Sunday, March 29, 2015

No, she doesn’t displace Jesus.

ROBERT November 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm
If you all were simply saying, “hey Mary, say a prayer for me,” and then went about your business, it would be far less troublesome. You guys have popes dedicating the whole world to Mary, you make pilgrimages to pay homage to her, and you paint her as being better able to relate to us than Jesus. That’s just the start. It’s simply not a matter of asking Mary to pray for you and you know it. She displaces Christ in common RC piety, and that is a simple fact.
No, she doesn’t displace Jesus. However, Jesus gave her to us to be our mother. So, we treat her as our mother. We do this in obedience to Christ and to the Word of God in Scripture.
The problem is that you guys don’t know Scripture nor the power of God. Therefore, you deny the will of God with respect to how you should relate to Mary.
First, Scripture tells us to go beyond the letter to the Spirit of the Word:
2 Corinthians 3:6 (KJV)
6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Because the truths of Scripture are spiritually discerned:
1 Corinthians 2:14
King James Version (KJV)
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
So, let us go to the spirit of the text in question.
2nd:
John 19:26-28
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Catholics are taught to read Scripture as though God was speaking to us. Now, are you a beloved disciple of Christ? To put it differently, are you a disciple whom Jesus loves?
Catholics would answer, “Yes” to that question and therefore accept Jesus command to take Mary as our mother and bring her into our home (i.e. heart).
Then, you need to be aware of other verses in Scripture.
Genesis 3:15
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The seed of the Woman is not just Jesus. Let me show you:
Revelation 12:17
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Do you consider yourself someone who keeps the Commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus? If so, then you are seed or a child of the Woman. That Woman is Mary. And therefore, Scripture says that all who fight the good fight on behalf of God in Christ, are children of Mary.
We don’t idolize her. We love her as Scripture teaches us to do. As Jesus commands us to do.
It doesn’t make her a goddess. It evidences a pagan belief that matter is evil and that Mary would be sullied by sexual relations that God says are holy and good more than anything else.
Well, the fact is that Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. It is well known, that Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. What is not as well-known is that Mary is also the bride of Christ. Mary is in the figure, the heavenly Jerusalem, which in another figure is the heavenly church.
Therefore, it is not right that any man should have relations with the Bride of Christ, the Mother of God, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.
The perpetual virginity of Mary uplifts Christ precisely because His mother is not sullied.
Ezekiel 44:2
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
2 And he[a] said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.
This gate is in a figure the Virgin Mary.
Psalm 118:19-21
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank thee that thou hast answered me
and hast become my salvation.
This is why the Virgin Mary is in a figure, the mother of all the righteous:
Revelation 12:17
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman,[a] and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood[b] on the sand of the sea.
St. Joseph, the righteous, is spiritually one of Mary’s children. Therefore, it is not appropriate for him to have sexual relations with his spiritual mother.
It doesn’t, there’s just no evidence for this biblically, nor can it be traced even to the earliest tradition.
The Bible seems explicit to me concerning the assumption of Enoch. The Bible also seems explicit in explaining why Enoch was assumed into heaven:
Hebrews 11:5 ….for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Now it seems to me that this sort of gives us a guideline or Biblical principle. Apparently, God will translate to Himself those who please Him. We know that we all await our translation to heaven body and soul, eventually, in the Resurrection. But apparently, God will translate some to Himself who please Him extraordinarily. Such as, Elijah and Moses ( 4 Kings 2:11; Jude 1:9).
Now, if He did this in the past, why would God not do it in the future. After all, God is absolute and does not change. And isn’t Scripture clear that Mary pleased God:
Luke 1:28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women….42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
Additional texts which support the translation of Mary to heaven body and soul are these:
Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Rev 12:1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars:
John 17:24 Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world.
Psalms 132:8 Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified.
I guess your next question is “what does the ark have to do with Mary?”
I’ll let Scott Hahn answer that:
The most prominent scriptural theme in the liturgical text of the Church when it comes to the feast of the Assumption, which we are celebrating happily today. You can see, if you had a missalette that the reading for the Vigil of the Assumption has some text that at first might seem to be rather odd and out of place. For instance, we had a reading from 1st Chronicles 15. It doesn’t mention Mary. All it talks about is how David assembled all Israel and Jerusalem to bring the Ark of the Lord to the place which he had prepared for it. …. And you’re thinking, “Why choose this text? There are literally thousands of texts to choose from, why a text about a box? And all of these guys jumping and singing and dancing around a box, and putting it in a tent and then singing and dancing and offering sacrifices and blessing people in the text?”
Kind of unusual. But then for the Responsorial Song in the Vigil Mass from Psalm 132, the responsorial is , “Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the Ark of you holiness.” Now, this isn’t Noah’s ark, this is the Ark of the Covenant. We’ll get a little bit more into the background in just a minute, but why the Ark of the Covenant, and this is an ancient liturgical tradition. These are texts that have been included in the liturgy of the Assumption as far back as we can trace it, and this is like 7th Century, 6th Century. We can’t trace it back much farther than that, but all this historical evidence points to the fact that this has been celebrated from ancient times. So you can’t just say, “Well it popped out of nowhere in the 6th and 7th Century,” because back then Churches were liturgically hyper- conservative. I mean you didn’t just innovate and then say, “Well, we’ve got a new feast.” Then all of a sudden have it catch on in the Church all around the world.
It doesn’t necessarily, it just goes against Scripture.
No, it doesn’t:
Romans 5:14King James Version (KJV)
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinnedafter the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
- Theotokos – how mary being mother of God makes her a goddess escapes me.
Properly understood, it doesn’t. ….

We understand it properly. It is you who by denying the fact that she gave birth to God, deny the Divinity of Christ. We’ve had this conversation before.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 29, 2015 Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Lectionary: 37 and 38

at the procession with palms - Gospel 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.
Jesus continued on His journey to Jerusalem.  As they came near to Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of His students to find a colt which had never been ridden.
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.’”
He said, "Untie it and bring it to me.  If anyone asks why you are taking it, simply say, "The Teacher needs 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.”
And the two went in obedience to Jesus and found everything exactly as Jesus had said.
So they brought it to Jesus,
threw their cloaks over the colt,
and helped Jesus to mount.
So they brought Jesus the colt and threw their coats over it and then 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.
Then, as He rode along, all the people of the vicinity threw their coats on the road and as he came to the Mount of Olives, all His students began to thank God rejoicing for all the great things they had seen Jesus do.
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!”
And they cried out, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of God.  Hosanna in the hightest.  Some of the Pharisees saw this and thought the students were going too far.  And they said to Jesus, "tell them to stop!"  And Jesus said, "if they were to stop, even the rocks would begin to cry out!"

at the mass - Reading 1 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.
God has given me the ability to talk that I might know what to say to those who are suffering.  That I may wake them.  Every day, He tells me what to say and I have always obeyed.

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.
They beat me and I did not resist.  They hit me and I did not stop them.  I did not protect myself.

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.
God is my protector, therefore, I am not ashamed.  

Responsorial Psalm Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24


R. (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.”
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
O Lord, why have you left me alone?  I am besieged on every side.  Why don't you help me? They make fun of me, they chastise me, they say, "He trusts in God, let God save Him if He loves him."

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.
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Like wolves around their prey, they pursue me.  A pack of wicked people.  They have pierced my hands and my feet.  They have numbered all my bones.

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.
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
They have removed my clothes and passed it around between them.  They have taken my cloak and gambled for it.  Lord, make haste to help 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!”
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I will praise you, Lord, before all who believe. I will praise you in the gathering of the Church.  "All who love God, give glory to His name.  All children of Jacob, praise His holy name.  Worship God, all you who are children of Israel.

Reading 2 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.

St. John says it like this:
John 1

King James Version (KJV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.....
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 10:11

King James Version (KJV)
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

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.
Therefore, God the Father greatly exalted Him and gave Him a name above all names.  That at the sound of Jesus, everyone should humble themselves in worship.  And every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel Lk 22:14—23:56


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.”

It is frequently questioned whether the Last Supper was a true Jewish Passover.
 But Jesus calls it a Passover and no one seems to question this fact.

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.”

This is probably the second cup of wine which Jesus is talking about.
Because He will pour another one in the next verse.  Notice how He
 says He will not drink  of the fruit of the vine until He enters the Kingdom.  Then He pours another and says, ....
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.
Then He instituted the Eucharist and said, "This cup is my blood of the New Covenant...." 

This, in my opinion, is the point where the Old Testament Passover became the New Testament Passover.  The Mass.

“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 He prophesies that Judas Iscariot will betray Him. 

Then an argument broke out among them
about which of them should be regarded as the greatest.
Then we see an aspect of humanity in the Apostles.  They haven't been paying attention to one thing Jesus said.  They are fighting about who is the greatest amongst them.

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.
But Jesus doesn't get upset.  He merely explains that their values are confused.  They should be vying to become the humblest and weakest.  Because they must become servants of the servants of God.


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.

Then He reassures them that they have already have a reward waiting for them in heaven.  A Kingdom.  Because they have stood by Jesus during His trials. 

“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.”
Then He prophecies again, that they will all abandon Him.  Including St. Peter.  But St. Peter has been given the grace of unity.  It is he who will bring the Apostles back together and lead them on.


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.
Then He asks them if they needed anything when He sent them out with nothing.  And they replied that they hadn't.

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!”
But now, He says, they will not have enough of anything.  For it is time for Him to be executed.

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.”
Then He went out, interrupting the Passover.  They have only drunk three cups.  They have not consummated the Passover with the fourth cup.  And He leads them to Gethsemane, the Garden of Olives, on the Mount of Olives.   There He warns them to pray so that God may forgive them 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.”
There, He prays in agony, anticipating what is about to happen.  Then He returns to the Apostles and they have fallen asleep from sheer mental and nervous exhaustion.  They are confused, knowing that something terrible is going to happen, but not understanding what it could be.

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?”
And then Judas comes, with the Jewish guards and betrays Jesus 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.
Then, St. Peter pulls out the one sword they have and cuts off one of the guard's right ear.  But Jesus restrains him and heals the person.

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.”
Then Jesus questions the guards, asking them why they are here?  He says, "If I've done anything wrong, why didn't you arrest me before?"

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.”
Then they took Jesus away and St. Peter followed. When they got to the High Priest's house, one of the girls present there recognized St. Peter and informed everyone that St. Peter was one of Christ's Apostles.  But St. Peter denied it.

A short while later someone else saw him and said,
“You too are one of them”;
but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.”
Then another person recognized him as one of Jesus' followers.  But St. Peter denied it again.

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.”
A third time, someone recognized him and three times St. Peter denied knowing Jesus.

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.”
Just then, a rooster crowed and Jesus looked St. Peter in the eye.  And St. Peter remembered Jesus' prophecy, "Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”

He went out and began to weep bitterly.
And St. Peter left, crying bitter tears.

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.
The men who arrested Jesus were beating Him and insulting Him.  They covered His eyes and said, "Prophesy!  Who hit you?" 

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 they brought together their council of Priests and questioned Him.  They asked Him if He was the Messiah.  And He said, "Why do you keep asking me if you won't believe my answer?  But you will know when you see me seated on God's Throne."

Then they asked, "You are the Son of God, then?"  And He replied, "You said so."
And they said, "We have no further need to continue this inquiry, He has admitted His blasphemy."

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.”
But since they did not have the authority to execute Him as was required by the Law of Moses for anyone claiming to be God, they had to make up false charges and bring Him to the Roman authority and request that they put Him to death.

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.”
Pilate was the Roman authority in the area and He asked, "You are the king of the Jews then?"  And Jesus replied, "So you say."  Pilate turned to the Priests and people and said, "This man has done nothing wrong."  But they said, "He's from Galilee and He's trying to start a war with Rome."

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.

Pilate had selective hearing that day.  He heard the part that Jesus was from Galilean.  So, he tried to wash his hands of Jesus by saying that therefore, Jesus was not his concern, but Herod's (this is the son of the other Herod who was alive when Jesus was born and who killed the infants of Bethelehem).

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, on his part, was very eager to see Jesus.  He wanted to see Jesus perform some miracle.  But Jesus would not direct a word to him.  All the while, the Jews insulted Jesus.

Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him,
and after clothing him in resplendent garb,
he sent him back to Pilate.
Then Herod and his troops insulted Jesus and treated him harshly.  They clothed Him in a beautiful garment and sent Him back to Pilate.

Herod and Pilate became friends that very day,
even though they had been enemies formerly.
Herod and Pilate became friends that day, although previously, they despised each other.

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.”
Herod then said, "I find no crime in this man.  I shall simply have him punished corporally and released."

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. —
But all the Jews responded as one, the Priests and then people, saying, "No!  Release Barabbas, not this man."

Interestingly, the name Barabbas means, son of the father.  Bar-son abbas-father. 


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.
Pilate continued to implore the Jews to release Jesus.  But they insisted that Jesus should be executed.

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.
So, Pilate released the man, Barabbas, who was soon to be executed for rebellion and murder.  And also released Jesus.  But he released Jesus to the Jews so that the Jews might do with Him as they pleased.  The Jews pronounced death upon Him.

The symbolism here is profound. 

Barabbas, the son of the father, symbolizes all the people.  We are all sons of God.  Therefore the Scripture says that we are gods.  We are guilty of all manner of sins and deserved death.  But Barabbas was released.  Symbolizing that God has taken away our death sentence and we have another chance.

Jesus was then executed by His own people, in the place of Barabbas who deserved to be executed.

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.
Then, because Jesus was too weak, after His flogging, to carry the cross, the soldiers forced a man who had just come into town to carry the cross for Jesus. 

I may be reaching, but I believe this symbolizes Peter's task.  St. Peter's name is originally, Simon.  And  after Christ, he is to carry the Cross to every part of the world as the leader of the Church.  Remember, Jesus said:

Matthew 10:38
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.



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?”
As Jesus was led away, a large crowd gathered many of whom were women who cried for Jesus.  Jesus said to them, "Women of Jerusalem!  Don't mourn for me, but for your children.  Because there will come a time when your suffering will be so great, that you will wish you were dead and that you had never been born."

Notice that Jesus specifically directed this comment to the Women of Jerusalem.  That is significant.  Because in the year 77ad, Jerusalem was besieged by Rome and razed to the ground.  It is said the siege was so severe that parents ate their children.


Jerusalem, AD70Josephus (The Jewish War 5.10.2)in his description of the famine before the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD says that parents even killed and ate their children (as was prophesized in Lev. 26:29 and Dt 28:53-57). 


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.
Two other criminals were executed with Jesus.  We know, from St. Luke's Gospel, that one of them repented of his sins.  While the other did not.  I believe this illustrates the Gospel in a snapshot.  Christ died for all men.  But only a few accepted His sacrifice, as did St. Dismas, the Good Thief, and were saved.  Those who reject Jesus to the end, condemn themselves.

Then Jesus said,
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
From the Cross, Jesus prayed for the Jews which had condemned Him. 

This is another illustration of the Gospel.  This symbolizes Christ, in Heaven, interceding on behalf of all sinners.  When the Father sees Jesus, standing as though dead, He is reminded that Jesus suffered and died for our sins:
Revelation 5:6
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain,....

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.”
Hundreds of years prior to this, Scripture described this event:
Psalm 22:
1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?....14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.  16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.  17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.


18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.  20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.  21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.



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.”
The evil man wants to be saved although he has done nothing to merit salvation.  Whereas the Just man knows that He deserves death but asks God for mercy.  This is the Gospel in a nutshell. 


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.
And then there came an eclipse of the sun and the Jewish Temple was broken by an earthquake.  Symbolizing, in my opinion, that the Jewish religion was now brought to conclusion. 

Jesus cried out to His Father in Heaven, "Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit."  And at that time, He died.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.
Let us pause to pray and reflect upon this, on our knees.

The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said,
“This man was innocent beyond doubt.”
The Centurion, St. Longinus, was amazed and at that time recognized that Jesus was truly the Son of God. 

When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened,
they returned home beating their breasts;
Those who were present and saw what happened, also realized that something supernatural had just occurred.  And they were very afraid.  For the had consented to the crime.

but all his acquaintances stood at a distance,
including the women who had followed him from Galilee
and saw these events.
But those who loved Him, remained.

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.
Then Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy man, member of the Synagogue and ruler of the people, who secretly was a follower of Jesus, came and requested of Pilate, Jesus' body. 

After he had taken the body down,
he wrapped it in a linen cloth
You should read about the very exciting discoveries concerning the Shroud of Turin, which, in my opinion, is this linen cloth.

The Passion of Christ In Light of the Holy Shroud of Turin 

and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb
in which no one had yet been buried.
And St. Joseph of Arimathea, laid Jesus in his own tomb.  A brand new sepulcher where no one had been buried.

This symbolizes the virgin womb of Mary.  No one else was ever buried in this tomb.

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.
The Sabbath was always observed on the seventh day, or Saturday.  The day of preparation then was the day before the Sabbath, or Friday.  The women from Jesus' home, followed St. Joseph to the tomb and once they knew where it was and how Jesus was laid in it, they went home and prepared burial oils and spices before they returned home again to observe the requirements of the law of Moses which prohibited any work on the Sabbath day.

The secondary reading is a subset of the primary, so I'll leave it without comment.

Or LK 23:1-49


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.