Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Readings, 04-10-20, Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
Posted on 04/09/2020 8:27:44 PM PDT by Salvation
See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him--
so marred was his look beyond human semblance
and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man--
so shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
for those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.
Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by people,
a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
one of those from whom people hide their faces,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.
Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.
Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people,
a grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers,
though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood.
But the LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.
If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.
Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked;
and he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses.
R. (Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.
I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the LORD.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name.
Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, Whom are you looking for?
They answered him, Jesus the Nazorean.
He said to them, I AM.
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, I AM,
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
Whom are you looking for?
They said, Jesus the Nazorean.
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 priests slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slaves 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 mans 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,
Didnt 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?
Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?
I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?
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?
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 judges 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.
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.
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,
Lets 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 mothers 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.
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
 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?  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.  He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
 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.  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?  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.
 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;  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.
 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 value of suffering. In terms of content, the song is unusual in that it shows the servant 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 strangers.
The second stanza (53:1-11a) celebrates the servant?s trials, and the good effects they produce. This is spoken in the first person plural, standing for the people 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 punishment 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 suffering 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 translation of the Old Testment (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 environment, found comfort in the hope that they would emerge enhanced, just like the servant.
Jews of Palestine identified the victorious servant with the Messiah, but they reinterpreted 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 prophesied 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 transgressors, 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 Christians 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 servants face: the description is so graphic that Christian ascetical writing, with good reason, reads it as anticipating 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 body and of the spirit. [...] The Song of the SufferingServant contains a description in which it is possible, in a certain sense, to identify the stages of Christ?s Passion 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 (John Paul II, “Salvifici Doloris”, 17; cf. idem, “Dives in Misencordia”, 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 humble thought and feeling, unlike those who attack his flock. The heart of Gods majesty, 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 servants sufferings are no due to his own personal sins; they are atonement for the sins of others. The sufferings 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 involved. 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 suffering 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”. Redemption 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).
From: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Our Confidence is Based on Christ’s Priesthood
Christ Has Been Made High Priest by God the Father
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, although 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 external declaration: external confession is necessary but there must also be commitment 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 temptation, 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 Ioannam”, 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 Himself 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
powerless 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. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 7).
7-9. This brief summary of Christ’s life stresses his perfect obedience to the Father’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 prayer, the high point of which occurred in Gethsemane on the eve of his passion. The reference to
“loud cries and supplications” 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 elevated 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 greater 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 synonymous with mortal life; this is a reference to Christ’s human nature—as in the prologue to St John’s Gospel (elf. 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 nature “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’, referring 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 petitions 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 Redeemer 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 follows: “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 always 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—humility: 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 accomplished in a real and not an apparent or fictitious manner” (Theodoret of Cyrus, “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 [fervor 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 account: he wept for us, who receive the fruit of his passion” (St Thomas, “Commentary on Heb., ad loc.”).
“He was heard for his godly fear.” St John Chrysostom’s commentary is very apposite: “’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-surrender.
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 drinknor were all the Jews, for whom he prayed, converted. But it was only apparently so: in fact Christ’s prayer 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 wanted to save all mankind—but he wanted them to accept salvation freely (cf. “Commentary 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 form direct vision of the divine essence; 2) the knowledge 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 knowledge, which is why the verse says that Christ learned obedience through suffering. 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 interiorly 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’” (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) because 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 diminish his majesty. And so, havingby his obedience—dissolved man’s disobedience, 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 nature, 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 provides the answer: Christ, through his passion, achieved a special glorythe impassibility and glorification of his body. Moreover, he attained the same perfections 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 positioned 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 grace.
“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”, 628).
From: John 18:1-19:42
The Arrest of Jesus
Jesus Before Annas and Caiaphas. Peter’s Denials
 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,  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.  The maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are not you also one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.”  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 himself.
 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.  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.  Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me, what I said to them; they know what I said.”  When he had said this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?”  Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness to the wrong but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?  Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
 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.”  0ne 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?  Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed.
The Trial before Pilate: Jesus is King
 Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”  Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”  Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?”  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.”  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.”  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.  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?”  They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
The Scourging at the Pillar and the Crowning with Thorns
Pilate Hands Jesus Over
The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
 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;  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.
 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.  When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, 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 to his own home.
 After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”  A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth.  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
 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 Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body.  Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight.  They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.  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.  So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, 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 Jesus 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 (18:20-2 1) 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 happened; 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 Gethsemane, 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 Calvary. 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 authorities, 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 identifying 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? Because 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 salvation: 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 Gethsemane (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 conform to the will of God; to want the will of God; to love the will of God” ([St] J. Escriva, “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 evidenced when he confirms Peter in his mission as leader of the Apostles (cf. Jn 21:15-17).
“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 an 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: in 18:28-19:16 is the center of the five parts of his account 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 soldiers 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 again, 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: “Everyone 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 Pilate 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”; “Ohalot” treatise 7, 7) laid down that anyone who entered a Gentile or pagan house incurred 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 hem declared deserving 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 the certainly could have done, even though the Romans were in control: they were ready to stone the adulterous 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 Empire brought to bear on their side they preferred to denounce Jesus to the procurator 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 people’s wrath and ensured that Jesus would be condemned by the Roman authorities 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 nationalist, the King-Messiah was a politico-religious liberator who would obtain their freedom from Rome. The true character of Christ’s messiahship completely transcends both these concepts—as Jesus explains to the procurator, although he realizes how enormously difficult it is for Pilate to understand what Christ’s Kingship really involves.
35-36. After the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish, Jesus refused to be proclaimed king because the people were thinking in terms of an earthly 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 power were mistaken. ‘The kingdom of God does not mean food and drink but righteousness 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” (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 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, social or other evil” (John Paul II, “General Audience”, February 1979).
“If we [Christians] are trying to have Christ as our king we must consistent. We must start by giving him our heart. Not to do that and still talk about the kingdom of Christ would be completely hollow. There would be no real Christian substance 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 accusers, 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 kingship 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 people judged for the sake of truth? And has he not gone to death with people condemned for the sake of truth? Does he ever cease to be the continuous spokesman 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 history of man” (J Paul II, “Redemptor Hominis”, 12).
38-40. The outcome of the interrogation is that Pilate becomes convinced of Jesus’ 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 involve him; but the Jewish authorities are very irate. It is not easy for him to find away 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 entire 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 unrestrained affection for the innocent one who suffers, for Jesus, [...] and for all innocent 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 sacrifice” (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 20:18f).
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 exposed 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 praetorium. 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 (of. 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: “Worth 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, furrowed 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 figured 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 president, producing this pitiful figure to plead his 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 pressurizes him into 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 sovereignty 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 law.
“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”, “flagged expanse”, therefore a yard or plaza paved with flags. The Hebrew word “Gabbatha” is not the equivalent of the Greek “lithostrotos”; it means “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 implies 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 leaders 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 officially 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 wanted to copy the neighboring peoples and asked Samuel for a king (cf. I 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 designated 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 expectations, 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 dominion of Christ, they brought upon themselves that of Caesar” (St John Chrysostom, “Hom. on St John”, 83).
A similar kind of tragedy occurs when people who have been baptized and therefore 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 note on Mt 27:31 and Lk 23:26.
Christ’s decisiveness in accepting the cross is an example which we should follow 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 actions will belie your words. That way, you will never get to know the Master intimately, or love him truly. It is really important that we Christians convince ourselves of this. We are not walking with our Lord unless we are spontaneously depriving 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 extraordinary spectacle: to impiety, something to jeer at; to piety a great mystery. [...] Impiety 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 I 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 executioners 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 2:7-8).
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 forwarded 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: “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 Truthitself 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 reason 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” (Ps 22:19). 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 public life (cf. Lk 8:2-3) now stay with their Master as he dies on the cross (cf. note on Mt 27:55-56).
Pope 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 1:38); third, in the consistency between her life and the commitment of faith which she made; an finally, in her withstanding 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 silent ‘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 excellence” and the most sublime and most privileged creature ever to come from the hands of God. Addressing a special message to women, the Second Vatican 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, remains. 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 (see p. 19 above and pp. 35ff). For one thing it expresses his filial love for the Virgin Mary. St Augustine sees it as a lesson Jesus gives us on how to keep the fourth commandment: “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 children to take care of their parents; as though the wood on which his dying members 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 11, “Lumen Gentium”, 58).
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 indicated 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 according 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” (John Paul II, “Homily in the Basilica of Guadalupe”, 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 Christians to bring Mary into their lives. Mary certainly wants us to invoke her, to approach 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).
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 Mountain, Mother of the Church! Once more I consecrate myself to you ‘in your maternal 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!” (”Farewell 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 _expression 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 wishes 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, “ln 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 Passoverthe 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 laden 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, flowing from his side while he slept. 0 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 kingdom 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, “Lumen Gentium”, 3).
“Jesus on the cross, with his heart overflowing with love for men, is such an eloquent 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 phenomenon 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 redeemer. 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). Everyone 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. Escriva, “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 Joseph 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 Synoptics. 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 sabbath 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 They comment that Jesus’ being 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 perfect God and perfect man” (”St Pius V Catechism”, I 5, 9).
Liturgical Colour: Red.
There is no Mass today. The readings given here are used in the afternoon celebration of the Lord's Passion.
|Isaiah 52:13-53:12 ©|
|Psalm 30(31):2,6,12-13,15-17,25 ©|
|Hebrews 4:14-16,5:7-9 ©|
|Gospel||John 18:1-19:42 ©|
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|1.||WHEN Jesus had said these things, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, into which he entered with his disciples.||Hæc cum dixisset Jesus, egressus est cum discipulis suis trans torrentem Cedron, ubi erat hortus, in quem introivit ipse, et discipuli ejus.||ταυτα ειπων ο ιησους εξηλθεν συν τοις μαθηταις αυτου περαν του χειμαρρου των κεδρων οπου ην κηπος εις ον εισηλθεν αυτος και οι μαθηται αυτου|
|2.||And Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place; because Jesus had often resorted thither together with his disciples.||Sciebat autem et Judas, qui tradebat eum, locum : quia frequenter Jesus convenerat illuc cum discipulis suis.||ηδει δε και ιουδας ο παραδιδους αυτον τον τοπον οτι πολλακις συνηχθη [και] ο ιησους εκει μετα των μαθητων αυτου|
|3.||Judas therefore having received a band of soldiers and servants from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.||Judas ergo cum accepisset cohortem, et a pontificibus et pharisæis ministros, venit illuc cum laternis, et facibus, et armis.||ο ουν ιουδας λαβων την σπειραν και εκ των αρχιερεων και φαρισαιων υπηρετας ερχεται εκει μετα φανων και λαμπαδων και οπλων|
|4.||Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said to them: Whom seek ye?||Jesus itaque sciens omnia quæ ventura erant super eum, processit, et dixit eis : Quem quæritis ?||ιησους ουν ειδως παντα τα ερχομενα επ αυτον εξελθων ειπεν αυτοις τινα ζητειτε|
|5.||They answered him: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith to them: I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them.||Responderunt ei : Jesum Nazarenum. Dicit eis Jesus : Ego sum. Stabat autem et Judas, qui tradebat eum, cum ipsis.||απεκριθησαν αυτω ιησουν τον ναζωραιον λεγει αυτοις ο ιησους εγω ειμι ειστηκει δε και ιουδας ο παραδιδους αυτον μετ αυτων|
|6.||As soon therefore as he had said to them: I am he; they went backward, and fell to the ground.||Ut ergo dixit eis : Ego sum : abierunt retrorsum, et ceciderunt in terram.||ως ουν ειπεν αυτοις οτι εγω ειμι απηλθον εις τα οπισω και επεσον χαμαι|
|7.||Again therefore he asked them: Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.||Iterum ergo interrogavit eos : Quem quæritis ? Illi autem dixerunt : Jesum Nazarenum.||παλιν ουν αυτους επηρωτησεν τινα ζητειτε οι δε ειπον ιησουν τον ναζωραιον|
|8.||Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way.||Respondit Jesus : Dixi vobis, quia ego sum : si ergo me quæritis, sinite hos abire.||απεκριθη ιησους ειπον υμιν οτι εγω ειμι ει ουν εμε ζητειτε αφετε τουτους υπαγειν|
|9.||That the word might be fulfilled which he said: Of them whom thou hast given me, I have not lost any one.||Ut impleretur sermo, quem dixit : Quia quos dedisti mihi, non perdidi ex eis quemquam.||ινα πληρωθη ο λογος ον ειπεν οτι ους δεδωκας μοι ουκ απωλεσα εξ αυτων ουδενα|
|10.||Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And the name of the servant was Malchus.||Simon ergo Petrus habens gladium eduxit eum : et percussit pontificis servum, et abscidit auriculam ejus dexteram. Erat autem nomen servo Malchus.||σιμων ουν πετρος εχων μαχαιραν ειλκυσεν αυτην και επαισεν τον του αρχιερεως δουλον και απεκοψεν αυτου το ωτιον το δεξιον ην δε ονομα τω δουλω μαλχος|
|11.||Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?||Dixit ergo Jesus Petro : Mitte gladium tuum in vaginam. Calicem, quem dedit mihi Pater, non bibam illum ?||ειπεν ουν ο ιησους τω πετρω βαλε την μαχαιραν σου εις την θηκην το ποτηριον ο δεδωκεν μοι ο πατηρ ου μη πιω αυτο|
|12.||Then the band and the tribune, and the servants of the Jews, took Jesus, and bound him:||Cohors ergo, et tribunus, et ministri Judæorum comprehenderunt Jesum, et ligaverunt eum.||η ουν σπειρα και ο χιλιαρχος και οι υπηρεται των ιουδαιων συνελαβον τον ιησουν και εδησαν αυτον|
|13.||And they led him away to Annas first, for he was father in law to Caiphas, who was the high priest of that year.||Et adduxerunt eum ad Annam primum : erat enim socer Caiphæ, qui erat pontifex anni illius.||και απηγαγον αυτον προς ανναν πρωτον ην γαρ πενθερος του καιαφα ος ην αρχιερευς του ενιαυτου εκεινου|
|14.||Now Caiphas was he who had given the counsel to the Jews: That it was expedient that one man should die for the people.||Erat autem Caiphas, qui consilium dederat Judæis : Quia expedit unum hominem mori pro populo.||ην δε καιαφας ο συμβουλευσας τοις ιουδαιοις οτι συμφερει ενα ανθρωπον απολεσθαι υπερ του λαου|
|15.||And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. And that disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the court of the high priest.||Sequebatur autem Jesum Simon Petrus, et alius discipulus. Discipulus autem ille erat notus pontifici, et introivit cum Jesu in atrium pontificis.||ηκολουθει δε τω ιησου σιμων πετρος και ο αλλος μαθητης ο δε μαθητης εκεινος ην γνωστος τω αρχιερει και συνεισηλθεν τω ιησου εις την αυλην του αρχιερεως|
|16.||But Peter stood at the door without. The other disciple therefore, who was known to the high priest, went out, and spoke to the portress, and brought in Peter.||Petrus autem stabat ad ostium foris. Exivit ergo discipulus alius, qui erat notus pontifici, et dixit ostiariæ : et introduxit Petrum.||ο δε πετρος ειστηκει προς τη θυρα εξω εξηλθεν ουν ο μαθητης ο αλλος ος ην γνωστος τω αρχιερει και ειπεν τη θυρωρω και εισηγαγεν τον πετρον|
|17.||The maid therefore that was portress, saith to Peter: Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith: I am not.||Dicit ergo Petro ancilla ostiaria : Numquid et tu ex discipulis es hominis istius ? Dicit ille : Non sum.||λεγει ουν η παιδισκη η θυρωρος τω πετρω μη και συ εκ των μαθητων ει του ανθρωπου τουτου λεγει εκεινος ουκ ειμι|
|18.||Now the servants and ministers stood at a fire of coals, because it was cold, and warmed themselves. And with them was Peter also, standing, and warming himself.||Stabant autem servi et ministri ad prunas, quia frigus erat, et calefaciebant se : erat autem cum eis et Petrus stans, et calefaciens se.||ειστηκεισαν δε οι δουλοι και οι υπηρεται ανθρακιαν πεποιηκοτες οτι ψυχος ην και εθερμαινοντο ην δε μετ αυτων ο πετρος εστως και θερμαινομενος|
|19.||The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.||Pontifex ergo interrogavit Jesum de discipulis suis, et de doctrina ejus.||ο ουν αρχιερευς ηρωτησεν τον ιησουν περι των μαθητων αυτου και περι της διδαχης αυτου|
|20.||Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world: I have always taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither all the Jews resort; and in secret I have spoken nothing.||Respondit ei Jesus : Ego palam locutus sum mundo : ego semper docui in synagoga, et in templo, quo omnes Judæi conveniunt, et in occulto locutus sum nihil.||απεκριθη αυτω ο ιησους εγω παρρησια ελαλησα τω κοσμω εγω παντοτε εδιδαξα εν συναγωγη και εν τω ιερω οπου παντοτε οι ιουδαιοι συνερχονται και εν κρυπτω ελαλησα ουδεν|
|21.||Why asketh thou me? ask them who have heard what I have spoken unto them: behold they know what things I have said.||Quid me interrogas ? interroga eos qui audierunt quid locutus sim ipsis : ecce hi sciunt quæ dixerim ego.||τι με επερωτας επερωτησον τους ακηκοοτας τι ελαλησα αυτοις ιδε ουτοι οιδασιν α ειπον εγω|
|22.||And when he had said these things, one of the servants standing by, gave Jesus a blow, saying: Answerest thou the high priest so?||Hæc autem cum dixisset, unus assistens ministrorum dedit alapam Jesu, dicens : Sic respondes pontifici ?||ταυτα δε αυτου ειποντος εις των υπηρετων παρεστηκως εδωκεν ραπισμα τω ιησου ειπων ουτως αποκρινη τω αρχιερει|
|23.||Jesus answered him: If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikest thou me?||Respondit ei Jesus : Si male locutus sum, testimonium perhibe de malo : si autem bene, quid me cædis ?||απεκριθη αυτω ο ιησους ει κακως ελαλησα μαρτυρησον περι του κακου ει δε καλως τι με δερεις|
|24.||And Annas sent him bound to Caiphas the high priest.||Et misit eum Annas ligatum ad Caipham pontificem.||απεστειλεν αυτον ο αννας δεδεμενον προς καιαφαν τον αρχιερεα|
|25.||And Simon Peter was standing, and warming himself. They said therefore to him: Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said: I am not.||Erat autem Simon Petrus stans, et calefaciens se. Dixerunt ergo ei : Numquid et tu ex discipulis ejus es ? Negavit ille, et dixit : Non sum.||ην δε σιμων πετρος εστως και θερμαινομενος ειπον ουν αυτω μη και συ εκ των μαθητων αυτου ει ηρνησατο ουν εκεινος και ειπεν ουκ ειμι|
|26.||One of the servants of the high priest (a kinsman to him whose ear Peter cut off) saith to him: Did I not see thee in the garden with him?||Dicit ei unus ex servis pontificis, cognatus ejus, cujus abscidit Petrus auriculam : Nonne ego te vidi in horto cum illo ?||λεγει εις εκ των δουλων του αρχιερεως συγγενης ων ου απεκοψεν πετρος το ωτιον ουκ εγω σε ειδον εν τω κηπω μετ αυτου|
|27.||Again therefore Peter denied; and immediately the cock crew.||Iterum ergo negavit Petrus : et statim gallus cantavit.||παλιν ουν ηρνησατο ο πετρος και ευθεως αλεκτωρ εφωνησεν|
|28.||Then they led Jesus from Caiphas to the governor's hall. And it was morning; and they went not into the hall, that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the pasch.||Adducunt ergo Jesum a Caipha in prætorium. Erat autem mane : et ipsi non introierunt in prætorium, ut non contaminarentur, sed ut manducarent Pascha.||αγουσιν ουν τον ιησουν απο του καιαφα εις το πραιτωριον ην δε πρωι και αυτοι ουκ εισηλθον εις το πραιτωριον ινα μη μιανθωσιν αλλ ινα φαγωσιν το πασχα|
|29.||Pilate therefore went out to them, and said: What accusation bring you against this man?||Exivit ergo Pilatus ad eos foras, et dixit : Quam accusationem affertis adversus hominem hunc ?||εξηλθεν ουν ο πιλατος προς αυτους και ειπεν τινα κατηγοριαν φερετε κατα του ανθρωπου τουτου|
|30.||They answered, and said to him: If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee.||Responderunt, et dixerunt ei : Si non esset hic malefactor, non tibi tradidissemus eum.||απεκριθησαν και ειπον αυτω ει μη ην ουτος κακοποιος ουκ αν σοι παρεδωκαμεν αυτον|
|31.||Pilate therefore said to them: Take him you, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him: It is not lawful for us to put any man to death;||Dixit ergo eis Pilatus : Accipite eum vos, et secundum legem vestram judicate eum. Dixerunt ergo ei Judæi : Nobis non licet interficere quemquam.||ειπεν ουν αυτοις ο πιλατος λαβετε αυτον υμεις και κατα τον νομον υμων κρινατε αυτον ειπον ουν αυτω οι ιουδαιοι ημιν ουκ εξεστιν αποκτειναι ουδενα|
|32.||That the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he said, signifying what death he should die.||Ut sermo Jesu impleretur, quem dixit, significans qua morte esset moriturus.||ινα ο λογος του ιησου πληρωθη ον ειπεν σημαινων ποιω θανατω ημελλεν αποθνησκειν|
|33.||Pilate therefore went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews?||Introivit ergo iterum in prætorium Pilatus : et vocavit Jesum, et dixit ei : Tu es rex Judæorum ?||εισηλθεν ουν εις το πραιτωριον παλιν ο πιλατος και εφωνησεν τον ιησουν και ειπεν αυτω συ ει ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων|
|34.||Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?||Respondit Jesus : A temetipso hoc dicis, an alii dixerunt tibi de me ?||απεκριθη αυτω ο ιησους αφ εαυτου συ τουτο λεγεις η αλλοι σοι ειπον περι εμου|
|35.||Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done?||Respondit Pilatus : Numquid ego Judæus sum ? gens tua et pontifices tradiderunt te mihi : quid fecisti ?||απεκριθη ο πιλατος μητι εγω ιουδαιος ειμι το εθνος το σον και οι αρχιερεις παρεδωκαν σε εμοι τι εποιησας|
|36.||Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence.||Respondit Jesus : Regnum meum non est de hoc mundo. Si ex hoc mundo esset regnum meum, ministri mei utique decertarent ut non traderer Judæis : nunc autem regnum meum non est hinc.||απεκριθη ιησους η βασιλεια η εμη ουκ εστιν εκ του κοσμου τουτου ει εκ του κοσμου τουτου ην η βασιλεια η εμη οι υπηρεται αν οι εμοι ηγωνιζοντο ινα μη παραδοθω τοις ιουδαιοις νυν δε η βασιλεια η εμη ουκ εστιν εντευθεν|
|37.||Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.||Dixit itaque ei Pilatus : Ergo rex es tu ? Respondit Jesus : Tu dicis quia rex sum ego. Ego in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati : omnis qui est ex veritate, audit vocem meam.||ειπεν ουν αυτω ο πιλατος ουκουν βασιλευς ει συ απεκριθη [ο] ιησους συ λεγεις οτι βασιλευς ειμι εγω εγω εις τουτο γεγεννημαι και εις τουτο εληλυθα εις τον κοσμον ινα μαρτυρησω τη αληθεια πας ο ων εκ της αληθειας ακουει μου της φωνης|
|38.||Pilate saith to him: What is truth? And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews, and saith to them: I find no cause in him.||Dicit ei Pilatus : Quid est veritas ? Et cum hoc dixisset, iterum exivit ad Judæos, et dicit eis : Ego nullam invenio in eo causam.||λεγει αυτω ο πιλατος τι εστιν αληθεια και τουτο ειπων παλιν εξηλθεν προς τους ιουδαιους και λεγει αυτοις εγω ουδεμιαν αιτιαν ευρισκω εν αυτω|
|39.||But you have a custom that I should release one unto you at the pasch: will you, therefore, that I release unto you the king of the Jews?||Est autem consuetudo vobis ut unum dimittam vobis in Pascha : vultis ergo dimittam vobis regem Judæorum ?||εστιν δε συνηθεια υμιν ινα ενα υμιν απολυσω εν τω πασχα βουλεσθε ουν υμιν απολυσω τον βασιλεα των ιουδαιων|
|40.||Then cried they all again, saying: Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.||Clamaverunt ergo rursum omnes, dicentes : Non hunc, sed Barabbam. Erat autem Barabbas latro.||εκραυγασαν ουν παλιν παντες λεγοντες μη τουτον αλλα τον βαραββαν ην δε ο βαραββας ληστης|
|1.||THEN therefore, Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him.||Tunc ergo apprehendit Pilatus Jesum, et flagellavit.||τοτε ουν ελαβεν ο πιλατος τον ιησουν και εμαστιγωσεν|
|2.||And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head; and they put on him a purple garment.||Et milites plectentes coronam de spinis, imposuerunt capiti ejus : et veste purpurea circumdederunt eum.||και οι στρατιωται πλεξαντες στεφανον εξ ακανθων επεθηκαν αυτου τη κεφαλη και ιματιον πορφυρουν περιεβαλον αυτον|
|3.||And they came to him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave him blows.||Et veniebant ad eum, et dicebant : Ave, rex Judæorum : et dabant ei alapas.||και ελεγον χαιρε ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων και εδιδουν αυτω ραπισματα|
|4.||Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him.||Exivit ergo iterum Pilatus foras, et dicit eis : Ecce adduco vobis eum foras, ut cognoscatis quia nullam invenio in eo causam.||εξηλθεν ουν παλιν εξω ο πιλατος και λεγει αυτοις ιδε αγω υμιν αυτον εξω ινα γνωτε οτι εν αυτω ουδεμιαν αιτιαν ευρισκω|
|5.||(Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them: Behold the Man.||(Exivit ergo Jesus portans coronam spineam, et purpureum vestimentum.) Et dicit eis : Ecce homo.||εξηλθεν ουν ο ιησους εξω φορων τον ακανθινον στεφανον και το πορφυρουν ιματιον και λεγει αυτοις ιδε ο ανθρωπος|
|6.||When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants, had seen him, they cried out, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Take him you, and crucify him: for I find no cause in him.||Cum ergo vidissent eum pontifices et ministri, clamabant, dicentes : Crucifige, crucifige eum. Dicit eis Pilatus : Accipite eum vos, et crucifigite : ego enim non invenio in eo causam.||οτε ουν ειδον αυτον οι αρχιερεις και οι υπηρεται εκραυγασαν λεγοντες σταυρωσον σταυρωσον αυτον λεγει αυτοις ο πιλατος λαβετε αυτον υμεις και σταυρωσατε εγω γαρ ουχ ευρισκω εν αυτω αιτιαν|
|7.||The Jews answered him: We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.||Responderunt ei Judæi : Nos legem habemus, et secundum legem debet mori, quia Filium Dei se fecit.||απεκριθησαν αυτω οι ιουδαιοι ημεις νομον εχομεν και κατα τον νομον ημων οφειλει αποθανειν οτι εαυτον υιον θεου εποιησεν|
|8.||When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more.||Cum ergo audisset Pilatus hunc sermonem, magis timuit.||οτε ουν ηκουσεν ο πιλατος τουτον τον λογον μαλλον εφοβηθη|
|9.||And he entered into the hall again, and he said to Jesus: Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.||Et ingressus est prætorium iterum : et dixit ad Jesum : Unde es tu ? Jesus autem responsum non dedit ei.||και εισηλθεν εις το πραιτωριον παλιν και λεγει τω ιησου ποθεν ει συ ο δε ιησους αποκρισιν ουκ εδωκεν αυτω|
|10.||Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee?||Dicit ergo ei Pilatus : Mihi non loqueris ? nescis quia potestatem habeo crucifigere te, et potestatem habeo dimittere te ?||λεγει ουν αυτω ο πιλατος εμοι ου λαλεις ουκ οιδας οτι εξουσιαν εχω σταυρωσαι σε και εξουσιαν εχω απολυσαι σε|
|11.||Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin.||Respondit Jesus : Non haberes potestatem adversum me ullam, nisi tibi datum esset desuper. Propterea qui me tradidit tibi, majus peccatum habet.||απεκριθη ιησους ουκ ειχες εξουσιαν ουδεμιαν κατ εμου ει μη ην σοι δεδομενον ανωθεν δια τουτο ο παραδιδους με σοι μειζονα αμαρτιαν εχει|
|12.||And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar's friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar.||Et exinde quærebat Pilatus dimittere eum. Judæi autem clamabant dicentes : Si hunc dimittis, non es amicus Cæsaris. Omnis enim qui se regem facit, contradicit Cæsari.||εκ τουτου εζητει ο πιλατος απολυσαι αυτον οι δε ιουδαιοι εκραζον λεγοντες εαν τουτον απολυσης ουκ ει φιλος του καισαρος πας ο βασιλεα εαυτον ποιων αντιλεγει τω καισαρι|
|13.||Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha.||Pilatus autem cum audisset hos sermones, adduxit foras Jesum : et sedit pro tribunali, in loco qui dicitur Lithostrotos, hebraice autem Gabbatha.||ο ουν πιλατος ακουσας τουτον τον λογον ηγαγεν εξω τον ιησουν και εκαθισεν επι του βηματος εις τοπον λεγομενον λιθοστρωτον εβραιστι δε γαββαθα|
|14.||And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king.||Erat enim parasceve Paschæ, hora quasi sexta, et dicit Judæis : Ecce rex vester.||ην δε παρασκευη του πασχα ωρα δε ωσει εκτη και λεγει τοις ιουδαιοις ιδε ο βασιλευς υμων|
|15.||But they cried out: Away with him; away with him; crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.||Illi autem clamabant : Tolle, tolle, crucifige eum. Dicit eis Pilatus : Regem vestrum crucifigam ? Responderunt pontifices : Non habemus regem, nisi Cæsarem.||οι δε εκραυγασαν αρον αρον σταυρωσον αυτον λεγει αυτοις ο πιλατος τον βασιλεα υμων σταυρωσω απεκριθησαν οι αρχιερεις ουκ εχομεν βασιλεα ει μη καισαρα|
|16.||Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth.||Tunc ergo tradidit eis illum ut crucifigeretur. Susceperunt autem Jesum, et eduxerunt.||τοτε ουν παρεδωκεν αυτον αυτοις ινα σταυρωθη παρελαβον δε τον ιησουν και ηγαγον|
|17.||And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha.||Et bajulans sibi crucem exivit in eum, qui dicitur Calvariæ locum, hebraice autem Golgotha :||και βασταζων τον σταυρον αυτου εξηλθεν εις τοπον λεγομενον κρανιου τοπον ος λεγεται εβραιστι γολγοθα|
|18.||Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst.||ubi crucifixerunt eum, et cum eo alios duos hinc et hinc, medium autem Jesum.||οπου αυτον εσταυρωσαν και μετ αυτου αλλους δυο εντευθεν και εντευθεν μεσον δε τον ιησουν|
|19.||And Pilate wrote a title also, and he put it upon the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.||Scripsit autem et titulum Pilatus, et posuit super crucem. Erat autem scriptum : Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judæorum.||εγραψεν δε και τιτλον ο πιλατος και εθηκεν επι του σταυρου ην δε γεγραμμενον ιησους ο ναζωραιος ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων|
|20.||This title therefore many of the Jews did read: because the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin.||Hunc ergo titulum multi Judæorum legerunt : quia prope civitatem erat locus, ubi crucifixus est Jesus, et erat scriptum hebraice, græce, et latine.||τουτον ουν τον τιτλον πολλοι ανεγνωσαν των ιουδαιων οτι εγγυς ην ο τοπος της πολεως οπου εσταυρωθη ο ιησους και ην γεγραμμενον εβραιστι ελληνιστι ρωμαιστι|
|21.||Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate: Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews.||Dicebant ergo Pilato pontifices Judæorum : Noli scribere : Rex Judæorum : sed quia ipse dixit : Rex sum Judæorum.||ελεγον ουν τω πιλατω οι αρχιερεις των ιουδαιων μη γραφε ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων αλλ οτι εκεινος ειπεν βασιλευς ειμι των ιουδαιων|
|22.||Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written.||Respondit Pilatus : Quod scripsi, scripsi.||απεκριθη ο πιλατος ο γεγραφα γεγραφα|
|23.||The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.||Milites ergo cum crucifixissent eum, acceperunt vestimenta ejus (et fecerunt quatuor partes, unicuique militi partem) et tunicam. Erat autem tunica inconsutilis, desuper contexta per totum.||οι ουν στρατιωται οτε εσταυρωσαν τον ιησουν ελαβον τα ιματια αυτου και εποιησαν τεσσαρα μερη εκαστω στρατιωτη μερος και τον χιτωνα ην δε ο χιτων αραφος εκ των ανωθεν υφαντος δι ολου|
|24.||They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lot. And the soldiers indeed did these things.||Dixerunt ergo ad invicem : Non scindamus eam, sed sortiamur de illa cujus sit. Ut Scriptura impleretur, dicens : Partiti sunt vestimenta mea sibi : et in vestem meam miserunt sortem. Et milites quidem hæc fecerunt.||ειπον ουν προς αλληλους μη σχισωμεν αυτον αλλα λαχωμεν περι αυτου τινος εσται ινα η γραφη πληρωθη η λεγουσα διεμερισαντο τα ιματια μου εαυτοις και επι τον ιματισμον μου εβαλον κληρον οι μεν ουν στρατιωται ταυτα εποιησαν|
|25.||Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.||Stabant autem juxta crucem Jesu mater ejus, et soror matris ejus, Maria Cleophæ, et Maria Magdalene.||ειστηκεισαν δε παρα τω σταυρω του ιησου η μητηρ αυτου και η αδελφη της μητρος αυτου μαρια η του κλωπα και μαρια η μαγδαληνη|
|26.||When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.||Cum vidisset ergo Jesus matrem, et discipulum stantem, quem diligebat, dicit matri suæ : Mulier, ecce filius tuus.||ιησους ουν ιδων την μητερα και τον μαθητην παρεστωτα ον ηγαπα λεγει τη μητρι αυτου γυναι ιδου ο υιος σου|
|27.||After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.||Deinde dicit discipulo : Ecce mater tua. Et ex illa hora accepit eam discipulus in sua.||ειτα λεγει τω μαθητη ιδου η μητηρ σου και απ εκεινης της ωρας ελαβεν ο μαθητης αυτην εις τα ιδια|
|28.||Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.||Postea sciens Jesus quia omnia consummata sunt, ut consummaretur Scriptura, dixit : Sitio.||μετα τουτο ιδων ο ιησους οτι παντα ηδη τετελεσται ινα τελειωθη η γραφη λεγει διψω|
|29.||Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth.||Vas ergo erat positum aceto plenum. Illi autem spongiam plenam aceto, hyssopo circumponentes, obtulerunt ori ejus.||σκευος ουν εκειτο οξους μεστον οι δε πλησαντες σπογγον οξους και υσσωπω περιθεντες προσηνεγκαν αυτου τω στοματι|
|30.||Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.||Cum ergo accepisset Jesus acetum, dixit : Consummatum est. Et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum.||οτε ουν ελαβεν το οξος ο ιησους ειπεν τετελεσται και κλινας την κεφαλην παρεδωκεν το πνευμα|
|31.||Then the Jews, (because it was the parasceve,) that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that was a great sabbath day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.||Judæi ergo (quoniam parasceve erat) ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato (erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati), rogaverunt Pilatum ut frangerentur eorum crura, et tollerentur.||οι ουν ιουδαιοι ινα μη μεινη επι του σταυρου τα σωματα εν τω σαββατω επει παρασκευη ην ην γαρ μεγαλη η ημερα εκεινου του σαββατου ηρωτησαν τον πιλατον ινα κατεαγωσιν αυτων τα σκελη και αρθωσιν|
|32.||The soldiers therefore came; and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him.||Venerunt ergo milites : et primi quidem fregerunt crura, et alterius, qui crucifixus est cum eo.||ηλθον ουν οι στρατιωται και του μεν πρωτου κατεαξαν τα σκελη και του αλλου του συσταυρωθεντος αυτω|
|33.||But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.||Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura,||επι δε τον ιησουν ελθοντες ως ειδον αυτον ηδη τεθνηκοτα ου κατεαξαν αυτου τα σκελη|
|34.||But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water.||sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua.||αλλ εις των στρατιωτων λογχη αυτου την πλευραν ενυξεν και ευθεως εξηλθεν αιμα και υδωρ|
|35.||And he that saw it, hath given testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true; that you also may believe.||Et qui vidit, testimonium perhibuit : et verum est testimonium ejus. Et ille scit quia vera dicit : ut et vos credatis.||και ο εωρακως μεμαρτυρηκεν και αληθινη εστιν αυτου η μαρτυρια κακεινος οιδεν οτι αληθη λεγει ινα υμεις πιστευσητε|
|36.||For these things were done, that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him.||Facta sunt enim hæc ut Scriptura impleretur : Os non comminuetis ex eo.||εγενετο γαρ ταυτα ινα η γραφη πληρωθη οστουν ου συντριβησεται απ αυτου|
|37.||And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced.||Et iterum alia Scriptura dicit : Videbunt in quem transfixerunt.||και παλιν ετερα γραφη λεγει οψονται εις ον εξεκεντησαν|
|38.||And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews) besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.||Post hæc autem rogavit Pilatum Joseph ab Arimathæa (eo quod esset discipulus Jesu, occultus autem propter metum Judæorum), ut tolleret corpus Jesu. Et permisit Pilatus. Venit ergo, et tulit corpus Jesu.||μετα ταυτα ηρωτησεν τον πιλατον [ο] ιωσηφ ο απο αριμαθαιας ων μαθητης του ιησου κεκρυμμενος δε δια τον φοβον των ιουδαιων ινα αρη το σωμα του ιησου και επετρεψεν ο πιλατος ηλθεν ουν και ηρεν το σωμα του ιησου|
|39.||And Nicodemus also came, (he who at the first came to Jesus by night,) bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.||Venit autem et Nicodemus, qui venerat ad Jesum nocte primum, ferens mixturam myrrhæ et aloës, quasi libras centum.||ηλθεν δε και νικοδημος ο ελθων προς τον ιησουν νυκτος το πρωτον φερων μιγμα σμυρνης και αλοης ως λιτρας εκατον|
|40.||They took therefore the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.||Acceperunt ergo corpus Jesu, et ligaverunt illud linteis cum aromatibus, sicut mos est Judæis sepelire.||ελαβον ουν το σωμα του ιησου και εδησαν αυτο εν οθονιοις μετα των αρωματων καθως εθος εστιν τοις ιουδαιοις ενταφιαζειν|
|41.||Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid.||Erat autem in loco, ubi crucifixus est, hortus : et in horto monumentum novum, in quo nondum quisquam positus erat.||ην δε εν τω τοπω οπου εσταυρωθη κηπος και εν τω κηπω μνημειον καινον εν ω ουδεπω ουδεις ετεθη|
|42.||There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.||Ibi ergo propter parasceven Judæorum, quia juxta erat monumentum, posuerunt Jesum.||εκει ουν δια την παρασκευην των ιουδαιων οτι εγγυς ην το μνημειον εθηκαν τον ιησουν|
Can you stop posting the Cliffs Notes version and post the full 1000 pages...
Pray for Pope Francis.
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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.
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