann. Evang.”, 119, 6).

“Let us meditate on our Lord, wounded from head to foot out of love for us. Using
a phrase which approaches the truth, although it does not express its full reality,
we can repeat the words of an ancient writer: ‘The body of Christ is a portrait in
pain’. At the first sight of Christ bruised and broken — just a lifeless body taken
down from the cross and given to his Mother — at the sight of Jesus destroyed in
this way, we might have thought he had failed utterly. Where are the crowds that
once followed him, where is the kingdom he foretold? But this is victory, not defeat.
We are nearer the resurrection than ever before; we are going to see the glory
which he has won with his obedience” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing By”, 95).

31-33. Jesus dies on the Preparation day of the Passover — the “Parasceve” —
that is, the eve, when the paschal lambs were officially sacrificed in the Temple.
By stressing this, the evangelist implies that Christ’s sacrifice took the place of
the sacrifices of the Old Law and inaugurated the New Alliance in his blood (cf.
Heb 9:12).

The Law of Moses required that the bodies should be taken down before nightfall
(Deut 21:22-23); this is why Pilate is asked to have their legs broken, to bring on
death and allow them to be buried before it gets dark, particularly since the next
day is the feast of the Passover.

On the date of Jesus’ death see “The Dates of the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ”
in “The Navarre Bible: St Mark” pp. 48ff.

34. The outflow of blood and water has a natural explanation. Probably the water
was an accumulation of liquid in the lungs due to Jesus’ intense sufferings.

As on other occasions, the historical events narrated in the fourth Gospel are la-
den with meaning. St Augustine and Christian tradition see the sacrament and
the Church itself flowing from Jesus’ open side: “Here was opened wide the door
of life, from which the sacraments of the Church have flowed out, without which
there is no entering in unto life which is true life. [...] Here the second Adam with
bowed head slept upon the cross, that thence a wife might be formed of him, flo-
wing from his side while he slept. O death, by which the dead come back to life!
is there anything purer than this blood, any wound more healing!” (St Augustine,
“In Ioann. Evang.”, 120, 2).

The Second Vatican Council, for its part, teaches: “The Church—that is, the king-
dom of Christ—already present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God
in the world. The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood
and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus (Vatican II, “Lu-
men Gentium”, 3).

“Jesus on the cross, with his heart overflowing with love for men, is such an elo-
quent commentary on the value of people and things that words only get in the
way. People, their happiness and their life, are so important that the very Son of
God gave himself to redeem and cleanse and raise them up” (St. J. Escriva,
“Christ is Passing By”, 165).

35. St John’s Gospel presents itself as a truthful witness of the events of our
Lord’s life and of their spiritual and doctrinal significance. From the words of John
the Baptist at the outset of Jesus’ public ministry (1:19) to the final paragraph of
the Gospel (21:24-25), everything forms part of a testimony to the sublime pheno-
menon of the Word of Life made Man. Here the evangelist explicitly states that
he was an eyewitness (cf. also Jn 20:30-31; 1 Jn 1:1-3).

36. This quotation refers to the precept of the Law that no bone of the paschal
lamb should be broken (cf. Ex 12:46): again St John’s Gospel is telling, us that
Jesus is the true paschal Lamb who takes away the sins of the world (cf. Jn 1:29).

37. The account of the Passion concludes with a quotation from Zechariah (12:10)
foretelling the salvation resulting from the mysterious suffering and death of a re-
deemer. The evangelist thereby evokes the salvation wrought by Jesus Christ who,
nailed to the cross, has fulfilled God’s promise of redemption (cf. Jn 12:32). Every-
one who looks upon him with faith receives the effects of his Passion. Thus, the
good thief, looking at Christ on the cross, recognized his kingship, placed his
trust in him and received the promise of heaven (Cf. Lk 23:42-43).

In the liturgy of Good Friday the Church invites us to contemplate and adore the
cross: “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which was nailed the salvation of the
world”, and from the earliest times of the Church the Crucifix has been the sign
reminding Christians of the supreme point of Christ’s love, when he died on the
Cross and freed us from eternal death.

“Your Crucifix. — As a Christian, you should always carry your Crucifix with you.
And place it on your desk. And kiss it before going to bed and when you wake
up: and when your poor body rebels against your soul, kiss it again” (St. J. Es-
criva, “The Way”, 302).

38-39. Our Lord’s sacrifice produces its firstfruits: people who were previously
afraid now boldly confess themselves disciples of Christ and attend to his dead
Body with exquisite refinement and generosity. The evangelist mentions that Jo-
seph of Arimathea and Nicodemus used a mixture of myrrh and aloes in lavish
amount. Myrrh is a very expensive aromatic resin, and aloes a juice extracted
from the leaves of certain plants. They were used as an expression of veneration
for the dead.

40. The Fourth Gospel adds to the information on the burial given by the Synop-
tics. Sacred Scripture did not specify what form burial should take, with the result
that the Jews followed the custom of the time. After piously taking our Lord’s body
down from the cross, they probably washed it carefully (cf. Acts 9:37), perfumed
it and wrapped it in a linen cloth, covering the head with a sudarium or napkin (cf.
Jn 20:5-6). But because of the imminence of the sabbath rest, they were unable
to anoint the body with balsam, which the women planned to do once the sab-
bath was past (cf. Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1). Jesus himself, when he praised Mary for
anointing him at Bethany, had foretold in a veiled way that his body would not be
embalmed (cf. note on Jn 12:7).

41. Many of the Fathers have probed the mystic meaning of the garden — usually
to point out that Christ, who was arrested in the Garden of Olives and buried in
another garden, has redeemed us superabundantly from that first sin which was
committed also in a garden, the Garden of Paradise. The comment that Jesus
was the only one to be buried in this new tomb meant that there would be no
doubt that it was he and not another that rose from the dead. St Augustine also
observes that “just as in the womb of the Virgin Mary none was conceived before
him, none after him, so in this tomb none before him, none after was buried” (”In
Ioann. Evang.,” 120, 5).

Among the truths of Christian doctrine to do with Christ’s death and burial are
these: “one, that the body of Christ was in no degree corrupted in the sepulchre,
according to the prediction of the Prophet, ‘Thou wilt not give thy holy one to see
corruption’ (Ps 16:10; Acts 2:31); the other... that burial, passion and death apply
to Christ Jesus not as God but as man, yet they are also attributed to God, since,
as is clear, they are predicated with propriety of that Person who is at once per-
fect God and perfect man” (”St Pius V Catechism”, 1, 5, 9).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

6 posted on 04/13/2017 9:56:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: Red.

There is no Mass today. The readings given here are used in the afternoon celebration of the Lord's Passion.

First reading
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 ©
See, my servant will prosper,
he shall be lifted up, exalted, rise to great heights.
As the crowds were appalled on seeing him
– so disfigured did he look
that he seemed no longer human –
so will the crowds be astonished at him,
and kings stand speechless before him;
for they shall see something never told
and witness something never heard before:
‘Who could believe what we have heard,
and to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?’
Like a sapling he grew up in front of us,
like a root in arid ground.
Without beauty, without majesty we saw him,
no looks to attract our eyes;
a thing despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering,
a man to make people screen their faces;
he was despised and we took no account of him.
And yet ours were the sufferings he bore,
ours the sorrows he carried.
But we, we thought of him as someone punished,
struck by God, and brought low.
Yet he was pierced through for our faults,
crushed for our sins.
On him lies a punishment that brings us peace,
and through his wounds we are healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each taking his own way,
and the Lord burdened him
with the sins of all of us.
Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly,
he never opened his mouth,
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house,
like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers
never opening its mouth.
By force and by law he was taken;
would anyone plead his cause?
Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living;
for our faults struck down in death.
They gave him a grave with the wicked,
a tomb with the rich,
though he had done no wrong
and there had been no perjury in his mouth.
The Lord has been pleased to crush him with suffering.
If he offers his life in atonement,
he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life
and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.
His soul’s anguish over
he shall see the light and be content.
By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,
taking their faults on himself.
Hence I will grant whole hordes for his tribute,
he shall divide the spoil with the mighty,
for surrendering himself to death
and letting himself be taken for a sinner,
while he was bearing the faults of many
and praying all the time for sinners.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 30(31):2,6,12-13,15-17,25 ©
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, set me free,
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
  It is you who will redeem me, Lord.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In the face of all my foes
  I am a reproach,
an object of scorn to my neighbours
  and of fear to my friends.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Those who see me in the street
  run far away from me.
I am like a dead man, forgotten in men’s hearts,
  like a thing thrown away.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
But as for me, I trust in you, Lord;
  I say: ‘You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me
  from the hands of those who hate me.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine on your servant.
  Save me in your love.’
Be strong, let your heart take courage,
  all who hope in the Lord.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Second reading
Hebrews 4:14-16,5:7-9 ©
Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.
  During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.

Gospel Acclamation Phil2:8-9
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Christ was humbler yet,
even to accepting death, death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name which is above all names.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel John 18:1-19:42 ©
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ
Key: N. Narrator. Jesus. O. Other single speaker. C. Crowd, or more than one speaker.
  N. Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kedron valley. There was a garden there, and he went into it with his disciples. Judas the traitor knew the place well, since Jesus had often met his disciples there, and he brought the cohort to this place together with a detachment of guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees, all with lanterns and torches and weapons. Knowing everything that was going to happen to him, Jesus then came forward and said,
   Who are you looking for?
  N. They answered,
  C. Jesus the Nazarene.
  N. He said,
   I am he.
  N. Now Judas the traitor was standing among them. When Jesus said, ‘I am he’, they moved back and fell to the ground. He asked them a second time,
   Who are you looking for?
  N. They said,
  C. Jesus the Nazarene.
  N. Jesus replied,
   I have told you that I am he. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go.
  N. This was to fulfil the words he had spoken, ‘Not one of those you gave me have I lost.’
  Simon Peter, who carried a sword, drew it and wounded the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter,
   Put your sword back in its scabbard; am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?
  N. The cohort and its captain and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him. They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had suggested to the Jews, ‘It is better for one man to die for the people.’
  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, but Peter stayed outside the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who was keeping the door and brought Peter in. The maid on duty at the door said to Peter,
  O. Aren’t you another of that man’s disciples?
  N. He answered,
  O. I am not.
  N. 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.
  The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 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. But why ask me? Ask my hearers what I taught: they know what I said.
  N. At these words, one of the guards standing by gave Jesus a slap in the face, saying,
  O. Is that the way to answer the high priest?
  N. Jesus replied,
   If there is something wrong in what I said, point it out; but if there is no offence in it, why do you strike me?
  N. Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.
  As Simon Peter stood there warming himself, someone said to him,
  O. Aren’t you another of his disciples?
  N. He denied it, saying,
  O. I am not.
  N. One of the high priest’s servants, a relation of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
  O. Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?
  N. Again Peter denied it; and at once a cock crew.
  They then led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was now morning. They did not go into the Praetorium themselves or they would be defiled and unable to eat the passover. So Pilate came outside to them and said,
  O. What charge do you bring against this man?
  N. They replied,
  C. If he were not a criminal, we should not be handing him over to you.
  N. Pilate said,
  O. Take him yourselves, and try him by your own Law.
  N. The Jews answered,
  C. We are not allowed to put a man to death.
  N. This was to fulfil the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way he was going to die.
  So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him, and asked,
  O. Are you the king of the Jews?
  N. Jesus replied,
   Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?
  N. Pilate answered,
  O. Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?
  N. 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. But my kingdom is not of this kind.
  N. Pilate said,
  O. So you are a king, then?
  N. Jesus answered,
   It is you who say it. Yes, 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.
  N. Pilate said,
  O. Truth? What is that?
  N. and with that he went out again to the Jews and said,
  O. I find no case against him. But according to a custom of yours I should release one prisoner at the Passover; would you like me, then, to release the king of the Jews?
  N. At this they shouted:
  C. Not this man, but Barabbas.
  N. Barabbas was a brigand.
  Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him and saying,
  C. Hail, king of the Jews!
  N. and they slapped him in the face.
  Pilate came outside again and said to them,
  O. Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case.
  N. Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said,
  O. Here is the man.
  N. When they saw him the chief priests and the guards shouted,
  C. Crucify him! Crucify him!
  N. Pilate said,
  O. Take him yourselves and crucify him: I can find no case against him.
  N. The Jews replied,
  C. We have a Law, and according to that Law he ought to die, because he has claimed to be the Son of God.
  N. When Pilate heard them say this his fears increased. Re-entering the Praetorium, he said to Jesus
  O. Where do you come from?
  N. But Jesus made no answer. Pilate then said to him,
  O. Are you refusing to speak to me? Surely you know I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?
  N. Jesus replied,
   You would have no power over me if it had not been given you from above; that is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater guilt.
  N. From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted,
  C. If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.
  N. Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated himself on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha. It was Passover Preparation Day, about the sixth hour. Pilate said to the Jews,
  O. Here is your king.
  N. They said,
  C. Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!
  N. Pilate said,
  O. Do you want me to crucify your king?
  N. The chief priests answered,
  C. We have no king except Caesar.
  N. So in the end Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
  They then took charge of Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out of the city to the place of the skull or, as it was called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him with two others, one on either side with Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran: ‘Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.’ This notice was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city, and the writing was in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate,
  C. You should not write ‘King of the Jews,’ but ‘This man said: “I am King of the Jews.”’
  N. Pilate answered,
  O. What I have written, I have written.
  N. 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; so they said to one another,
  C. Instead of tearing it, let’s throw dice to decide who is to have it.
  N. In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled:
  They shared out my clothing among them.
  They cast lots for my clothes.
This is exactly what the soldiers did.
  Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother,
   Woman, this is your son.
  N. Then to the disciple he said,
   This is your mother.
  N. And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.
  After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said:
   I am thirsty.
  N. A jar full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said,
   It is accomplished;
  N. and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.
  Here all kneel and pause for a short time.
  It was Preparation Day, and to prevent 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. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it – trustworthy evidence, and he knows he speaks the truth – and he gives it so that you may believe as well. Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture:
  Not one bone of his will be broken;
and again, in another place scripture says:
  They will look on the one whom they have pierced.
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. 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. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom. 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. Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.

7 posted on 04/13/2017 9:58:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray for Pope Francis.

8 posted on 04/13/2017 10:02:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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It's time to kneel down and pray for our nation (Sacramental Marriage)
9 posted on 04/13/2017 10:02:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 04/13/2017 10:03:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

11 posted on 04/13/2017 10:03:51 PM PDT by Bogie
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
12 posted on 04/13/2017 10:05:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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7 Powerful Ways to Pray for Christians Suffering in the Middle East
13 posted on 04/13/2017 10:06:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray the Rosary!

Is This Bishop Right about the Rosary Conquering Boko Haram? [Catholic Caucus]
Why Boko Haram and ISIS Target Women
Report reveals scale of Boko Haram violence inflicted on Nigerian Catholics
Military evacuating girls, women rescued from Boko Haram
Echos of Lepanto Nigerian bishop says rosary will bring down Boko Harm
After vision of Christ, Nigerian bishop says rosary will bring down Boko Haram (Catholic Caucus)
Nigerian Bishop Says Christ Showed Him How to Beat Islamic Terror Group

14 posted on 04/13/2017 10:06:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

15 posted on 04/13/2017 10:08:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2. The Apostles Creed: I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

6. Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

The Mysteries of the Rosary By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary. The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

(Tuesdays and Fridays)

1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

16 posted on 04/13/2017 10:09:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Michael the Archangel


St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

17 posted on 04/13/2017 10:13:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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April Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The Church traditionally encouraged the month of April for increased devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. "The Church in the course of the centuries has introduced various forms of this Eucharistic worship which are ever increasing in beauty and helpfulness; as, for example, visits of devotion to the tabernacles, even every day; Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; solemn processions, especially at the time of Eucharistic Congresses, which pass through cities and villages; and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament publicly exposed . . . These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are re-echoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven, which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb 'Who was slain.'" --Pope Pius XII

I adore Thee, 0 Jesus, true God and true Man, here present in the Holy Eucharist, humbly kneeling before Thee and united in spirit with all the faithful on earth and all the blessed in heaven. In deepest gratitude for so great a blessing, I love Thee, my Jesus, with my whole heart, for Thou art all perfect and all worthy of love.

Give me grace nevermore in any way to offend Thee, and grant that I, being refreshed by Thy Eucharistic presence here on earth, may be found worthy to come to the enjoyment with Mary of Thine eternal and everblessed presence in heaven. Amen.

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art really and corporally present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I adore Thee here present from the very depths of my heart, and I worship Thy sacred presence with all possible humility. O my soul, what joy to have Jesus Christ always with us, and to be able to speak to Him, heart to heart, with all confidence. Grant, O Lord, that I, having adored Thy divine Majesty here on earth in this wonderful Sacrament, may be able to adore it eternally in Heaven. Amen.

O most sacred, most loving heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still. Now as then Thou sayest, "With desire I have desired." I worship Thee, then, with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will. O make my heart beat with Thy heart. Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness. So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it; but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace. --Cardinal Newman

I believe Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament, O Jesus. I love Thee and desire Thee. Come into my heart. I embrace Thee, O never leave me. I beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus, may the burning and most sweet power of Thy love absorb my mind, that I may die through love of Thy love, who wast graciously pleased to die through love of my love. --St. Francis of Assisi

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, well known in connection with devotion to the Sacred Herat of Jesus, led the way in making reparation to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the coldness and ingratitude of men. This prayer of hers can become our own as we attempt to make amends for our own and others' neglect of the great Sacrament of His love, the Eucharist.
O kind and merciful savior, from my heart I earnestly desire to return Thee love for love. My greatest sorrow is that Thou art not loved by men, and, in particular, that my own heart is so cold, so selfish, so ungrateful. Keenly aware of my own weakness and poverty, I trust that Thy own grace will enable me to offer Thee an act of pure love. And I wish to offer Thee this act of love in reparation for the coldness and neglect that are shown to Thee in the sacrament of Thy love by Thy creatures. O Jesus, my supreme good, I love Thee, not for the sake of the reward which Thou hast promised to those who love Thee, but purely for Thyself. I love Thee above all things that can be loved, above all pleasures, and above myself and all that is not Thee, promising in the presence of heaven and earth that I will live and die purely and simply in Thy holy love, and that if to love Thee thus I must endure persecution and suffering I am completely satisfied, and I will ever say with Saint Paul: Nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God." 0 Jesus, supreme master of all hearts, I love Thee, I adore Thee, I praise Thee, I thank Thee, because I am now all Thine own. Rule over me, and transform my soul into the likeness of Thyself, so that it may bless and glorify Thee forever in the abode of the saints.
--Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

My Lord, I offer Thee myself in turn as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Thou hast died for me, and I in turn make myself over to Thee. I am not my own. Thou hast bought me; I will by my own act and deed complete the purchase. My wish is to be separated from everything of this world; to cleanse myself simply from sin; to put away from me even what is innocent, if used for its own sake, and not for Thine. I put away reputation and honor, and influence, and power, for my praise and strength shall be in Thee. Enable me to carry out what I profess. Amen. --Cardinal Newman

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy,  Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy,  Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us,  Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

O Living Bread, Who from Heaven descended, have mercy on us.
Hidden God and Savior, have mercy on us.
Grain of the elect, have mercy on us.
Vine sprouting forth virgins, have mercy on us.
Wholesome Bread and delicacy of kings, have mercy on us.
Perpetual sacrifice, have mercy on us.
Clean oblation, have mercy on us.
Lamb without spot, have mercy on us.
Most pure feast, have mercy on us.
Food of Angels, have mercy on us.
Hidden manna, have mercy on us.
Memorial of God's wonders, have mercy on us.
Supersubstantial Bread, have mercy on us.
Word made flesh, dwelling in us, have mercy on us.
Holy Victim, have mercy on us.

O Cup of blessing, have mercy on us.
O Mystery of faith, have mercy on us.
O Most high and venerable Sacrament, have mercy on us.
O Most holy of all sacrifices, have mercy on us.
O True propitiatory Sacrifice for the living and the dead, have mercy on us.
O Heavenly antidote, by which we are preserved from sin, have mercy on us.
O stupendous miracle above all others, have mercy on us.
O most holy Commemoration of the Passison of Christ, have mercy on us.
O Gift transcending all abundance, have mercy on us.
O extraordinary memorial of Divine love, have mercy on us.
O affluence of Divine largess, have mercy on us.
O most holy and august mystery, have mercy on us.

Medicine of immortality, have mercy on us.
Awesome and life-giving Sacrament, have mercy on us.
Unbloody Sacrifice, have mercy on us.
Food and guest, have mercy on us.
Sweetest banquet at which the Angels serve, have mercy on us.
Bond of love, have mercy on us.
Offering and oblation, have mercy on us.
Spiritual sweetness tasted in its own foutain, have mercy on us.
Refreshment of holy souls, have mercy on us.
Viaticum of those dying in the Lord, have mercy on us.
Pledge of future glory, have mercy on us.

Be merciful, spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.

From the unworthy reception of Thy Body and Blood, deliver us, O Lord.
From passions of the flesh, deliver us, O Lord.
From the concupiscence of the eyes, deliver us, O Lord.
From pride, deliver us, O Lord.
From every occasion of sin, deliver us, O Lord.
Through that desire, with which Thou desiredst to eat the Passover with Thy disciples, deliver us, O Lord.
Through that profound humility with which Thou didst wash Thy disciples' feet, deliver us, O Lord.
Through that most ardent love, with which Thou instituted this Divine Sacrament,
deliver us, O Lord.
Through the most precious Blood, which Thou hast left for us upon the altar, deliver us, O Lord.
Through those Five Wounds of Thy most holy Body, which was given up for us, deliver us, O Lord.

Sinners we are, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously preserve and augment the faith, reverence, and devotion in us towards this admirable Sacrament, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously lead us through the true confession of we beseech Thee, hear us.
our sins to a frequent reception of the Eucharist, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously free us from every heresy, falsehood, and blindness of the heart, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously impart to us the Heavenly and precious fruits of this most Holy Sacrament, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously protect and strengthen us in our hour of death with this Heavenly Viaticum, we beseech Thee, hear us.

O Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us.
 Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
Christ, hear us, Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
Our Father . . .
Hail Mary . . .

V. Thou didst furnish them with Bread from Heaven, Alleluia.
R. Having in it every delight.

Let us pray.

O God, Who under a marvelous Sacrament has left us a memorial of Thy Passion; grant us; we beseech Thee; so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within us the fruit of Thy Redemption. Thou, Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

From the Manuale Sacerdotum, P. Josephus Schneider, S. J., 1867

[Catholic Caucus] Lenten Series 2015: The Blessed Eucharist
The Eucharist: Is the Real Presence Biblical?
Our Lady of the Holy Eucharist
Demons Believe and Tremble: A Reflection on the Theft of the Eucharist by Satanists
Finding My Way Home: The Eucharist drew me back [Johnnie Bernhard]
Bishop Paprocki: I Direct the Eucharist be Placed in the Center of the Sanctuary
Victory at Harvard: Satan defeated, the Eucharist enthroned (satanist reactions)
The Real Presence: The Eucharist and Chastity [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Faith in the Life of a Priest [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Eucharistic Devotion and the Real Presence [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: The Holy Eucharist is the Whole Christ [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Eucharist as Presence-Sacrament [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Understanding the Eucharist, The Greatest Need in Church Today [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus'
The Real Presence: Living in the Presence of God [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Real Presence: The Eucharist as the Living Christ [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Christ in the Eucharist, Introduction to the Eucharist,[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Christ in the Eucharist, The Last Supper, [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Eucharist: Foundation of the Christian Family(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
A Beautiful Summary of Eucharistic theology in an antiphon by Aquinas
Christ in the Eucharist (Ecumenical)
Canon Law and Consecrating the Eucharist (Catholic Caucus)
The Eucharist -- John 6
Catholicism and Fundamentalism - The Eucharist
On the Giving and Receiving of Holy Communion: Some norms to recall [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Word of the Day: HOLY COMMUNION, 05-19-12
Following the Truth: Recognizing Jesus In The Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
The Fourth Cup
The Last Supper and the Forgiveness of Sins
Bread from Heaven: The Eucharist Sustains Us and Lifts Us Up [Catholic Caucus]
Essays for Lent: The Eucharist
Essays for Lent: The Mass
Excerpt from: The Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Divorced Catholics and the Eucharist
Following The Truth: So, You Just Received Jesus...Now What? (Catholic or Open)
The Coptic Orthodox doctrine of the Eucharistic sacrifice

Auxiliary Bishop Says Communion In the Hand is a Calvinist Novelty [Ecumenical]
How Something We Consider Solidly Traditional was Once Thought Progressive (Catholic)
Transubsta ntiation: Change We Can Believe In
Diocese limits Communion under both kinds, laments excessive extraordinary ministers
Phoenix Diocese to adopt new norms for Holy Communion [Catholic Caucus]
What Does GIRM 160 for the USA Really Say?
Lift the City - a Catholic Eucharistic flash mob (Catholic Caucus)
Justin Martyr: 1st apology: Sacraments, Eucharist {Catholic/Orthodox caucus}
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture [Catholic Caucus]
How the Mass is a sacrifice, and why so many deny this doctrine (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
[Ecumenical] Lent through Eastertide - Divine Mercy Diary Exerpts: Holy Communion and the Eucharist
Vatican consultant responds to Cardinal Mahoney 'Christ gave Judas communion' argument
New book connects the Eucharist with its Jewish roots
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST (sections 3 only) {Ecumenical Thread}
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST (sections 1&2 only) {Ecumenical Thread}
The Perfect Sacrifice: When Heaven Comes to Earth [Catholic Caucus]
The Real Presence [Church Fathers on the Holy Eucharist, cont'd ]
Is the Mass a Sacrifice? (Once and for all, Heb 9-10) {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}
Radio Replies Second Volume - Holy Communion
The Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}

Radio Replies Second Volume - The Sacrifice of the Mass
Radio Replies Second Volume - Holy Eucharist
How Do We Prepare Well for the Coming of the Lord
Thanksgiving, the Prophets and the Eucharist
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Pope of a Eucharistic Springtime
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. As we Worship, So we Believe, So we Live
[CATHOLIC/ ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 5th Luminous Mystery: Institution of the Eucharist (Patristic Rosary)
Wounded in the house of them that loved Me
[CATHOLIC / ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Eucharist is Jesus' greatest gift to us, teaches Pope Benedict XVI
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] What makes Jesus present in the Eucharist: broadening one's view.
The Catholic Mass in 155 A.D.
Pope's Q--A at End of Priestly Year Pt 4 "We Celebrate,..Meditate..on Eucharist" [Catholic Caucus]
Sacrifice, Transubstantiation, and Real Presence (Pope Benedict XVI) [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Eucharist is the Heart of God
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS]'Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity': The Miracle and Gift of the Most Holy Eucharist
A Secular Eucharist
Paul and the Eucharist
Centered in the Eucharist
Centered in the Eucharist
Who Can Receive Communion? (Catholic Caucus)

Respect For Christ In The Eucharist - One Priest's Perspective
From The Gospel To Life: The Disciples and the Eucharist
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: The Eucharist: The Lord's Supper
THE PRIEST IN THE COMMUNION RITES - Liturgy Prepares for Reception of the Eucharist
Novena with Saint Peter Julian Eymard for Prayer in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament [Prayer]
Boston Cardinal: Church Needs 'Clear' Injunction Denying Pro-Abortion Pols Communion
Benedict XVI calls priests to protect communion between God and man
Eucharist: Holy Sacrifice
Fr. Men: The Eucharist [Cath-Orth caucus]
Catholics in Costa Rica outraged by disrespect toward Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture
St Anthony and the Real Presence
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace: The Eucharist
EWTN - October 29 - 8PM - Fr. Antoine and the Eucharist
All Should Offer Their Bodies and Blood at Mass (Father Cantalamessa) [Catholic Caucus]
The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium
Radio Replies First Volume - Holy Eucharist
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture

A Few Texts From Saint Cyril of Jerusalem on the Eucharist
Catholic Devotional: On Visiting Jesus Christ In the Blessed Sacrament
The Early Christians Believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Focus on the Real Presence
A Chinese Girl-True Story That Inspired Bishop Fulton Sheen- Eucharist Adoration (Catholic Caucus)
Doubting Thomases(Eucharist); the Pitfalls of Folly(Catholic Caucus)
Rainbow sash-wearers prohibited from receiving [the Eucharist at Cathedral of St. Paul]
The significance of Holy Thursday (institution of the Eucharist and priesthood)
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas THE HOLY EUCHARIST
Holy Communion and Non-Catholics (with a Quiz!)
Beginning Catholic: The Eucharist: In the Presence of the Lord Himself [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Receiving the Lord in Holy Communion [Ecumenical]
Faithful Invited to Follow Pope, Adore Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
Christmas and the Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Eucharist kneeling request sparks controversy [Catholic Caucus]
Eucharist vs. the Word (which is more important in the Catholic Church)
Christ the Miracle Worker in the Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
Imitating Christ in the Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Eucharist - the Lord's Sacrifice, Banquet and Presence (OPEN)

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18 posted on 04/13/2017 10:14:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

April, 2017

Pope's Intention

Young People, That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.

19 posted on 04/13/2017 10:15:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Good Friday
Commentary of the day
Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop
Sermon 38 ; PL 57, 341s ; CCL 23, 149f

The sign of salvation

In his Passion the Lord took upon himself all the misdeeds of humankind that afterwards there might be nothing to bring us harm. The cross is therefore a great mystery, and if we try to understand it, the whole world is saved. When sailors go to sea they first of all set up the pole of the mast and spread the sail so that the ocean may be opened out to them. In this way they make the shape of the Lord’s cross and, thanks to this sign of our Lord, they securely reach the harbor of salvation and escape the peril of death. For the sail spread to the mast is in fact the image of this divine sign, just as Christ has been raised up on the cross. Now this is why, because of the confidence motivated by this mystery, these men do not worry about gusts of wind and they arrive safely at their desired harbor. In the same way, just as the Church cannot stand without the cross, so a ship is weakened without its mast. The devil torments it and the wind strikes the ship. But when the sign of the cross is raised up then the devil’s injustice is repulsed, the squalls fall at once…

A farmer, too, does not start working without the sign of the cross. When he assembles the parts of his wagon he imitates the shape of a cross… The sky, with its four directions, East, West, South and North, is also arranged like an image of this sign. Man’s form itself represents a cross when he raises his arms; in our bodies we proclaim the Lord’s Passion, especially when we pray with uplifted hands… This was how the holy man, Moses, became victorious when he made war on the Amalekites, not with weapons but with his hands lifted up toward God (Ex 17:11)…

Thus, with this sign of the Lord the sea is opened, the land cultivated, the skies governed, men are saved. And I would even affirm that with this sign of the Lord the depths of the dwelling-places of the dead lie open. For the man Jesus, our Lord, who bore the true cross, was buried in the earth and that earth, which he had worked deeply, which he had broken, so to speak, in every part, made all the dead it was holding back to spring forth.

20 posted on 04/13/2017 10:23:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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