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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 03-28-10, Palm Sunday of the Lordís Passion
USCCB.org/New American Bible ^ | 03-28-10 | New American Bible

Posted on 03/27/2010 9:50:05 PM PDT by Salvation

March 28, 2010
 

                            Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

                            At the Mass



 
 
 

Reading I
Is 50:4-7
The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
(2a)  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All who see me scoff at me;
they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
“He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him,
let him rescue him, if he loves him.”
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Indeed, many dogs surround me,
a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
They have pierced my hands and my feet;
I can count all my bones.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
They divide my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, be not far from me;
O my help, hasten to aid me.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
“You who fear the LORD, praise him;
all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
   revere him, all you descendants of Israel!”
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Reading II
Phil 2:6-11
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
    something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming 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 name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel
Lk 22:14—23:56 or 23:1-49
When the hour came,
Jesus took his place at table with the apostles.
He said to them,
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer,
for, I tell you, I shall not eat it again
until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said,
“Take this and share it among yourselves;
for I tell you that from this time on
I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine
until the kingdom of God comes.”
Then he took the bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body, which will be given for you;
do this in memory of me.”
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
which will be shed for you.

“And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me
is with me on the table;
for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined;
but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed.”
And they began to debate among themselves
who among them would do such a deed.

Then an argument broke out among them
about which of them should be regarded as the greatest.
He said to them,
“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them
and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’;
but among you it shall not be so.
Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest,
and the leader as the servant.
For who is greater:
the one seated at table or the one who serves?
Is it not the one seated at table?
I am among you as the one who serves.
It is you who have stood by me in my trials;
and I confer a kingdom on you,
just as my Father has conferred one on me,
that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom;
and you will sit on thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded
to sift all of you like wheat,
but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail;
and once you have turned back,
you must strengthen your brothers.”
He said to him,
“Lord, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with you.”
But he replied,
“I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day,
you will deny three times that you know me.”

He said to them,
“When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals,
were you in need of anything?”
“No, nothing, “ they replied.
He said to them,
“But now one who has a money bag should take it,
and likewise a sack,
and one who does not have a sword
should sell his cloak and buy one.
For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me,
namely, He was counted among the wicked;
and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment.”
Then they said,
“Lord, look, there are two swords here.”
But he replied, “It is enough!”

Then going out, he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives,
and the disciples followed him.
When he arrived at the place he said to them,
“Pray that you may not undergo the test.”
After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling,
he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing,
take this cup away from me;
still, not my will but yours be done.”
And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him.
He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently
that his sweat became like drops of blood
falling on the ground.
When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples,
he found them sleeping from grief.
He said to them, “Why are you sleeping?
Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”

While he was still speaking, a crowd approached
and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas.
He went up to Jesus to kiss him.
Jesus said to him,
“Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked,
“Lord, shall we strike with a sword?”
And one of them struck the high priest’s servant
and cut off his right ear.
But Jesus said in reply,
“Stop, no more of this!”
Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him.
And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards
and elders who had come for him,
“Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?
Day after day I was with you in the temple area,
and you did not seize me;
but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.”

After arresting him they led him away
and took him into the house of the high priest;
Peter was following at a distance.
They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it,
and Peter sat down with them.
When a maid saw him seated in the light,
she looked intently at him and said,
“This man too was with him.”
But he denied it saying,
“Woman, I do not know him.”
A short while later someone else saw him and said,
“You too are one of them”;
but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.”
About an hour later, still another insisted,
“Assuredly, this man too was with him,
for he also is a Galilean.”
But Peter said,
“My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.”
Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed,
and the Lord turned and looked at Peter;
and Peter remembered the word of the Lord,
how he had said to him,
“Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”
He went out and began to weep bitterly.
The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him.
They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying,
“Prophesy!  Who is it that struck you?”
And they reviled him in saying many other things against him.

When day came the council of elders of the people met,
both chief priests and scribes,
and they brought him before their Sanhedrin.
They said, “If you are the Christ, tell us, “
but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe,
and if I question, you will not respond.
But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated
at the right hand of the power of God.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied to them, “You say that I am.”
Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony?
We have heard it from his own mouth.”

Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate.
They brought charges against him, saying,
“We found this man misleading our people;
he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar
and maintains that he is the Christ, a king.”
Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
He said to him in reply, “You say so.”
Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds,
“I find this man not guilty.”
But they were adamant and said,
“He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea,
from Galilee where he began even to here.”

On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean;
and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction,
he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.
Herod was very glad to see Jesus;
he had been wanting to see him for a long time,
for he had heard about him
and had been hoping to see him perform some sign.
He questioned him at length,
but he gave him no answer.
The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile,
stood by accusing him harshly.
Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him,
and after clothing him in resplendent garb,
he sent him back to Pilate.
Herod and Pilate became friends that very day,
even though they had been enemies formerly.
Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people
and said to them, “You brought this man to me
and accused him of inciting the people to revolt.
I have conducted my investigation in your presence
and have not found this man guilty
of the charges you have brought against him,
nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us.
So no capital crime has been committed by him.
Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”

But all together they shouted out,
“Away with this man!
Release Barabbas to us.”
— Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion
that had taken place in the city and for murder. —
Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus,
but they continued their shouting,
“Crucify him!  Crucify him!”
Pilate addressed them a third time,
“What evil has this man done?
I found him guilty of no capital crime.
Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”
With loud shouts, however,
they persisted in calling for his crucifixion,
and their voices prevailed.
The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted.
So he released the man who had been imprisoned
for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked,
and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.

As they led him away
they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian,
who was coming in from the country;
and after laying the cross on him,
they made him carry it behind Jesus.
A large crowd of people followed Jesus,
including many women who mourned and lamented him.
Jesus turned to them and said,
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me;
weep instead for yourselves and for your children
for indeed, the days are coming when people will say,
‘Blessed are the barren,
the wombs that never bore
and the breasts that never nursed.’
At that time people will say to the mountains,
‘Fall upon us!’
and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’
for if these things are done when the wood is green
what will happen when it is dry?”
Now two others, both criminals,
were led away with him to be executed.

When they came to the place called the Skull,
they crucified him and the criminals there,
one on his right, the other on his left.
Then Jesus said,
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
They divided his garments by casting lots.
The people stood by and watched;
the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon
because of an eclipse of the sun.
Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”;
and when he had said this he breathed his last.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said,
“This man was innocent beyond doubt.”
When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened,
they returned home beating their breasts;
but all his acquaintances stood at a distance,
including the women who had followed him from Galilee
and saw these events.
Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who,
though he was a member of the council,
had not consented to their plan of action.
He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea
and was awaiting the kingdom of God.
He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
After he had taken the body down,
he wrapped it in a linen cloth
and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb
in which no one had yet been buried.
It was the day of preparation,
and the sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind,
and when they had seen the tomb
and the way in which his body was laid in it,
they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils.
Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.

or

The elders of the people, chief priests and scribes,
arose and brought Jesus before Pilate.
They brought charges against him, saying,
“We found this man misleading our people;
he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar
and maintains that he is the Christ, a king.”
Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
He said to him in reply, “You say so.”
Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds,
“I find this man not guilty.”
But they were adamant and said,
“He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea,
from Galilee where he began even to here.”

On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean;
and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction,
he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.
Herod was very glad to see Jesus;
he had been wanting to see him for a long time,
for he had heard about him
and had been hoping to see him perform some sign.
He questioned him at length,
but he gave him no answer.
The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile,
stood by accusing him harshly.
Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him,
and after clothing him in resplendent garb,
he sent him back to Pilate.
Herod and Pilate became friends that very day,
even though they had been enemies formerly.
Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people
and said to them, “You brought this man to me
and accused him of inciting the people to revolt.
I have conducted my investigation in your presence
and have not found this man guilty
of the charges you have brought against him,
nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us.
So no capital crime has been committed by him.
Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”

But all together they shouted out,
“Away with this man!
Release Barabbas to us.”
— Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion
that had taken place in the city and for murder. —
Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus,
but they continued their shouting,
“Crucify him!  Crucify him!”
Pilate addressed them a third time,
“What evil has this man done?
I found him guilty of no capital crime.
Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”
With loud shouts, however,
they persisted in calling for his crucifixion,
and their voices prevailed.
The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted.
So he released the man who had been imprisoned
for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked,
and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.

As they led him away
they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian,
who was coming in from the country;
and after laying the cross on him,
they made him carry it behind Jesus.
A large crowd of people followed Jesus,
including many women who mourned and lamented him.
Jesus turned to them and said,
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me;
weep instead for yourselves and for your children
for indeed, the days are coming when people will say,
‘Blessed are the barren,
the wombs that never bore
and the breasts that never nursed.’
At that time people will say to the mountains,
‘Fall upon us!’
and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’
for if these things are done when the wood is green
what will happen when it is dry?”
Now two others, both criminals,
were led away with him to be executed.

When they came to the place called the Skull,
they crucified him and the criminals there,
one on his right, the other on his left.
Then Jesus said,
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
They divided his garments by casting lots.
The people stood by and watched;
the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon
because of an eclipse of the sun.
Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”;
and when he had said this he breathed his last.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said,
“This man was innocent beyond doubt.”
When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle
saw what had happened,
they returned home beating their breasts;
but all his acquaintances stood at a distance,
including the women who had followed him from Galilee
and saw these events.




TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; lent; palmsunday
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For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 03/27/2010 9:50:07 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the King of Endless Glory Ping List.

2 posted on 03/27/2010 9:51:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Palm Branches

3 posted on 03/27/2010 9:53:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Palm Sunday Meditation
A week with the Lord [Reflections on Passion Sunday and Holy Week]
Palm Sunday - Passion Sunday

Palm Sunday
HOSANNA (Palm) SUNDAY - Shanini Sunday
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Palm Branches
Passion (Palm) Sunday
Pope Opens Holy Week With Palm Sunday Mass

Traditions Related to Palm Sunday
HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER ON PALM SUNDAY FROM 2001-2005.
Palm Sunday (In Art)
Palm Sunday (Artistic Representations)
RELIGIOUS HISTORY: On Palm Sunday, the path to Golgotha

4 posted on 03/27/2010 9:53:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
40 Days for Life, February 17 -- March 29, 2010, Come and Pray to Stop Abortion in the World
5 posted on 03/27/2010 9:54:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)

Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day

6 posted on 03/27/2010 9:55:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Procession and Blessing of Palms

March 28, 2010
 

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

At the Procession with Palms




Lk 19:28-40
Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
As he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany
at the place called the Mount of Olives,
he sent two of his disciples.
He said, “Go into the village opposite you,
and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered
on which no one has ever sat.
Untie it and bring it here.
And if anyone should ask you,
‘Why are you untying it?’
you will answer,
‘The Master has need of it.’”
So those who had been sent went off
and found everything just as he had told them.
And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them,
“Why are you untying this colt?”
They answered,
“The Master has need of it.”
So they brought it to Jesus,
threw their cloaks over the colt,
and helped Jesus to mount.
As he rode along,
the people were spreading their cloaks on the road;
and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives,
the whole multitude of his disciples
began to praise God aloud with joy
for all the mighty deeds they had seen.
They proclaimed:
“Blessed is the king who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven
and glory in the highest.”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him,
“Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”
He said in reply,
“I tell you, if they keep silent,
the stones will cry out!”



7 posted on 03/27/2010 9:57:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor

Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges
Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
Temptations Correspond to Our Vulnerabilities: Biblical Reflection for 1st Sunday of Lent
A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
US seminarians begin Lenten pilgrimage to Rome's ancient churches
Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
vanity] Hope you all make a good Lent [Catholic Caucus]

Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]

History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)
Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (Muslim converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)
40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101

Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]

Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict
Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Why We Need Lent
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2006
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent

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Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross
Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

8 posted on 03/27/2010 9:58:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
THE PRIEST IN THE COMMUNION RITES - Liturgy Prepares for Reception of the Eucharist
An Hermeneutic of Priestly Continuity [Pope Benedict to Congregation for Clergy] Catholic Caucus
Revitalizing Your Priesthood (The Grace of Ars -- about St. John Vianney)
Pope's "Lectio Divina" to Roman Priests (Part 2)
Pope's "Lectio Divina" to Roman Priests (Part 1)

The Seminary as Nazareth: Formation in a School of Prayer [Year of the Priest feature]
The Ministry of Jesus through the Office of the Bishop
Renewed... and Reconciled
100 Prayers For Priests (Catholic Caucus)
Priest Offers 'Ten Things That Promote Vocations' In Honor Of National Vocation Awareness Week

A Time to Praise our Fathers (National Vocation Awareness Week) [Catholic Caucus]
On Praying for Priests (Thoughts from St. Thérèse of Lisieux)
The Priesthood and the Mass
Vatican Aide: Priest Vocations Up in 20 Countries (England and Wales among them)
The Experience of ‘The Call’ (Discerning a Call to the Priesthood or Religious Life)

Priesthood Sunday - October 25, 2009
Health Care Council Letter to Priests, "A Priest at the Bedside of a Sick Person Represents Christ"
A Vocation to Be a Priest?
Do You Appreciate Your Priest? (with a touch of humor)
In India, Holy Orders

A priest’s chalice
Christ for Us: The Year for Priests [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
On Mary, Mother of Priests
Bishop Olmsted on the Devil and John Vianney
Catholic Caucus: Prayer for Our Priests (Year of the Priest)

Benedict reflects on Mary and the priesthood [Catholic Caucus]
The Priesthood — A Priceless Gift
Forming Those Who Form Priests: The Gift of Purity of Heart
Spiritual Mothers of Priests: Your Questions [Year of the Priest]
Eucharistic Season in the Year of the Priesthood

Pope's Address at Audience With New Archbishops: "Carry Deeply in Your Hearts Your Priests"
No Matter What, He Always "Acts Like a Priest" [Ecumenical]
On Priestly Identity
What Can I Do For the Year of the Priest?
The Rosary for the Year of the Priest [Catholic Caucus]

Pope Notes His Goal for Year for Priests
On the Year for Priests
WHY A YEAR FOR PRIESTS?
Curé d'Ars: Model Priest [Year of the Priest]
ZENIT Launches Column on Priesthood

[Justin] Cardinal Rigali on the Year for Priests
Church Being Given Chance to Rediscover Priesthood [Year of the Priest]
Celebrating the Year of the Priesthood
St. John Vianney's Pastoral Plan
LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI PROCLAIMING A YEAR FOR PRIESTS [Catholic Caucus]

Year of the Priest Letter (Media immediately scrutinize its contents for controversy)
Year of the Priest [Catholic Caucus]
The Year for Priests [Catholic Caucus]
Year of the Priest Begins Friday
U.S. bishops launch website for Year for Priests

9 posted on 03/27/2010 9:59:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Jesus, High Priest
 
Jesus. High Priest
 

The Year of the Priest

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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


10 posted on 03/27/2010 10:00:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

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

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

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

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

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

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

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

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

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

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


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]

>{?or you might say

Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

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

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

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

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

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

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

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

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

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

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


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

11 posted on 03/27/2010 10:02:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

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

12 posted on 03/27/2010 10:02:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Bachmann: Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)

Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life

[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries

Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."


13 posted on 03/27/2010 10:04:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
 
March Devotion: Saint Joseph

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII

FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

OFFERING TO SAINT JOSEPH
O great Saint Joseph, thou generous depositary and dispenser of immortal riches, behold us prostrate at thy feet, imploring thee to receive us as thy servants and as thy children. Next to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, of which thou art the faithful copy, we acknowledge that there is no heart more tender, more compassionate than thine.

What, then, have we to fear, or, rather, for what should we not hope, if thou dost deign to be our benefactor, our master, our model, our father and our mediator? Refuse not, then, this favor, O powerful protector! We ask it of thee by the love thou hast for Jesus and Mary. Into thy hands we commit our souls and bodies, but above all the last moments of our lives.

May we, after having honored, imitated, and served thee on earth, eternally sing with thee the mercies of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

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

St. Joseph
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

Things to Do:

Prayer to St. Joseph

Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.

 

Another prayer to St. Joseph:
To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we fly in our tribulation, and, having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy holy patronage also. Through that charity which bound thee to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and through the paternal love with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we humbly beseech the graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by His Blood, and with thy power and strength aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving Father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us, and from Heaven assist us in this our struggle against the power of darkness; and as once thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from death, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of Her enemies and from all adversity.

Shield too, each one of us by thy constant protection, so that, supported by thine example and strengthened by thine aid, we may be able to live a holy life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in Heaven. Amen.

THE SEVEN SORROWS AND SEVEN JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph

In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus

St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus

Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (An Evangelical Minister preaches on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders

St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence
St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]

The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph

14 posted on 03/27/2010 10:04:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

March 2010


Holy Father's Intentions

World Economy
General:   That the world economy may be managed according to the principles of justice and equity, taking account of the real needs of peoples, especially the poorest.

The Churches in Africa
Mission:  That the Churches in Africa may be signs and instruments of reconciliation and justice in every part of that continent.


15 posted on 03/27/2010 10:05:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Palm Sunday

16 posted on 03/27/2010 10:07:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Isaiah 50:4-7

Third Song of the Servant of the Lord


[4] The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught; that I may
know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wa-
kens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. [5] The Lord GOD
has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward. [6]I gave
my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I
hid not my face from shame and spitting.

[7] For the LORD GOD helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; there-
fore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

50:4-9. The second song dealt with the servant’s mission (cf. 49:6); the third
song focuses on the servant himself. The term “servant” as such does not
appear here, and therefore some commentators read the passage as being a
description of a prophet and not part of the songs. Still, the context (cf. 50:10)
does suggest that the protagonist is the servant. The poem is neatly construc-
ted in three stanzas, each beginning with the words, “The Lord God” (vv. 4, 5,
7), and it has a conclusion containing that same wording (v. 9). The first stanza
emphasizes the servant’s docility to the word of God; that is, he is not depicted
as a self-taught teacher with original ideas, but as an obedient disciple. The se-
cond (vv. 5-6) speaks of the suffering that that docility has brought him, without
his uttering a word of complaint. The third (vv. 7-8) shows how determined the
servant is: if he suffers in silence, it is not out of cowardice but because God
helps him and makes him stronger than his persecutors. The conclusion (v. 9)
is like the verdict of a trial: when all is said and done, the servant will stand tall,
and all his enemies will be struck down.

The evangelists saw the words of this song as finding fulfillment in Jesus — es-
pecially what the song has to say about the suffering and silent fortitude of the
servant. The Gospel of John, for example, quotes Nicodemus’ acknowledgment
of Christ’s wisdom: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for
no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him” (Jn 3:21). But
the description of the servant’s sufferings was the part that most impressed the
early Christians; that part of the song was recalled when they meditated on the
passion of Jesus and how “they spat in his face; and struck him; and some
slapped him” (Mt 26:67) and later how the Roman soldiers “spat upon him, and
took the reed and struck him on the head” (Mt 27:30; cf. also Mk 15:19; Jn 19:
3). St Paul refers to v. 9 when applying to Christ Jesus the role of intercessor on
behalf of the elect in the suit pressed constantly against them by the enemies
of the soul: “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” (Rom 8:33).

St Jerome sees the servant’s docility as a reference to Christ: “His self-discipline
and wisdom enabled him to communicate to us the knowledge of the Father. And
he was obedient onto death, death on the cross; he offered his body to the blows
they struck, his shoulders to the lash; and though he was wounded on the chest
and on his face, he did not try to turn away and escape their violence” (”Commen-
tarii In Isaiam”, 50, 4). This passage is used in the liturgy of Palm Sunday (along
with Psalm 22 and St Paul’s hymn in the Letter to the Philippians 2:6-11), before
the reading of our Lord’s passion.

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

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


17 posted on 03/27/2010 10:13:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Philippians 2:6-11

Hymn in Praise of Christ’s Self-Emptying


([5] Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus,) [6] who,
though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be
grasped, [7] but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the
likeness of men. [8] And being found in human form He humbled Himself and be-
came obedient unto death, even death on a cross. [9] Therefore God has highly
exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, [10]
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on earth and
under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the
glory of God the Father.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

5. The Apostle’s recommendation, “’Have this mind among yourselves, which
was in Christ Jesus, requires all Christians, so far as human power allows, to
reproduce in themselves the sentiments that Christ had when He was offering
Himself in sacrifice—sentiments of humility, of adoration, praise, and thanksgi-
ving to the divine majesty. It requires them also to become victims, as it were;
cultivating a spirit of self-denial according to the precepts of the Gospel, willing-
ly doing works of penance, detesting and expiating their sins. It requires us all,
in a word, to die mystically with Christ on the Cross, so that we may say with
the same Apostle: ‘I have been crucified with Christ’ (Galatians 2:19)” Pius XII,
“Mediator Dei”, 22).

6-11. In what he says about Jesus Christ, the Apostle is not simply proposing
Him as a model for us to follow. Possibly transcribing an early liturgical hymn
(and) adding some touches of his own, he is—under the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit—giving a very profound exposition of the nature of Christ and using the
most sublime truths of faith to show the way Christian virtues should be prac-
ticed.

This is one of the earliest New Testament texts to reveal the divinity of Christ.
The epistle was written around the year 62 (or perhaps before that, around 55)
and if we remember that the hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 may well have been in
use prior to that date, the passage clearly bears witness to the fact that Chris-
tians were proclaiming, even in those very early years, that Jesus, born in Beth-
lehem, crucified, died and buried, and risen from the dead, was truly both God
and man.

The hymn can be divided into three parts. The first (verses 6 and the beginning
of 7) refers to Christ’s humbling Himself by becoming man. The second (the end
of verse 7 and verse 8) is the center of the whole passage and proclaims the ex-
treme to which His humility brought Him: as man He obediently accepted death
on the cross. The third part (verses 9-11) describes His exaltation in glory.
Throughout St. Paul is conscious of Jesus’ divinity: He exists from all eternity.
But he centers his attention on His death on the cross as the supreme example
of humility. Christ’s humiliation lay not in His becoming a man like us and cloa-
king the glory of His divinity in His sacred humanity: it also brought Him to lead
a life of sacrifice and suffering which reached its climax on the cross, where He
was stripped of everything He had, like a slave. However, now that He has ful-
filled His mission, He is made manifest again, clothed in all the glory that befits
His divine nature and which His human nature has merited.

The man-God, Jesus Christ, makes the cross the climax of His earthly life;
through it He enters into His glory as Lord and Messiah. The Crucifixion puts
the whole universe on the way to salvation.

Jesus Christ gives us a wonderful example of humility and obedience. “We
should learn from Jesus’ attitude in these trials,” St. Escriva reminds us. “During
His life on earth He did not even want the glory that belonged to Him. Though He
had the right to be treated as God, He took the form of a servant, a slave (cf. Phil-
ippians 2:6-7). And so the Christian knows that all glory is due God and that he
must not use the sublimity and greatness of the Gospel to further his own inte-
rests or human ambitions.

“We should learn from Jesus. His attitude in rejecting all human glory is in per-
fect balance with the greatness of His unique mission as the beloved Son of
God who becomes incarnate to save men” (”Christ Is Passing By”, 62).

6-7. “Though He was in the form of God” or “subsisting in the form of God”:
“form” is the external aspect of something and manifests what it is. When refer-
ring to God, who is invisible, His “form” cannot refer to things visible to the sen-
ses; the “form of God” is a way of referring to Godhead. The first thing that St.
Paul makes clear is that Jesus Christ is God, and was God before the Incarna-
tion. As the “Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed” professes it, “the only-begotten
Son of God, born of the Father before time began, light from light, true God from
true God.”

“He did not count equality with God as something to be grasped”: the Greek
word translated as “equality” does not directly refer to equality of nature but
rather the equality of rights and status. Christ was God and He could not stop
being God; therefore, He had a right to be treated as God and to appear in all
His glory. However, He did not insist on this dignity of His as if it were a trea-
sure which He possessed and which was legally His: it was not something He
clung to and boasted about. And so He took “the form of a servant”. He could
have become man without setting His glory aside—He could have appeared as
He did, momentarily, as the Transfiguration (cf. Matthew 17:1ff); instead He
chose to be like men, in all things but sin (cf. verse 7). By becoming man in
the way He did, He was able, as Isaiah prophesied in the Song of the Servant
of Yahweh, to bear our sorrows and to be stricken (cf. Isaiah 53:4).

“He emptied Himself”, He despoiled Himself: this is literally what the Greek verb
means. But Christ did not shed His divine nature; He simply shed its glory, its
aura; if He had not done so it would have shone out through His human nature.
>From all eternity He exists as God and from the moment of the Incarnation He
began to be man. His self-emptying lay not only in the fact that the Godhead
united to Himself (that is, to the person of the Son) something which was cor-
poreal and finite (a human nature), but also in the fact that this nature did not
itself manifest the divine glory, as it “ought” to have done. Christ could not
cease to be God, but He could temporarily renounce the exercise of rights that
belonged to Him as God—which was what He did.

Verses 6-8 bring the Christian’s mind the contrast between Jesus and Adam.
The devil tempted Adam, a mere man, to “be like God” (Genesis 3:5). By trying
to indulge this evil desire (pride is a disordered desire for self-advancement) and
by committing the sin of disobeying God (cf. Genesis 3:6), Adam drew down the
gravest misfortunes upon himself and on his whole line (present potentially in
him): this is symbolized in the Genesis passage by his expulsion from Paradise
and by the physical world’s rebellion against his lordship (cf. Genesis 3:16-24).
Jesus Christ, on the contrary, who enjoyed divine glory from all eternity, “emptied
Himself”: He chooses the way of humility, the opposite way to Adam’s (opposite,
too, to the way previously taken by the devil). Christ’s obedience thereby makes
up for the disobedience of the first man; it puts mankind in a position to more
than recover the natural and supernatural gifts with which God endowed human
nature at the Creation. And so, after focusing on the amazing mystery of Christ’s
humiliation or self-emptying (”kenosis” in Greek), this hymn goes on joyously to
celebrate Christ’s exaltation after death.

Christ’s attitude in becoming man is, then, a wonderful example of humility.
“What is more humble”, St. Gregory of Nyssa asks, “than the King of all crea-
tion entering into communion with our poor nature? The King of kings and Lord of
lords clothes Himself with the form of our enslavement; the Judge of the universe
comes to pay tribute to the princes of this world; the Lord of creation is born in a
cave; He who encompasses the world cannot find room in the inn...; the pure and
incorrupt one puts on the filthiness of our nature and experiences all our needs,
experiences even death itself” (”Oratio I In Beatitudinibus”).

This self-emptying is an example of God’s infinite goodness in taking the initiative
to meet man: “Fill yourselves with wonder and gratitude at such a mystery and
learn from it. All the power, all the majesty, all the beauty, all the infinite harmony
of God, all His great and immeasurable riches. God whole and entire was hidden
for our benefit in the humanity of Christ. The Almighty appears determined to
eclipse His glory for a time, so as to make it easy for His creatures to approach
their Redeemer.” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 111).

8. Jesus Christ became man “for us men and for our salvation”, we profess in the
Creed. Everything He did in the course of His life had a salvific value; His death
on the cross represents the climax of His redemptive work for, as St. Gregory of
Nyssa says, “He did not experience death due to the fact of being born; rather,
He took birth upon Himself in order to die” (”Oratio Catechetica Magna”, 32).

Our Lord’s obedience to the Father’s saving plan, involving as it did death on the
cross, gives us the best of all lessons in humility. For, in the words of St. Tho-
mas Aquinas, “obedience is the sign of true humility” (”Commentary on Phil.,
ad loc.”). In St. Paul’s time death by crucifixion was the most demeaning form
of death, for it was inflicted only on criminals. By becoming obedient “unto death,
even death on a cross”, Jesus was being humble in the extreme. He was perfect-
ly within His rights to manifest Himself in all His divine glory, but He chose in-
stead the route leading to the most ignominious of deaths.

His obedience, moreover, was not simply a matter of submitting to the Father’s
will, for, as St. Paul points out, He made Himself obedient: His obedience was
active; He made the Father’s salvific plans His own. He chose voluntarily to give
Himself up to crucifixion in order to redeem mankind. “Debasing oneself when
one is forced to do so is not humility”, St. John Chrysostom explains; “humility
is present when one debases oneself without being obliged to do so” (”Hom. on
Phil., ad loc.”).

Christ’s self-abasement and his obedience unto death reveals His love for us, for
“greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”
(John 15:13). His loving initiative merits a loving response on our part: we should
show that we desire to be one with Him, for love “seeks union, identification with
the beloved. United to Christ, we will be drawn to imitate His life of dedication,
His unlimited love and His sacrifice unto death. Christ brings us face to face with
the ultimate choice: either we spend our life in selfish isolation, or we devote our-
selves and all our energies to the service of others” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends
of God”, 236).

9-11. “God highly exalted Him”: the Greek compounds the notion of exaltation,
to indicate the immensity of His glorification. Our Lord Himself foretold this when
He said, “He who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

Christ’s sacred humanity was glorified as a reward for His humiliation. The
Church’s Magisterium teaches that Christ’s glorification affects his human nature
only, for “in the form of God the Son was equal to the Father, and between the
Begetter and the Only-begotten there was no difference in essence, no difference
in majesty; nor did the Word, through the mystery of incarnation, lose anything
which the Father might later return to Him as a gift” ([Pope] St. Leo the Great,
“Promisisse Me Memini”, Chapter 8). Exaltation is public manifestation of the
glory which belongs to Christ’s humanity by virtue of its being joined to the divine
person of the Word. This union to the “form of a servant” (cf. verse 7) meant an
immense act of humility on the part of the Son, but it led to the exaltation of the
human nature He took on.

For the Jews the “name that is above every name” is the name of God (Yahweh),
which the Mosaic Law required to be held in particular awe. Also, they regarded
a name given to someone, especially if given by God, as not just a way of refer-
ring to a person but as expressing something that belonged to the very core of
his personality. Therefore, the statement that God “bestowed on Him the name
which is above every name” means that God the Father gave Christ’s human na-
ture the capacity to manifest the glory of divinity which was His by virtue of the
hypostatic union: therefore, it is to be worshipped by the entire universe.

St. Paul describes the glorification of Jesus Christ in terms similar to those used
by the prophet Daniel of the Son of Man: “To Him was given dominion and glory
and kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve His Kingdom,
one that shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14). Christ’s lordship extends to all
created things. Sacred Scripture usually speaks of “heaven and earth” when re-
ferring to the entire created universe; by mentioning here the underworld it is em-
phasizing that nothing escapes His dominion. Jesus Christ can here be seen as
the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy about the universal sovereignty of Yahweh:
“To Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” (Isaiah 45:23). All crea-
ted things come under His sway, and men are duty-bound to accept the basic
truth of Christian teaching: “Jesus Christ is Lord.” The Greek word “Kyrios”
used here by St. Paul is the word used by the Septuagint, the early Greek ver-
sion of the Old Testament, to translate the name of God (”Yahweh”). Therefore,
this sentence means “Jesus Christ is God.”

The Christ proclaimed here as having been raised on high is the man-God who
was born and died for our sake, attaining the glory of His exaltation after under-
going the humiliation of the cross. In this also Christ sets us an example: we
cannot attain the glory of Heaven unless we understand the supernatural value
of difficulties, ill-health and suffering: these are manifestations of Christ’s cross
present in our ordinary life. “We have to die to ourselves and be born again to
a new life. Jesus Christ obeyed in this way, even unto death on a cross (Philip-
pians 2:18); that is why God exalted Him. If we obey God’s will, the cross will
mean our own resurrection and exaltation. Christ’s life will be fulfilled step by
step in our own lives. It will be said of us that we have tried to be good children
of God, who went about doing good in spite of our weakness and personal short-
comings, no matter how many” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 21).

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

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


18 posted on 03/27/2010 10:14:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 22:14-23:56

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke

The institution of the Eucharist


[14] And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. [15]
And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you be-
fore I suffer; [16] for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of
God.” [17] And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this,
and divide it among yourselves; [18] for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink
of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” [19] And he took bread,
and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is
my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” [20] And like-
wise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the
new covenant in my blood.

The treachery of Judas foretold


[21] But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. [22] For
the Son of man goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom
he is betrayed!” [23] And they began to question one another, which of them it
was that would do this.

A dispute among the apostles


[24] A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the
greatest. [25] And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship
over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. [26] But not
so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the
leader as one who serves. [27] For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or
one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one
who serves.

[28] “You are those who have continued with me in my trials; [29] and I assign to
you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, [30] that you may eat and drink
at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Peter’s denial foretold


[31] “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you
like wheat, [32] but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when
you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” [33] And he said to him, “Lord,
I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” [34] He said, “I tell you, Peter,
the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me.”

Appeal to the apostles


[35] And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals,
Did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” [36] He said to them, “But now, let
him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword
sell his mantle and buy one. [37] For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled
in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has
its fulfilment.” [38] And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said
to them, “It is enough.”

Jesus’ prayer and agony in the garden


[39] And he came out, and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and
the disciples followed him. [40] And when he came to the place he said to them,
“Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” [41] And he withdrew from them
about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, [42] “Father, if thou art willing,
remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” [43] And
there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. [44] And being
in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of
blood falling upon the ground. [45] And when he rose from prayer, he came to the
disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, [46] and he said to them, “Why do
you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

The arrest of Jesus


[47] While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas,
one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; [48] but
Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?” [49]
And when those who were about him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord,
shall we strike with the sword?” [50] And one of them struck the slave of the high
priest and cut off his right ear. [51] But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he
touched his ear and healed him. [52] Then Jesus said to the chief priests and of-
ficers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come
out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? [53] When I was with you day
after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and
the power of darkness.”

Peter’s denials


[54] Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s
house. Peter followed at a distance; [55] and when they had kindled a fire in the
middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. [56] Then
a maid, seeing him as he sat in the light and gazing at him, said, “This man also
was with him.” [57] But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” [58]
And a little later some one else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” [59] And after an interval of about an hour still
another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him; for he is a Gali-
lean.” [60] But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying.” And imme-
diately, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. [61] And the Lord turned
and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had
said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” [62]
And he went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus abused by the guards


[63] Now the men who were holding Jesus mocked him and beat him; [64] they
also blindfolded him and asked him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” [65]
And they spoke many other words against him, reviling him.

Jesus before the chief priests


[66] When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together,
both chief priests and scribes; and they led him away to their council, and they
said, [67] “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you
will not believe; [68] and if I ask you, you will not answer. [69] But from now on
the Son of man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” [70] And
they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say
that I am.” [71] And they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have
heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

Jesus before Pilate


[1] Then the whole company of them arose, and brought him before Pilate. [2]
And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation,
and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a
king.” [3] And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he ans-
wered him, “You have said so.” [4] And Pilate said to the chief priests and the
multitudes, “I find no crime in this man.” [5] But they were urgent, saying, “He
stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this
place.”

Jesus before Herod


[6] When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. [7] And
when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to He-
rod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. [8] When Herod saw Jesus, he
was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about
him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. [9] So he questioned him
at some length; but he made no answer. [10] The chief priests and the scribes
stood by, vehemently accusing him. [11] And Herod with his soldiers treated him
with contempt and mocked him; then, arraying him in gorgeous apparel, he sent
him back to Pilate. [12] And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other
that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.

Jesus is condemned to death


[13] Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
[14] and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the
people; and after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty
of any of your charges against him; [15] neither did Herod, for he sent him back
to us. Behold, nothing deserving death has been done by him; [16] I will therefore
chastise him and release him.”

[18] But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Ba-
rabbas” — [19] a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started
in the city, and for murder. [20] Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to re-
lease Jesus; [21] but they shouted out, “Crucify, crucify him!” [22] A third time
he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no crime de-
serving death; I will therefore chastise him and release him.” [23] But they were
urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices
prevailed. [24] So Pilate gave sentence that their demand should be granted. [25]
He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder,
whom they asked for; but Jesus he delivered up to their will.

The crucifixion and death of Jesus


[26] And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was com-
ing in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. [27]
And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who be-
wailed and lamented him. [28] But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jer-
usalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. [29]
For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and
the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ [30] Then they
will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ [31]
For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” [32]
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.
[33] And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they cruci-
fied him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. [34] And Jesus
said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots
to divide his garments. [35] And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers
scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ
of God, his Chosen One!” [36] The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and of-
fering him vinegar, [37] and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save your-
self!” [38] There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

[39] One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not
the Christ? Save yourself and us!” [40] But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do
you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? [41]
And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this
man has done nothing wrong.” [42] And he said, “Jesus, remember me when
you come into your kingdom.” [43] And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, to-
day you will be with me in Paradise.”

[44] It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land
until the ninth hour, [45] while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple
was torn in two. [46] Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into thy
hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. [47] Now
when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, and said, “Cer-
tainly this man was innocent!” [48] And all the multitudes who assembled to see
the sight, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their
breasts. [49] And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him
from Galilee stood at a distance and saw these things.

The burial


[50] Now there was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He
was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, [51] who had not con-
sented to their purpose and deed, and he was looking for the kingdom of God.
[52] This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. [53] Then he took
it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud, and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb, where
no one had ever yet been laid. [54] It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath
was beginning. [55] The women who had come with him from Galilee followed,
and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid; [56] then they returned, and pre-
pared spices and ointments.

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-38. These verses report the events immediately prior to our Lord’s passion,
events rich in meaning. The three Synoptic Gospels all give more or less the
same account, but St Luke omits certain details and adds others which fill out
Mark’s or Matthew’s account. Take, for example, the reporting of the institution
of the Eucharist: while being substantially the same in the three Synoptics and
often word for word, the Matthew and Mark accounts (cf. Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:
22-25) are quite different from that of Luke taken together with the First Letter to
the Corinthians (cf. Lk 22:15-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25).

1. The feast of the Passover, the most solemn of all the Jewish feasts, was ins-
tituted by God to commemorate the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and to
remind them of their former slavery from which he saved them (Deut 16:3). It be-
gan with the passover supper on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month
of Nisan (March-April), a little after sundown, and went on until 22 Nisan, the
feast of the unleavened bread. The Mosaic Law laid down (Ex 12:15-20) that on
the evening of 14 Nisan the Jews had to remove any trace of leaven from their
houses and eat unleavened bread for the duration of the feast — reminding them
that when the moment came to leave Egypt they had to leave in such a hurry
that they had no time to prepare leavened bread to take with them (Ex 12:34).

All this was a prefigurement of the renewal which Christ would bring about:
“Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are un-
leavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore,
celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but
with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor 5:7-8).

3-6. Even prior to the Passion, one can sense that the behaviour of Jesus’ ene-
mies was being orchestrated by the spirit of evil, Satan. This is particularly true
where Judas is concerned. Corrupt human will alone cannot explain the torrent
of hatred unleashed against Jesus.

The passion of our Lord marks the climax of the struggle between God and the
powers of evil. After the third temptation in the desert the devil “departed from
him until an opportune time” (Lk 4:13). The time has now come: it is the hour of
Christ’s enemies and of the power of darkness (cf. Lk 22:53), and it is also the
hour of God’s definitive victory, for he “decreed that man should be saved through
the wood of the cross. The tree of man’s defeat became his tree of victory; where
life was lost, there life has been restored” (”Roman Missal”, Preface of the Tri-
umph of the Cross).

7-13. This scene took place on 14 Nisan. Every Israelite was familiar with the
details of preparations for the Passover: it involved a rite which Jewish tradition,
based on God-given regulations contained in the Law of Moses (cf. the note on
Lk 22:1), had spelt out in minute detail — the unleavened loaves, bitter herbs,
and the lamb to be sacrificed in the courtyard of the temple in the late afternoon.
Peter and John, therefore, were perfectly acquainted with all these details; the
only enquiry concerns where the supper is to be held, and our Lord tells them
exactly how to find the place.

The disciples think that all that is involved is the Passover meal; but Jesus is
also thinking about the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the
New Alliance, which will take the place of the sacrifices of the Old Testament.

14. The Last Supper is beginning, the meal at which our Lord is going to institute
the Holy Eucharist, a mystery of faith and love: “We must therefore approach this
mystery, above all, with humble reverence, not following human arguments, which
ought to be hushed, but in steadfast adherence to divine revelation” (Paul VI, “My-
sterium fidei”).

15. St John, the beloved disciple, sums up in a single phrase the sentiments wel-
ling up in Jesus’ soul at the Last Supper: “when Jesus knew that his hour had
come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in
the world, he loved them to the end” (Jn 13:1). Our Lord expresses his burning
desire to spend the hours prior to his death with those whom he loves most on
earth and, as happens when people are taking leave of their nearest and dearest,
very affectionate words are exchanged (cf. Theophylact, “Enarratio in Evangelium
loannis”, in loc.). His love is not confined to the apostles; he is thinking of all
men and women. He knows that this Passover meal marks the beginning of his
passion. He is going to anticipate the Sacrifice of the New Testament, which will
bring such benefits to mankind.

To fulfil his Father’s will, Jesus must necessarily go away, but his love, impelling
him to stay with his own, moves him to institute the Eucharist, in which he stays
behind, in which he remains really and truly present. “Think,” St J. Escrivá writes,
“of the human experience of two people who love each other, and yet are forced
to part. They would like to stay together forever, but duty — in one form or ano-
ther — forces them to separate. They are unable to fulfill their desire of remaining
close to each other, so man’s love — which, great as it may be, is limited – seeks
a symbolic gesture. People who make their farewells exchange gifts or perhaps a
photograph with a dedication so ardent that it seems almost enough to burn that
piece of paper. They can do no more, because a creature’s power is not so great
as its desire.

“What we cannot do, our Lord is able to do. Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect
man, leaves us not a symbol but a reality. He himself stays with us. He will go to
the Father, but he will also remain among men. He will leave us, not simply a gift
that will make us remember him, not an image that becomes blurred with time,
like a photograph that soon fades and yellows, and has no meaning except for
those who were contemporaries. Under the appearances of bread and wine, he
is really present, with his body and blood, with his soul and divinity” (”Christ Is
Passing By”, 83).

16-20. This text contains the three basic truths of faith having to do with the sub-
lime mystery of the Eucharist: 1) the institution of this sacrament and Jesus
Christ’s real presence in it; 2) the institution of the Christian priesthood; and 3)
the Eucharist as the Sacrifice of the New Testament or Holy Mass (cf. the note
on Mt 26:26-29). St Luke’s account is substantially the same as that in the First
Gospel, but it is enhanced by his more detailed description of some points (cf.
the note on v.17).

Regarding the real presence of Christ in this sacrament, Paul VI stated: “In reli-
ance on this belief of the Church, the Council of Trent ‘openly and simply profes-
ses that in the bountiful sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, after the consecration
of the bread and wine, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, true God and true man,
is contained truly, really and substantially under the appearance of the objects
that the senses can perceive’ (”De SS. Eucharistia”, chap. 1). Therefore our Sa-
viour is not only present according to his humanity at the right hand of the Father,
after his natural mode of existence, but at the same time he is present in the sa-
crament of the Eucharist also by that form of existence which is possible to God,
though we can hardly express it in words. With thoughts enlightened by faith we
can reach it and we must believe it with the greatest constancy” (”Mysterium fi-
dei”). In contemplating this ineffable mystery, Christian souls have always per-
ceived its grandeur as deriving from the fact of Christ’s real presence in it. The
sacrament of the Eucharist is not only an efficacious sign of Christ’s loving pres-
ence in an intimate union with the faithful: in it he is present corporeally and sub-
stantially, as God and as man. Certainly, in order to penetrate this mystery one
needs to have faith, because “there is no difficulty about Christ being present in
the Sacrament as a sign; the real difficulty lies in his being as truly in the Sacra-
ment as he is in heaven; therefore, it is very meritorious to believe this” (St Bona-
venture, “In IV Sent.”, d. 10, q. 1, a.1). This mystery cannot be perceived by the
senses: it can only be grasped by faith in the words of our Saviour who, being
truth itself (cf. Jn 14:6), cannot deceive or be deceived: thus, in a hymn which is
traditionally attributed to St Thomas Aquinas, the “Adoro te devote”, the Chris-
tian people sing: “Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived; how says trus-
ty hearing? that shall be believed; what God’s Son has told me, take for truth I
do; Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true” (translated by G.M. Hop-
kins).

“If no one is to misunderstand this mode of presence, which oversteps the laws
of nature and constitutes the greatest miracle of all in its kind, our minds must
be docile and we must follow the voice of the Church through her teaching and
prayer. This voice continually re-echoes the voice of Christ. It informs us that
Christ becomes present in this sacrament precisely by a change of the bread’s
whole substance into his body and the wine’s whole substance into his blood.
This is clearly remarkable, a singular change, and the Catholic Church gives it
the suitable and accurate name of transubstantiation” (Paul VI, “Mysterium fidei”).

After instituting the Eucharist, our Lord instructs the apostles to perpetuate what
he has done: the Church has always taken Christ’s words “Do this in remem-
brance of me” to mean that he thereby made the apostles and their successors
priests of the New Covenant who would renew the Sacrifice of Calvary in an un-
bloody manner in the celebration of Holy Mass.

This means that at the centre of Christ’s entire activity stands the bloody Sacri-
fice he offered on the cross — the Sacrifice of the New Covenant, prefigured in
the sacrifices of the Old Law, in the offerings made by Abel (Gen 4:4), by Abra-
ham (Gen 15:10; 22:13), by Melchizedek (Gen 14:18-20; Heb 7:1-28). The Last
Supper is the very Sacrifice of Calvary performed in advance of the event through
the words of the Consecration. Similarly the Mass renews this sacrifice which
was offered once for all on the altar of the cross. Christ alone is the victim and
the priest at Supper, Calvary and Mass; the only thing that varies is the way he
is offered.

“We believe that the Mass which is celebrated by the priest in the person of
Christ in virtue of the power he receives in the sacrament of Order, and which is
offered by him in the name of Christ and of the members of his Mystical Body, is
indeed the Sacrifice of Calvary sacramentally realized on our altars” (Paul VI,
Creed of the People of God, 24).

16. The words “I shall not eat it [this Passover] until it is fulfilled in the kingdom
of heaven,” as also those in v. 18, “I shall not drink of the fruit of this vine until the
kingdom of God comes,” do not mean that Jesus Christ will eat the paschal lamb
once his Kingdom is established, but simply that this was the last time he will ce-
lebrate the Jewish Passover. Announcing the New Passover, which is now immi-
nent and which will last until his second coming, Jesus once and for all replaces
the ancient rite with his redemptive sacrifice, which marks the beginning of the
Kingdom.

17. The Passover meal always followed a very specific pattern. Before eating the
lamb, the senior person explained, in reply to a question from the youngest pre-
sent, the religious meaning of what was happening. Then the meal proceeded, in-
terspersed with hymns and psalms. At the end came a solemn prayer of thanks-
giving. Throughout the meal, marking its main stages, the diners drank four glas-
ses of wine mixed with water. St Luke refers to two of these, the second being
that which our Lord consecrated.

19. We should note how plainly our Lord speaks: he does not say “here is my bo-
dy,” or “this is the symbol of my body,” but “this is my body”: that is, “this bread
is no longer bread, it is my body”. “Some men, accordingly, not paying heed to
these things, have contended that Christ’s body and blood are present in this sa-
crament only as in a sign: this is to be rejected as heretical, since it is contrary
to Christ’s words” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Summa theologiae”, 3, q. 75, a. 1).
Jesus’ words when he promised the Eucharist reinforce what he says here: “I am
the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he
will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my
flesh [. . .]. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will
raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:51, 54).

“Do this in remembrance of me.” The solemn Magisterium of the Church teaches
us the meaning and scope of these words: “If anyone says that by the words, ‘Do
this in remembrance of me’ Christ did not make his apostles priests, or that he
did not decree that they and other priests should offer his body and blood: let him
be condemned” (Council of Trent, “De SS. Missae sacrificio”, c. 2).

24-30. This was not the first time the apostles brought up this question about
which of them was the greatest. It came up when they were going towards Caper-
naum, after Jesus’ second announcement of his passion. At that time Jesus used
a child as an example of humility (cf. Mt 18:1-5; Mk 9:33-37; Lk 9:46-48). A little
later, when the mother of James and John made her special request, the same
subject arose: the other apostles were very annoyed with the sons of Zebedee,
and our Lord intervened and put himself forward as an example: “The Son of man
also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for ma-
ny” (Mk 10:45; cf. Mt 20:25-28).

The apostles failed to grasp what Jesus meant. They continue to be blinded by
their human outlook and the same argument starts again. Jesus had invited them
to have a greater sense of responsibility by telling them that one of their number
was going to betray him (vv. 21 and 22) and by charging them to renew the Eu-
charistic Sacrifice (v. 19). As on other occasions when the apostles boasted
about their personal merits, Jesus reminds them again of the example of his
own life: he was their Teacher and Lord (cf. Jn 13:13) and yet he acted as if he
were the least among them and served them. To respond to a calling from God
a person needs humility, which expresses itself in the form of a spirit of service.
“You want to hear all that I think of ‘your way’? Very well, then. . ., listen: if you
respond to the call, you will do your utmost in your work for Christ; if you be-
come a man of prayer, you will be granted the grace necessary to respond and,
hungry for sacrifice, you will seek out the hardest tasks.. . . And you will be hap-
py here, and unspeakably happy hereafter” (St J. Escrivá, “The Way”, 235).

The reward which Jesus promises those who stay faithful to him far exceeds any-
thing human ambition can envisage: the apostles will share in divine friendship in
the Kingdom of heaven and they will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve
tribes of Israel. Christ’s word and example are basic norm of government in the
Church; the Second Vatican Council explains our Lord’s commandment as fol-
lows: “The bishops, vicars and legates of Christ, govern the particular Church as-
signed to them by their counsels, exhortations and example, but over and above
that also by the authority and sacred power which indeed they exercise exclusive-
ly for the spiritual development of their flock in truth and holiness, keeping in mind
that he who is greater should become as the lesser, and he who is the leader as
the servant (cf. Lk 22:26-27)” (”Lumen Gentium”, 27).

25-27. By spreading Jesus’ teaching about humility and service to others, we pro-
mote the true brotherhood of man. Pope Paul VI pointed this out in his address to
the United Nations: “Allow me to say this to you, as the representative of a reli-
gion which accomplishes salvation through the humility of its divine Founder: men
cannot be brothers if they are not humble. It is pride, no matter how legitimate it
may seem to be, which provokes tension and struggles for prestige, for predomi-
nance, colonialism, selfishness; it is pride that disrupts brotherhood” (no. 4).

31-34. Our Lord had previously told Peter that he was going to give him a spe-
cially important mission among the apostles — that of being the cornerstone, the
foundation, of the Church he would found. “’So you are Simon the son of John?
You shall be called Cephas’ (which means Peter)” (Jn 1:42), Jesus told him on
the bank of the Jordan. Later, in Caesarea Philippi, after his profession of faith in
the divinity of the Redeemer, Christ again referred to him as being a rock, as ha-
ving a mission to strengthen the Church: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on
this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against
it” (Mt 16:18). Now, at this very solemn moment, when his death approaches
and he has just instituted the Sacrifice of the New Testament, our Lord renews
his promise to Peter to give him the primacy: Peter’s faith, despite his fall, can-
not fail because it is supported by the efficacious prayer of our Lord himself.

Jesus Christ is giving Peter a privilege which is both personal and transferable.
Peter will publicly deny his Lord in the high priest’s house, but he will not lose his
faith. As St John Chrysostom comments, it is as if our Lord were saying to Peter,
“I have not prayed that you may not deny me but that your faith may not fail”
(”Hom. on St Matthew”, 3). And Theophylact adds: “For, although St Peter would
have to experience ups and downs he still had the hidden seed of faith, and he
[Christ] adds, ‘And when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren’, as if
to say, ‘After you repent; confirm then your brethren, for I have made you the
leader of the apostles; this is the task given you: you with me are the strength
and the rock of my Church.’ This should be taken not only as applying to the disci-
ples who were present there, for them to be strengthened by Peter: it also refers
to all the faithful who would follow, until the end of the world” (”Enarratio in Evan-
gelium Lucae”, in loc.).

And, as it turned out, as a result of our Lord’s prayer, Peter’s faith did not fail and
he recovered from his fall; he confirmed his brothers and was indeed the corner-
stone of the Church.

Our Lord’s prayer was effective in respect not only to Peter but also to his succes-
sors: their faith will not fail. This indefectibility of the faith of the bishop of Rome,
the successor of St Peter, is to be seen as ensuring that he stay committed to
the faith, a commitment guaranteed by the charism of infallibility: “This infallibility,
with which the divine Redeemer wished to endow his Church in defining doctrine
pertaining to faith and morals, is co-extensive with the deposit of revelation, which
must be religiously guarded and loyally and courageously expounded. The Ro-
man Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his
office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful — who confirms his
brethren in the faith (cf. Lk 22:32) — he proclaims in an absolute decision a doc-
trine pertaining to faith or morals” (Vatican II, “Lumen gentium”, 25).

Therefore, when the Pope speaks ex cathedra (cf. Vatican I, “Pastor aeternus”,
chap. 4) “he enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished to pro-
vide his Church. . . and therefore the definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreform-
able by their very nature” (see also the note on Mt 16:13-20).

“The supreme power of the Roman Pontiff and his infallibility, when he speaks ex
cathedra, are not a human invention: they are based on the explicit foundational
will of Christ [. . .]. No one in the Church enjoys absolute power by himself, as
man. In the Church there is no leader other than but Christ. And Christ constitu-
ted a vicar of his — the Roman Pontiff — for his wayfaring spouse on earth […].
Love for the Pope must be in us a beautiful passion, because in him we see
Christ” (St. J. Escrivá, “In Love with the Church”, 13).

36-38. Jesus announces his passion by applying to himself the Isaiah prophecy
about the Servant of Yahweh (Is 53:12) — “he was numbered with the transgress-
sors” — and by pointing out that all the other prophecies about the sufferings the
Redeemer would undergo will find fulfillment in him. The testing-time is imminent
and our Lord is speaking symbolically when he talks about making provision and
buying weapons to put up a fight. The apostles take him literally, and this leads
him to express a certain indulgent understanding: “It is enough.” “Just in the
same way as we,” Theophylact says, “when we are speaking to someone and
see that he does not understand, say: ‘Very well, leave it’” (”Enarratio in Evange-
lium Lucae”, in loc.).

39-71. Our Lord’s passion is the outstanding proof of God’s love for men: “God
so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should
not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). It also proves beyond doubt that Christ,
true God and true man, loves us, as he said himself: “Greater love has no man
than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13).

“Do you want to accompany Jesus closely, very closely? . . . Open the Holy
Gospel and read the Passion of our Lord. But don’t just read it: live it. There is a
big difference. To read is to recall something that happened in the past; to live is
to find oneself present at an event that is happening here and now, to be some-
one taking part in those scenes. Then, allow your heart to open wide; let it place
itself next to our Lord. And when you notice it trying to slip away — when you
see that you are a coward, like the others — ask forgiveness for your cowardice
and mine” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way of the Cross”, IX, 3).

39-40. It was Jesus’ custom to retire to the garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount
of Olives, in order to pray; this seems to be implied by both St John (Jn 18:1) and
St Luke (21:37). This explains how Judas knew the place (Jn 18:1-2).

As soon as he reaches the garden our Lord prepares to face his agony. Before
going aside to pray, he asks his disciples to pray as well because very soon they
will be tempted to lose faith when they see him being arrested (cf. Mt 26:31). At
the Last Supper Jesus had told them this would happen; now he warns them that
if they are not watchful and prayerful they will not be able to resist the temptation.
He also wants his apostles to keep him company when he suffers — which is why,
when he comes back and finds them sleeping, he sorrowfully complains to Peter:
“Could you not watch with me one hour?” (Mt 26:40).

We should stay close to our Lord and keep him company, even at times of diffi-
culty and tribulation; the command Jesus gives here shows us how to go about
this — by prayer and vigilance.

41. Jesus prays kneeling down. Many Gospel passages refer to our Lord’s prayer
but this is the only time his posture is described. It may well be that he knelt at
other times also. Kneeling is an external expression of a humble attitude toward
God.

42. Jesus Christ is perfect God and perfect man: as God he is equal to the Father,
as man less than the Father. And therefore as man he could pray, he had to pray
— as he did throughout his life. Now, when his spiritual suffering is so intense that
he is in agony, our Lord addresses his Father with a prayer which shows both his
trust and his anguish: he calls him, with immense affection, “Abba”, Father, and
asks him to remove this cup of bitterness. What causes our Lord his intense pain?
Foreknowledge of all the sufferings involved in his passion, which he freely under-
goes; and the weight of all the sins of mankind, the unfaithfulness of the chosen
people and abandonment by his disciples. Christ’s sensitive soul felt the full im-
pact of all this. So intense is our Redeemer’s anguish that he actually sweats
blood, an indication of the extent of his human capacity to suffer. In this connec-
tion St Thomas More comments: “The fear of death and torments carries no stig-
ma of guilt but rather is an affliction of the sort Christ came to suffer, not to es-
cape. We should not immediately consider it cowardice for someone to feel fear
and horror at the thought of torments [. . .]. But to flee because of a fear of torture
and death when the circumstances make it necessary to fight, or to give up all
hope of victory and surrender to the enemy — that, to be sure, is a capital crime
according to the military code. But otherwise, no matter how much the heart of
the soldier is agitated and stricken by fear, if he still comes forward at the com-
mand of the general, goes on, fights and defeats the enemy, he has no reason to
fear that his former fear might lessen his reward in any way. As a matter of fact,
he ought to receive even more praise because of it, since he had to overcome not
only the enemy but also his own fear, which is often harder to conquer than the
enemy itself” (”De tristitia Christi”, in loc.).

Jesus perseveres in his prayer: “Not my will, but thine, be done” — which shows
that he had a human will and that it was in total harmony with the divine will. This
prayer of our Lord is also a perfect lesson in abandonment to and union with the
Will of God — features which should be found in our own prayer, particularly in mo-
ments of difficulty. “Are things going against you? Are you going through a rough
time? Say very slowly, as if relishing it, this powerful and manly prayer: ‘May the
most just and most lovable will of God be done, be fulfilled, be praised and eternal-
ly exalted above all things. Amen, Amen.’ I assure you that you will find peace”
(St. J Escrivá, “The Way”, 691).

43. In the Gospel we often see angels play a part in our Lord’s life. An angel an-
nounces the mystery of the Incarnation to the Blessed Virgin (Lk 1:26); choirs of
angels sing God’s praises when Jesus is born in Bethlehem (Lk 2:13); angels mi-
nister to him after he is tempted in the wilderness (Mt 4:11); and now the Father
sends an angel to comfort him in his agony.

Our Lord, who is God, accepts this consolation. The Creator of all, who is never
in need of the help of his creatures is ready to accept, as man, consolation and
help from those who can give it.

In addition to aiding Jesus in his work as Redeemer, angels also minister to the
Church in a special way. We often see them act in the early days of the Church
(cf. Acts 5:19; 7:30; 8:26; 12:7 27:23; etc.). God has given angels the mission of
accompanying men and helping them as they make their way on earth towards
their heavenly goal. The angels, says Paul VI, “intercede for us and come to the
aid of our weakness in brotherly care” (”Creed of the People of God”, 29). Their
caring presence should move us to rely constantly on our guardian angels, to
have recourse to them in our needs and to show them reverence.

47-48. Judas now gives the prearranged sign (cf. Mt 26:48); he comes forward to
kiss our Lord — a form of friendly greeting normal among the Jews. When greet-
ing someone like this, one would say Shalom, “peace”. In contemplating this sad
betrayal by an apostle, Jesus treats Judas in a very gentle way and yet shows up
the malice and ugliness of his treachery: for the last time he tries to win Judas
back.

There is no limit to the goodness of a merciful God, and not even the greatest
sinner should despair of obtaining forgiveness. “Even to Judas,” St Thomas More
comments, “God gave many opportunities of coming to his senses. He did not
deny him his companionship. He did not take away from him the dignity of his
apostleship. He did not even take the purse-strings from him, even though he was
a thief. He admitted the traitor to the fellowship of his beloved disciples at the last
supper. He deigned to stoop down at the feet of the betrayer and to wash with his
most innocent and sacred hands Judas’ dirty feet, a fit symbol of his filthy mind
[. . .]. Finally when Judas, coming with his crew to seize him, offered him a kiss,
a kiss that was in fact the terrible token of his treachery, Christ received him
calmly and gently [. . .]. Therefore, since God showed his great mercy, in so ma-
ny ways even toward Judas, an apostle turned traitor, since he invited him to for-
giveness so often and did not allow him to perish except through despair alone,
certainly there is no reason why, in this life, anyone should despair of any imita-
tor of Judas. Rather, according to that holy advice of the apostle, ‘Pray for one
another, that you may be healed’ (Jas 5:16), if we see anyone wandering wildly
from the right road, let us hope that he will one day return to the path, and mean-
while let us pray humbly and incessantly that God will hold out to him chances
to come to his senses, and likewise that with God’s help he will eagerly seize
them, and having seized them will hold fast and not throw them away out of ma-
lice or let them slip away from him through wretched sloth” (”De tristitia Christi”,
in loc.).

51. St Luke, who was a physician (cf. Col 4:15), here by divine inspiration records
the last miracle worked by Jesus before his death. Ever merciful, Jesus restores
to Malchus the ear Peter cut off (cf. Jn 18:10) — thereby showing that he is still
in control of events, even in the present situation. Careless of his own safety he
cures one of the people who have come to arrest him. Also, Jesus, who is giving
himself up to death in obedience to his Father, refuses to have violence used in
his defence. In fulfilment of the prophecies he offers no resistance, he goes like a
sheep to the slaughter (cf. Is 52-53. The “captains of the temple” were a military
corps charged with policing the temple precincts; they reported to the high priest.
To them, as well as to the priests and elders, our Lord addresses these words.

“This is your hour,” that is, the time when you, the prince of darkness, can un-
leash all your hatred against me: our Lord shows that he knows his death is at
hand. Previous attempts to arrest him had failed; but this one will succeed, be-
cause, as he explains, God allows it to happen. This is the hour the Father has
fixed to accomplish the redemption of mankind; therefore, Jesus freely lets him-
self be taken prisoner.

55-62. Peter, who has been following the throng of people hustling our Lord, en-
ters the house of the high priest. While Jesus is undergoing his first trial the sad-
dest event in the apostle’s life takes place. The evangelists give vivid accounts of
the scene. Peter is in a state of shock and is all confused. Inevitably, that night,
people would have spoken about Jesus and his disciples a number of times. In
conversation Peter says three times that he does not know Jesus, that he is not
a follower of his. He does want to continue to follow our Lord, but wanting is not
enough: he has a duty not to disguise the fact that he is a disciple, even though
it is obviously risky to do so; that is why his denial is a grave sin. No one is jus-
tified in denying or disguising his faith, the fact that he is a Christian, a follower
of Christ.

After the cock crows Jesus’ glance meets Peter’s. The apostle is moved by this
silent and tender gesture. Peter realizes the seriousness of his sin and the fact
that it fulfils our Lord’s prophecy about his betrayal. “He went out and wept bitter-
ly.” Tears like these are the natural reaction of a noble heart moved by God’s
grace; this lovesorrow, this contrition, when it is sincere, leads a person to make
the firm resolution to do anything necessary to erase the least trace of the sin he
has committed.

66-71. Our Lord’s first trial, which took place at night, was aimed at establishing
the charges to be laid against him (Mt 26:59-66; Mk 14:53-64). Now, as day
dawns, the Sanhedrin trial begins: this trial was required because Jewish custom
forbade night trials on serious charges — which meant that any decisions taken
at such trials had no legal validity. The authorities want to charge Jesus with a
crime carrying the death penalty, and they decide to establish that he has com-
mitted blasphemy; but the evidence is so inconsistent that it fails to provide a pre-
text for condemning him. Therefore the Sanhedrin endeavours to get our Lord to
say something which will compromise him. Although he knows that his reply pro-
vides the Pharisees with the pretext they are looking for, Jesus solemnly states,
to the indignation of those present, not only that he is the Messiah but that he is
the Son of God, equal to the Father; and he emphasizes that in him the ancient
prophecies are being fulfilled (cf. Dan 7:13; Ps 110:1). The members of the San-
hedrin know exactly what our Lord’s answer means and, tearing their garments
to show their horror, they call for his death: he deserves death because he has
committed the blasphemy of claiming to be on the same level as God.

Recognizing Jesus would involve their doing an about-turn in their attitude to-
wards him — which they would have found very embarrassing. They are too
proud to change, and they close the door on faith — a lesson to us all not to let
pride blind us to our mistakes and sins.

1-2. Jesus underwent two trials — a religious one, following the Jewish system,
and a civil one, following the Roman.

In the first trial, the Jewish authorities condemned Jesus to death on religious
grounds for claiming to be the Son of God; but they could not carry out the sen-
tence because the Romans reserved to themselves the exercise of the death
penalty. The Sanhedrin now arranges a new trial before Pilate in order to get the
Romans to execute the sentence they themselves have already passed. Events
are moving to fulfil Jesus’ prophecy that he will die at the hands of the Gentiles
(cf. Lk 18:32).

Due to the fact that the Romans were very tolerant of religious customs of sub-
ject peoples — and took no interest in them provided they did not lead to public
unrest — the Jewish leaders alter the charges they bring against Jesus: from now
on they accuse him of political crimes — of inciting rebellion against the Romans
and of seeking to become king. And they present these charges in such a way
that a verdict favourable to the accused might be interpreted in Rome as a trea-
cherous act: “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend; every one who
makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar” (Jn 19:12).

2. To give their charges a veneer of credibility, they produce half-truths, taken out
of context and interpreted in the worst possible light. Jesus had taught: “Render
therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are
God’s” (Mt 22:21; cf. the note on same), and in his preaching he stated that by
virtue of being the Messiah he was King as well as Prophet and Priest; but he al-
so preached that his was a spiritual kingship and therefore he energetically rejec-
ted all the people’s attempts to proclaim him king (cf. Jn 6:15).

3-4. Jesus openly confesses that he is King, but from what he says he makes
quite clear the spiritual nature of this kingship (Jn 18:33-38). Pilate becomes con-
vinced that he is guilty of no crime (Jn 18:38; 19:4) and that all the charges
brought against him are groundless (Mt 27:18). However, instead of efficiently de-
livering judgment in favour of the accused, he temporizes; he tries to gain popula-
rity at Jesus’ expense and settles for indicating that he is convinced of his inno-
cence — as if inviting the accusers to back off; but this only encourages them to
become vociferous and complicates the situation.

By behaving in this way Pilate becomes the classic example of a compromiser:
“A man, a ‘gentleman’, ready to compromise would condemn Jesus to death
again” (St J. Escrivá, “The Way”, 393).

7. Herod Antipas normally went up to Jerusalem for the Passover, staying in his
own palace in the centre of the city. By sending Jesus to Herod Pilate is trying to
rid himself of a troublesome case and build up a friendship useful to his own pol-
itical career.

8-11. Our Lord adopts a very different attitude to Herod Antipas compared with
his attitude to Pilate. Herod was superstitious, sensual and adulterous. In spite
of his regard for John the Baptist, he had him beheaded to keep his oath to Salo-
me (cf. Mk 6:14-29). Now he tries to get Jesus to perform a miracle, as if Jesus
were a magician putting on a show for Herod’s entertainment. Jesus does not re-
ply to his flattery. Our Lord’s attitude is simple, stately and also severe. His elo-
quent silence is a perfect example of the way to deal with behaviour of this type.
Herod reacts by dressing Jesus in a rich robe, to make fun of him.

12. Psalm 2 said this in prophecy of the Messiah: “The kings of the earth set
themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anoin-
ted.” These words are now fulfilled to the letter, as the Book of the Acts points
out: “For truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant
Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles
and the people of Israel, to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined
to take place” (Acts 4:27f).

17. Verse 17 — “Necesse autem habebat dimittere eis per diem festum, unum”
(in the Old Vulgate) — has not been included in the New Vulgate because it is
absent from most of the better Greek manuscripts.

24-25. Jesus condemned to death and made to carry the cross (cf. Jn 19:16-17)
is devoutly contemplated by Christians in the first and second stations of the Way
of the Cross. Pilate at last gives in to the Sanhedrin and condemns our Lord to
the most ignominious form of punishment, death by crucifixion.

It was customary for people condemned to crucifixion to be made to carry the in-
strument of their own death. Our Lord fulfils in his own person the prophecies of
Isaiah: “By oppression and judgment he was taken away; [. . .] 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” (Is 53:8-9).

26. Christian piety contemplates this episode of the Passion in the fifth station
of the Way of the Cross. The soldiers force Simon to help Jesus carry the cross,
not because they feel pity for our Lord, but because they realize that he is get-
ting weaker and weaker and they are afraid he may die before reaching Calvary.
According to tradition, preserved in the third, seventh and ninth stations, Jesus
fell three times under the weight of the cross; but he got up again and lovingly
embraced it once more in obedience to his heavenly Father’s will, seeing in the
cross the altar on which he would give his life as a propitiatory Victim for the sal-
vation of mankind.

However, our Lord chose to be helped by Simon of Cyrene in order to show us
that we — whom Simon represents — have to become co-redeemers with him.
“Love for God invites us to take up the cross and feel on our own shoulders the
weight of humanity. It leads us to fulfill the clear and loving plans of the Father’s
will in all the circumstances of our work and life” (St J. Escrivá, “Christ Is Pas-
sing By”, 97). God the Father, in his providence, gave his Son this small conso-
lation in the midst of his terrible suffering — just as he sent an angel to comfort
him in his agony in Gethsemane (Lk 22:43).

Other aspects of this scene of the Gospel are commented on in notes on Mt 27:
32 and Mk 15:21.

27-31. The piety of these women shows that Jesus had friends as well as ene-
mies. If we bear in mind that Jewish traditions, as recorded in the Talmud, for-
bade wailing for people condemned to death, we will appreciate the value of
these women’s gesture.

“Among the people watching our Lord as he passes by are a number of women
who are unable to restrain their compassion and break into tears, perhaps recall-
ing those glorious days spent with Jesus, when everyone exclaimed in amaze-
ment: “bene omnia fecit” (Mk 7:37), he has done all things well.

“But our Lord wishes to channel their weeping towards a more supernatural mo-
tive, and he invites them to weep for sins, which are the cause of the Passion
and which will draw down the rigour of divine justice: ‘Daughters of Jerusalem,
do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. . . For if they
do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’ (Lk 23:28, 31).

“Your sins, my sins, the sins of all men, rise up. All the evil we have done and
the good that we have neglected to do. The desolate panorama of the countless
crimes and iniquities which we would have committed, if he, Jesus, had not
strengthened us with the light of his most loving glance. How little a life is for
making atonement!” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way of the Cross”, VIII).

Christian devotion also includes in the Way of the Cross a pious tradition that a
woman, called Veronica (Berenice), approached Jesus and wiped his face with a
linen cloth — a brave action on her part, in view of the hostility of the crowd (sixth
station). And another station, the fourth, venerates Jesus’ meeting with his bles-
sed Mother on the way to Calvary, a sorrowful meeting which fulfils Simeon’s
prophecy to the Blessed Virgin (cf. Lk 2:35).

On the way to Calvary the only people who give Jesus consolation are women —
evidencing their bravery and religious sensitivity during this painful time in Jesus’
life; whereas only one man – John — is to be seen.

In spite of his awful suffering, Jesus is mindful of the terrible times which are ap-
proaching. His words in response to the women’s lament are a prophecy about
the destruction of Jerusalem, which will come about within a few years.

The “green wood” refers to the just and innocent; the “dry wood”, to the sinner,
the guilty one. Jesus, the Son of God, is the only truly just and innocent man.

33. The crucifixion is contemplated in the eleventh station of the Way of the
Cross. The soldiers nail Jesus’ hands and feet to the beams. The purpose of this
punishment is to bring on a slow death, involving maximum suffering: “Now they
are crucifying our Lord, and with him two thieves, one on his right and one on his
left. Meanwhile, Jesus says: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they
do’ (Lk 23:34).

“It is Love that has brought Jesus to Calvary. And once on the Cross, all his ges-
tures and all his words are of love, a love both calm and strong. With a gesture
befitting an Eternal Priest, without father or mother, without lineage (cf. Heb 7:3),
he opens his arms to the whole human race.

“With the hammer blows with which Jesus is being nailed, there resound the pro-
phetic words of Holy Scripture: ‘They have pierced my hands and my feet. I can
count all my bones, and they stare and gloat over me’ (Ps 22:17-18). “’My people,
what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me!’ (Mic 6:3).

“And we, our soul rent with sorrow, say to Jesus in all sincerity: I am yours and I
give my whole self to you; gladly do I nail myself to your Cross, ready to be in the
crossroads of this world a soul dedicated to you, to your glory, to the work of Re-
demption, the co-redemption of the whole human race” (St J. Escrivá, “The Way
of the Cross, XI).

“It is good for us to try to understand better the meaning of Christ’s death. We
must get beyond external appearances and clichés. [. . .] Let us, above all, come
close to Jesus in his death and to his cross which stands out in silhouette above
the summit of Golgotha. But we must approach him sincerely and with the interior
recollection that is a sign of Christian maturity. The divine and human events of
the Passion will then pierce our soul as words spoken to us by God to uncover
the secrets of our heart and show us what he expects of our lives” (St. J. Escriva,
“Christ Is Passing By”, 101).

Jesus’ terrible suffering on the cross clearly shows the gravity of the sins of men,
of my sin. This gravity is measured by the infinite greatness and honour of God,
the offended one. God, who is infinitely merciful and at the same time infinitely
just, exercised both these attributes: his infinite justice required an infinite repa-
ration, of which mere man was incapable; his infinite mercy found the solution:
the second person of the Trinity, taking on human nature, becoming truly man
while not ceasing to be true God, suffered the punishment which was man’s due.
In this way, by being represented in Jesus’ sacred humanity, men would be able
to make sufficient atonement to God’s justice. No words can express God’s love
for us as manifested on the cross. A living faith in the mystery of our redemption
will lead us to respond with gratitude and love: “We believe that our Lord Jesus
Christ redeemed us by the sacrifice on the Cross from original sin and from all
those personal sins to which we confess, so that the truth of the apostle’s words
is vindicated that where sin increased, grace abounded all the more’ (Paul VI,
“Creed of the People of God”, 17).

34. Jesus addresses the Father in a tone of supplication (cf. Heb 5:7). We can
distinguish two parts in his prayer — his simple request: “Father, forgive them,”
and the excuse he offers, “for they know not what they do.” We can see him as
one who practises what he preaches (cf. Acts 1:1) and as a model whom we
should imitate. He had taught us that we have a duty to forgive offences (cf. Mt
6:12-15; 18:21-35), and even to love our enemies (cf. Mt 5:44-45; Rom 12:14, 20),
because he had come into the world to offer himself as a victim “for the forgive-
ness of sins” (Mt 26:28; cf. Eph 1:7) and to enable us to obtain pardon.

The excuse which Jesus offers may at first take us by surprise: “for they know
not what they do.” His love, his perfect mercy and justice make maximum allo-
wance for factors rendering our sins less heinous. It is quite clear that the people
directly responsible were perfectly aware that they were condemning an innocent
person to death, that they were guilty of homicide; but they did not realize, in
these moments of passion, that they were also committing deicide. This is what
St Peter means when he tells the Jews, encouraging them to repent, that they
acted “in ignorance” (Acts 3:17), and St Paul adds that if they had understood the
hidden wisdom of God “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor 2:8).
Jesus in his mercy excuses them on the grounds of ignorance.

In any sinful action there are always areas of darkness, passion, blindness, which
without taking away a person’s freedom and responsibility do enable him to carry
out an evil action through being attracted by apparently good aspects which that
action involves; and this does lessen the evil that we do.

Christ teaches us to forgive those who offend us and to look for excuses for them,
thereby leaving open the door to the hope of their pardon and repentance; only
God can be the ultimate judge of men. This heroic charity was practised by Chris-
tians from the very beginning. Thus, the first martyr, St Stephen, dies begging
God to pardon his executioners (cf. Acts 7:60). “Force yourself, if necessary, al-
ways to forgive those who offend you, from the very first moment. For the greatest
injury or offence that you can suffer from them is as nothing compared with what
God has pardoned you” (St J. Escrivá, “The Way”, 452).

35-37. The Roman governor’s soldiers join the Jewish people and their leaders
in mocking Jesus; thus, everyone — Jews and Gentiles — contributed to making
Christ’s passion even more bitter. But we should not forget that we too make a
mockery of our Lord every time we fall into sin or fail to respond sufficiently to
grace. This is why St Paul says that those who sin “crucify the Son of God on
their own account and hold him up to contempt” (Heb 6:6).

39-43. The episode of the two thieves invites us to admire the designs of divine
providence, of grace and human freedom. Both thieves are in the same position
– in the presence of the Eternal High Priest as he offers himself in sacrifice for
them and for all mankind. One of them hardens his heart, despairs and blas-
phemes, while the other repents, prays with confidence to Christ and is promised
immediate salvation. “The Lord,” St Ambrose comments, “always grants more
than one asks: the thief only asked him to remember him, but the Lord says to
him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’ Life consists in
dwelling with Jesus Christ, and where Jesus Christ is there is his Kingdom” (”Ex-
positio Evangelii sec. Lucam”, in loc.). “It is one thing for man to judge someone
he does not know; another, for God, who can see into a person’s conscience.
Among men, confession is followed by punishment; whereas confession to God
is followed by salvation” (St John Chrysostom, “De Cruce et latrine”).

While we make our way through life, we all sin, but we can all repent also. God
is always waiting for us with his arms wide open, ready to forgive us. Therefore,
no one should despair: everyone should try to have a strong hope in God’s mer-
cy. But no one may presume that he will be saved, for none of us can be absolu-
tely certain of our final perseverance (cf. Council of Trent, “De Iustificatione”, can.
16). This relative uncertainty is a spur God gives us to be ever vigilant; this vigi-
lance in turn helps us progress in the work of our sanctification as Christians.

42. “Many times have I repeated that verse of the Eucharistic hymn: “Peto quod
petivit latro poenitens”, and it always fills me with emotion: to ask like the peni-
tent thief did! He recognized that he himself deserved that awful punishment. . . .
And with a word he stole Christ’s heart and ‘opened up for himself’ the gates of
heaven” (St J. Escrivá, “The Way of the Cross”, XII, 4).

43. In responding to the good thief, Jesus reveals that he is God, for he has po-
wer over man’s eternal destiny; and he also shows that he is infinitely merciful
and does not reject the soul who sincerely repents. Similarly by these words
Jesus reveals to us a basic truth of faith: “We believe in eternal life. We believe
that the souls of all those who die in the grace of Christ — whether they must
still make expiation in the fire of purgatory, or whether from the moment they
leave their bodies they are received by Jesus Christ into Paradise like the good
thief – go to form that People of God which succeeds death, death which will be
totally destroyed on the day of the Resurrection when these souls are reunited
with their bodies” (Paul VI, “Creed of the People of God”, 28).

45. The darkening of the sun is a sign of the magnitude and gravity of the Lord’s
death (cf. the note on Mk 15:33). The tearing of the curtain of the temple shows
the end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Covenant, sealed in
the blood of Christ (cf. the note on Mk 15:38).

46. The Way of the Cross contemplates Jesus’ death as the twelfth station.
Christ’s life is totally influenced by the fact that he is the only Son of the Father:
“I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the
world and going to the Father” (Jn 16:28). All along, his only desire was to do
the will of him who sent him (cf. Jn 4:34), who, as Christ himself says, “is with
me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him” (Jn 8:29).

At this, the climax of his life on earth, when he is apparently left totally on his
own, Christ makes an act of supreme confidence, throws himself into his Father’s
arms, and freely gives up his life. He was not forced to die nor did he die against
his will; he died because he wanted to die. “It was the peculiar privilege of Christ
the Lord to have died when he himself decreed to die, and to have died not so
much by external violence as by internal assent. Not only his death, but also its
time and place, were ordained by him. For thus Isaiah wrote: ‘He was offered be-
cause it was his own will’ (Is 53:7). The Lord, before his Passion, declared the
same of himself, ‘I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it
from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I
have power to take it again’ (Jn 10:17f)” (St Pius V, Catechism, 1, 6, 7).

“We know”, says St Paul, “that our old self was crucified with him so that the
sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. The
death he died he died to sin, once for all. . . . So you also must consider your-
selves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:6, 10f). Therefore,
Vatican II explains, “This work of redeeming mankind [. . .] Christ the Lord
achieved principally by the paschal mystery of his blessed Passion, Resurrec-
tion from the dead, and glorious Ascension, whereby ‘dying, he destroyed our
death, and rising, he restored our life.’ For it was from the side of Christ as he
slept the sleep of death upon the Cross that there came forth ‘the wondrous sa-
crament of the whole Church’” (”Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 5).

47. The three Synoptic Gospels all report the profound reaction of the centurion,
the reaction of an upright man who, helped by grace, studies these events with
an openness to the mystery of the supernatural. The parallel accounts in Mat-
thew 27: 54 and Mark 15:39 show more clearly that the centurion recognized the
divinity of Jesus Christ. See the note on Mk 15:39.

48. Jesus’ redemptive death on the cross immediately begins to draw people to-
wards God by way of repentance: as he made his way to Calvary there was the
probable conversion of Simon of Cyrene and the lamentations of the women of
Jerusalem; at the cross, the repentance of the good thief, the effect of grace on
the Roman centurion, and the compunction felt by the crowd reported in this
verse. Jesus had prophesied, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all
men to myself” (Jn 12:32). This prophecy begins to come true on Golgotha, and
it will continue to be fulfilled until the end of time.

“On the Cross hangs our Lord’s — now lifeless — body. The people, ‘when they
saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts’ (Lk 23:48).

“Now that you have repented, promise Jesus that, with his help, you will not cru-
cify him again. Say it with faith. Repeat, over and over again: I will love you, my
God, because ever since you were born, ever since you were a child, you aban-
doned yourself in my arms, defenceless, trusting in my loyalty” (St J. Escrivá,
“The Way of the Cross”, XII, 5).

49. We should note here the presence of a number of women, some of whose
names have been recorded by St Matthew (27:56) and St Mark (15:40-41) – Ma-
ry Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and Salome. The soldiers
would not have allowed them to approach the cross while Jesus was alive; but
the women would have waited, watching from a distance, and then come up
close to it, and unashamedly stood there (cf. Jn 19:25), impelled by their deep
love for Jesus Christ. “Woman is stronger than man, and more faithful, in the
hour of trial: Mary of Magdala and Mary Cleophas and Salome! With a group of
valiant women like these, closely united to our Lady of Sorrows, what work for
souls could be done in the world!” (St J. Escrivá, “The Way”, 982).

50-54. St John’s Gospel tells us that “Nicodemus also, who had at first come
to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred
pounds’ weight” (Jn 19:39). “Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus visit Jesus
secretly in ordinary times and in the time of triumph. But they are courageous
in the face of authority, declaring their love for Christ audacter – boldly — in the
time of cowardice. Learn from them” (”The Way”, 841).

“With them I too will go up to the foot of the Cross; I will press my arms tightly
round the cold Body, the corpse of Christ, with the fire of my love. . .; I will un-
nail it, with my reparation and mortifications . . . ; I will wrap it in the new winding-
sheet of my clean life, and I will bury it in the living rock of my breast, where no
one can tear it away from me, and there, Lord, take your rest!

“Were the whole world to abandon you and to scorn you . . . , serviam!, I will
serve you, Lord” (St J. Escrivá, “The Way of the Cross”, XIV, 1).

Joseph of Arimathea’s and Nicodemus’ love for our Lord leads them to ignore the
Dangers — the hatred of their colleagues in the Sanhedrin, possible reprisals from
fanatics. They show the body of Jesus utmost reverence, doing everything re-
quired for its pious burial and thereby giving an example to every disciple of Christ
who should be ready to risk honour, position and wealth for love for his Lord. In
the thirteenth and fourteenth stations of the Cross Christian piety contemplates
the descent from the cross, and the noble actions of these two men, whose res-
pect God chose to reward by inscribing their names in the Gospel text (cf. the
note on Mt 15:43—46).

55-56. These holy women — who were familiar with the material poverty of our
Lord when he was born in Bethlehem, and in the course of his public ministry and
on the cross — do not skimp in showing veneration for the body of the Lord. When
the Christian people generously endow eucharistic worship they are simply show-
ing that they have learned well the lesson taught by these first disciples.

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

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


19 posted on 03/27/2010 10:16:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

This gospel is read at the procession with palms before Mass:

Gospel Luke 19:28-40 ©
Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord.
Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. Now when he was near Bethphage and Bethany, close by the Mount of Olives as it is called, he sent two of the disciples, telling them, ‘Go off to the village opposite, and as you enter it you will find a tethered colt that no one has yet ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” you are to say this, “The Master needs it”.’ The messengers went off and found everything just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owner said, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ and they answered, ‘The Master needs it.’
  So they took the colt to Jesus, and throwing their garments over its back they helped Jesus on to it. As he moved off, people spread their cloaks in the road, and now, as he was approaching the downward slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole group of disciples joyfully began to praise God at the top of their voices for all the miracles they had seen. They cried out:
‘Blessings on the King who comes,
in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven
and glory in the highest heavens!’
Some Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Master, check your disciples,’ but he answered, ‘I tell you, if these keep silence the stones will cry out.’

The following are the readings at the Mass itself:

First reading Isaiah 50:4-7 ©
The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.
For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.
The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.
Psalm Psalm 21:8-9,17-20,23-24
Second reading Philippians 2:6-11 ©
Jesus Christ’s state was divine,
yet he did not cling
to his equality with God
but emptied himself
to assume the condition of a slave
and became as men are;
and being as all men are,
he was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name
which is above all other names
so that all beings
in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Gospel Luke 22:14-23:56 ©
When the hour came, Jesus took his place at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, ‘I have longed to eat this passover with you before I suffer; because, I tell you, I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’
  Then, taking a cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and share it among you, because from now on, I tell you, I shall not drink wine until the kingdom of God comes.’
  Then he took some bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body which will be given for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ He did the same with the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood which will be poured out for you.
  ‘And yet, here with me on the table is the hand of the man who betrays me. The Son of Man does indeed go to his fate even as it has been decreed, but alas for that man by whom he is betrayed!’ And they began to ask one another which of them it could be who was to do this thing.
  A dispute arose also between them about which should be reckoned the greatest, but he said to them, ‘Among pagans it is the kings who lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are given the title Benefactor. This must not happen with you. No; the greatest among you must behave as if he were the youngest, the leader as if he were the one who serves. For who is the greater: the one at table or the one who serves? The one at table, surely? Yet here am I among you as one who serves!
  ‘You are the men who have stood by me faithfully in my trials; and now I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father conferred one on me: you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
  ‘Simon, Simon! Satan, you must know, has got his wish to sift you all like wheat; but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.’ ‘Lord,’ he answered ‘I would be ready to go to prison with you, and to death.’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you, Peter, by the time the cock crows today you will have denied three times that you know me.’
  He said to them, ‘When I sent you out without purse or haversack or sandals, were you short of anything?’ ‘No’ they said. He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it; if you have a haversack, do the same; if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, because I tell you these words of scripture have to be fulfilled in me: He let himself be taken for a criminal Yes, what scripture says about me is even now reaching its fulfilment.’ ‘Lord,’ they said ‘there are two swords here now.’ He said to them, ‘That is enough!’
  He then left to make his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, with the disciples following. When they reached the place he said to them, ‘Pray not to be put to the test.’
  Then he withdrew from them, about a stone’s throw away, and knelt down and prayed. ‘Father,’ he said ‘if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.’ Then an angel appeared to him, coming from heaven to give him strength. In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly, and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
  When he rose from prayer he went to the disciples and found them sleeping for sheer grief. ‘Why are you asleep?’ he said to them. ‘Get up and pray not to be put to the test.’
  He was still speaking when a number of men appeared, and at the head of them the man called Judas, one of the Twelve, who went up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said, ‘Judas, are you betraying the son of Man with a kiss?’ His followers, seeing what was happening, said, ‘Lord, shall we use our swords?’ And one of them struck out at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. But at this Jesus spoke. ‘Leave off!’ he said ‘That will do!’ And touching the man’s ear he healed him.
  Then Jesus spoke to the chief priests and captains of the Temple guard and elders who had come for him. ‘Am I a brigand’ he said ‘that you had to set out with swords and clubs? When I was among you in the Temple day after day you never moved to lay hands on me. But this is your hour; this is the reign of darkness.’
  They seized him then and led him away, and they took him to the high priest’s house. Peter followed at a distance. They had lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and Peter sat down among them, and as he was sitting there by the blaze a servant-girl saw him, peered at him, and said, ‘This person was with him too.’ But he denied it. ‘Woman,’ he said ‘I do not know him.’ ‘Shortly afterwards someone else saw him and said, ‘You are another of them.’ But Peter replied, ‘I am not, my friend.’ About an hour later another man insisted, saying, ‘This fellow was certainly with him. Why, he is a Galilean.’ ‘My friend,’ said Peter ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ At that instant, while he was still speaking, the cock crew, and the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter, and Peter remembered what the Lord had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will have disowned me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.
  Meanwhile the men who guarded Jesus were mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and questioned him. ‘Play the prophet’ they said. ‘Who hit you then?’ And they continued heaping insults on him.
  When day broke there was a meeting of the elders of the people, attended by the chief priests and scribes. He was brought before their council, and they said to him, ‘If you are the Christ, tell us.’ ‘If I tell you,’ he replied ‘you will not believe me, and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Power of God. Then they all said, ‘So you are the Son of God then?’ He answered, ‘It is you who say I am.’ ‘What need of witnesses have we now?’ they said. ‘We have heard it for ourselves from his own lips.’ The whole assembly then rose, and they brought him before Pilate.
  They began their accusation by saying, ‘We found this man inciting our people to revolt, opposing payment of the tribute to Caesar, and claiming to be Christ, a king.’ Pilate put to him this question, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘It is you who say it’ he replied. Pilate then said to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no case against this man.’ But they persisted, ‘He is inflaming the people with his teaching all over Judaea; it has come all the way from Galilee, where he started, down to here.’ When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man were a Galilean; and finding that he came under Herod’s jurisdiction he passed him over to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
  Herod was delighted to see Jesus; he had heard about him and had been wanting for a long time to set eyes on him; moreover, he was hoping to see some miracle worked by him. So he questioned him at some length; but without getting any reply. Meanwhile the chief priests and the scribes were there, violently pressing their accusations. Then Herod, together with his guards, treated him with contempt and made fun of him; he put a rich cloak on him and sent him back to Pilate. And though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before, they were reconciled that same day.
  Pilate then summoned the chief priests and the leading men and the people. ‘You brought this man before me’ he said ‘as a political agitator. Now I have gone into the matter myself in your presence and found no case against the man in respect of all the charges you bring against him. Nor has Herod either, since is he has sent him back to us. As you can see, the man has done nothing that deserves death, So I shall have him flogged and then let him go.’ But as one man they howled, ‘Away with him! Give us Barabbas!’ (This man had been thrown into prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder.)
  Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free and addressed them again, but they shouted back, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ And for the third time he spoke to them, ‘Why? What harm has this man done? I have found no case against him that deserves death, so I shall have him punished and then let him go’ But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices, demanding that he should be crucified. And their shouts were growing louder.
  Pilate then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted. He released the man they asked for, who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder, and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased.
  As they were leading him away they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus. Large numbers of people followed him, and of women too, who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children. For the days will surely come when people will say, “Happy are those who are barren, the wombs that have never borne, the breasts that have never suckled!” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”; to the hills, “Cover us.” For if men use the green wood like this, what will happen when it is dry?’ Now with him they were also leading out two other criminals to be executed.
  When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified him there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’ Then they cast lots to share out his clothing.
  The people stayed there watching him. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. ‘He saved others,’ they said ‘let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’ The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer vinegar they said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.’ Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
  One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’ But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus,’ he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’
  It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle; and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’ With these words he breathed his last.
  When the centurion saw what had taken place, he gave praise to God and said, ‘This was a great and good man.’ And when all the people who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts.
  All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied him from Galilee, and they saw all this happen.
  Then a member of the council arrived, an upright and virtuous man named Joseph. He had not consented to what the others had planned and carried out. He came from Arimathaea, a Jewish town, and he lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He then took it down, wrapped it in a shroud and put him in a tomb which was hewn in stone in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day and the sabbath was imminent.
  Meanwhile the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus were following behind. They took note of the tomb and of the position of the body.
  Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. And on the sabbath day they rested, as the Law required.
Alternative gospel Luke 23:1-49 ©
The elders of the people and the chief priests and scribes rose, and they brought Jesus before Pilate.
  They began their accusation by saying, ‘We found this man inciting our people to revolt, opposing payment of the tribute to Caesar, and claiming to be Christ, a king.’ Pilate put to him this question, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘It is you who say it’ he replied. Pilate then said to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no case against this man.’ But they persisted, ‘He is inflaming the people with his teaching all over Judaea; it has come all the way from Galilee, where he started, down to here.’ When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man were a Galilean; and finding that he came under Herod’s jurisdiction he passed him over to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
  Herod was delighted to see Jesus; he had heard about him and had been wanting for a long time to set eyes on him; moreover, he was hoping to see some miracle worked by him. So he questioned him at some length; but without getting any reply. Meanwhile the chief priests and the scribes were there, violently pressing their accusations. Then Herod, together with his guards, treated him with contempt and made fun of him; he put a rich cloak on him and sent him back to Pilate. And though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before, they were reconciled that same day.
  Pilate then summoned the chief priests and the leading men and the people. ‘You brought this man before me’ he said ‘as a political agitator. Now I have gone into the matter myself in your presence and found no case against the man in respect of all the charges you bring against him. Nor has Herod either, since is he has sent him back to us. As you can see, the man has done nothing that deserves death, So I shall have him flogged and then let him go.’ But as one man they howled, ‘Away with him! Give us Barabbas!’ (This man had been thrown into prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder.)
  Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free and addressed them again, but they shouted back, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ And for the third time he spoke to them, ‘Why? What harm has this man done? I have found no case against him that deserves death, so I shall have him punished and then let him go’ But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices, demanding that he should be crucified. And their shouts were growing louder.
  Pilate then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted. He released the man they asked for, who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder, and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased.
  As they were leading him away they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus. Large numbers of people followed him, and of women too, who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children. For the days will surely come when people will say, “Happy are those who are barren, the wombs that have never borne, the breasts that have never suckled!” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”; to the hills, “Cover us.” For if men use the green wood like this, what will happen when it is dry?’ Now with him they were also leading out two other criminals to be executed.
  When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified him there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’ Then they cast lots to share out his clothing.
  The people stayed there watching him. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. ‘He saved others,’ they said ‘let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’ The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer vinegar they said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.’ Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
  One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’ But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus,’ he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’
  It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle; and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’ With these words he breathed his last.
  When the centurion saw what had taken place, he gave praise to God and said, ‘This was a great and good man.’ And when all the people who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts.
  All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied him from Galilee, and they saw all this happen.

20 posted on 03/27/2010 10:21:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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