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Tag Archives: Last Supper

PRAYER FOR MAUNDY THURSDAY

PRAYER FOR HOLY THURSDAY (MAUNDY THURSDAY):

PRAYER TO APPRECIATE THE HOLY MASS

O Lord Jesus,
in order that the merits of Your sacrifice
on the Cross
might be applied to every soul of all time,
You willed that it should be renewed
upon the altar.
At the Last Supper, You said:
“Do this in remembrance of Me.”
By these words
You gave Your Apostles and their successors
the power to consecrate
and the command to do what You Yourself did.
I believe that the Mass is
both a sacrifice and a memorial –
reenacting Your Passion, Death and Resurrection.
Help me to realize that the Mass
is the greatest gift of God to us
and our greatest gift to God.
At every Mass I attend
grant me the grace
to participate fully, actively and consciously
so as to give the greatest glory to God
and achieve the highest benefits for myself,
my relatives, friends and benefactors
as well as all humankind.
Amen.

 

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OF THE GLORIOUS BODY TELLING (PANGE, LINGUA)

LATIN:

Pange, lingua, gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
Quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit gentium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus,
Ex intacta Virgine,
Et in mundo conversatus,
Sparso verbi semine,
Sui moras incolatus
Miro clausit ordine.

In supremae nocte cenae,
Recumbens cum fratribus,
Observata lege plene,
Cibis in legalibus,
Cibum turbae duodenae,
Se dat suis manibus.

Verbum caro, panem verum,
Verbo carnem efficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum,
Et si sensus deficit,
Ad firmandum cor sincerum,
Sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori Genitoque
Laus et jubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.
Amen.

ENGLISH:

Of the glorious Body telling,
O my tongue, it’s myst’ries sing,
And the Blood, all price excelling,
Which the world’s eternal King,
In a noble womb once dwelling,
Shed for this world’s ransoming.

Given for us, for us descending,
Of a Virgin to proceed,
Man with man in converse blending,
Scattered he the Gospel seed,
Till his sojourn drew to ending,
Which he closed in wondrous deed.

At the last great Supper lying,
Circled by his brethren’s band,
Meekly with the law complying,
First he finished its command,
Then, immortal Food supplying,
Gave himself with his own hand.

Word made Flesh, by word he maketh
Very bread his Flesh to be,
Man in wine Christ’s Blood partaketh:
And if senses fail to see,
Faith alone the true heart waketh
To behold the mystery.

Therefore we before him bending,
This great sacrament revere,
Types and shadows have their ending,
For the newer rite is here;
Faith, our outward sense befriending,
Makes the inward vision clear.

Glory let us give, and blessing
To the Father and the Son,
Honour, might, and praise addressing,
While eternal ages run;
Ever too his love confessing,
Who, from both with both is one.
Amen.
– St Thomas Aquinas,
tr. Edward Caswall

 

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“LET US CALL TO MIND THAT SAD, AND AT THE SAME TIME MOST BLESSED NIGHT”

THE LAST SUPPER

“Let us call to mind that sad, and at the same time most blessed night, on which Jesus Christ was delivered up, that He might be crucified the next day: He, who knew all things, feeling His last hour approach, having always loved His own who were in the world, loved them to the end: and gathering together in the person of His apostles all those for whom He was about to die, He said to them when leaving them this precious gift of His Body and Blood: ‘Do this in commemoration of me.” Celebrate this mystery until I come to judge the living and the dead, and call to mind, when you celebrate it, what I have done for your salvation; and, above all, never forget that I am going to die for your salvation.

THE INSTITUTION OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST

Let us think of all these things, and, touched by so many tokens of our Saviour’s love, let us henceforth be all love for Him. That is what He looks for from us, and it is in order to enkindle this love that He has instituted this sacred mystery.

IT IS FOR JESUS I LIVE

My Saviour, I gladly hear that I must remember your death, that I must contemplate through faith your wounded Flesh, and your Blood shed for me; that it is by this means that you have ransomed me. This is what I do in the Eucharist, the fruit of which is to impress your death upon my mind, to place in it my hope, and to conform me to it by the mortification of my senses. O my Saviour, this is, then, Your Body, this same Body covered with wounds. I unite myself to them all; it was through them that your Blood was shed for me. You languish, You die, You pass away: here is Your passing; I pass, I expire with you. Farewell, farewell! I am departing, I am no longer anything, I am no longer myself. It is for Jesus that I live, it is Jesus who lives in me.

It must be thus; such is the fruit of the Eucharist. Ah, how far I am from it, but I shall return to it only by the Eucharist.”
– Bossuet

 

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MAUNDY THURSDAY, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 13:1-15)

It was before the feast of the Passover. Jesus realised that his hour had come, to pass from this world to the Father; and as he had loved those who were his own in the world, he would love them with perfect love.

They were at supper, and the devil had already put into the mind of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had entrusted all things to him, and as he had come from God, he was going to God. So he got up from the table, removed his garment, and taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.

When he came to Simon Peter, Simon asked him, “Why, Lord, do you want to wash my feet?” Jesus said, “What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterwards you will understand it.” Peter replied, “You shall never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you can have no part with me.” Then Simon Peter said, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”

Jesus replied, ” Whoever has taken a bath does not need to wash (except the feet), for he is clean all over. You are clean, though not all of you.” Jesus knew who was to betray him; because of this he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When Jesus had finished washing their feet, he put on his garment again, went back to the table, and said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?” You call me Master and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet. I have just given you an example, that as I have done, you also may do.

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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16th APRIL, GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 26:14-25)

THE SON OF MAN IS GOING TO HIS FATE, AS THE SCRIPTURES SAY HE WILL, BUT ALAS FOR THAT MAN BY WHOM HE IS BETRAYED.

Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty silver pieces, and from that moment he looked for an opportunity to betray him.

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the passover?” “Go to so-and-so in the city,” he replied, “and say to him, ‘The master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.’” The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover.

When evening came he was at table with the twelve disciples. And while they were eating he said, “I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me.” They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, “Not I, Lord, surely?” He answered, “Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!” Judas, who was to betray him, asked in his turn, “Not I, Rabbi, surely?” “They are your own words,” answered Jesus.

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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“FATHER, IF IT IS POSSIBLE LET THIS CUP PASS AWAY FROM ME” – OUR LORD JESUS IS SENTENCED TO DEATH

AFTER THE LAST SUPPER

“After the Paschal meal Jesus and His eleven faithful disciples left the room where they had celebrated the feast and went to a place called Gethsemani (‘oil-press’). There Jesus told eight of the Apostles to sit down while He Himself would go some little distance away, a stone’s throw, to pray. He took with Him Peter, James and John, who had witnessed His glory at Mt. Thabor. Now He would allow them to witness Him in His hour of agony and humiliation.

WITNESSES IN HIS MAGNIFICENT GLORY AS WELL AS IN HIS HUMILIATION

Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to offer His life for the sins of men. He knew that the bad will of men towards Himself was already taking steps to bring about His death. The priests, the Pharisees and the Scribes had already determined to bring about His death. Judas, one of His chosen Apostles, had already agreed to betray Him and was even then carrying out the execution of that criminal agreement. Sadness and dread filled the human soul of Jesus and He said to the three Apostles, ‘My soul is sad even unto death. Wait here and watch with me’ (Matthew 26:38).

SADNESS AND DREAD FILLED THE HUMAN SOUL OF JESUS

Then He went forward a little, knelt on the ground and prayed, ‘Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; yet not as I will, but as thou willest’ (Matthew 26:39).

This prayer of Jesus reveals, as perhaps no other incident in the Gospel does, the reality of the human nature of the Son of God. As the Son of God, God Himself, Jesus knew that it was the will of His Father that He should die a violent death for the salvation of men.

FACING A VIOLENT DEATH FOR THE SALVATION OF MEN

In His human nature, assumed to Himself at the moment when Mary said, ‘Be it done unto me according to thy word,’ He shrank instinctively from the prospect of death. Death was abhorrent to Him for many reasons. His soul was saddened by the thought that His death would be brought about by the pride and blindness of those of His own people who should have accepted Him as their Messias. This sadness was increased by the knowledge that His enemies would succeed in their plans against Him through the assistance of one of His chosen friends. But fundamentally His sadness was made almost unbearable by the most human of reasons – His body and soul naturally and instinctively revolted against the thought of death. But His will, His free human will, was in perfect harmony with the divine designs of His Father.

HIS FREE HUMAN WILL WAS IN PERFECT HARMONY WITH GOD’S WILL

And so, even though His human nature shrank from the ordeal of death, His will accepted the approach of death. In the midst of sadness and dread Jesus accepted the cup of death which His Father wished Him to drink. Adam had chosen something of this world, some created perfection in preference to God and submission to God’s will. By so doing Adam had turned the whole course of human history away from God, its true destiny. Jesus would give up this whole world – can a man give up this world more completely than by voluntarily submitting Himself to death? – in obedience to the will of His Father. By so doing Jesus would turn the course of human history back to God, its true destiny. Thus He would become the true centre of all history.

JESUS CHRIST, THE ‘NEW ADAM’

After this prayer Jesus returned to the three Apostles and found them asleep. How deeply human is this incident, and how touching. Jesus is enduring His time of trial. But His closest friends, even though they have been warned, are too sleepy to stand by, to console Him. The pain and the agony are not theirs, and so they give in to their own natural desires and instincts. The pain and the agony they do not understand, and so they refuse to believe in them.

SWEAT ‘AS DROPS OF BLOOD RUNNING DOWN TO THE GROUND’

Jesus leaves them again and makes the same prayer to His Father. Again He returns to the three Apostles and finds them asleep. Then He returns once more to prayer and the contemplation of His approaching fulfilment of the Divine will by His own death. The natural tumult of His soul at the vision of His own death causes His body to break out in a sweat which became ‘as drops of blood running down to the ground’ (Luke 22:44).

THE APOSTLES HAD DOZED OFF AGAIN

A third time Jesus returned to His disciples and found them asleep. Ruefully He said to them, ‘Sleep on now, and take your rest!’ (Matthew 26:45). But then, sensing the approach of Judas and His enemies, He said to them, ‘Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand’ (Matthew 26:45-46).

BY THE LIGHT OF FLICKERING TORCHES…

At that moment some Roman soldiers, some Temple guards sent by the High-priest, entered the garden. Judas accompanied them. In the darkness of the garden, lit now only by the flickering torches of some of the people sent to arrest Jesus, it might have been difficult to recognise Jesus. Judas therefore had arranged to give the guards a signal. He would kiss Jesus and, by this gesture of friendship, betray Jesus to His enemy.

THE JUDAS’ KISS AND THE CONSEQUENCES

Judas advanced and kissed Jesus. The soldiers and guards moved forward to arrest Him. Jesus Himself advanced and said, ‘Whom do you seek?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus replied, ‘I am he’ (John 18:4-5).

A QUALITY OF DIGNITY AND MAJESTY IN JESUS’ VOICE

Something in His bearing or in His voice – a quality of dignity and, perhaps of majesty – confounded those in the foreground and they fell back, pressing on those behind them so that some of them fell to the ground. But this effect of the inner power of Jesus did not prevent the fulfilment of the predestined mission of Jesus. Once more the crowd pressed in upon Jesus. Mindful of the safety of His own Apostles, and desiring to fulfil His own words that none of the Apostles, except Judas, the son of perdition, should be lost, Jesus said to them, ‘I have told you that I am He. If, therefore, you seek me, let these go their way’ (John 18:8).

PETER WANTS TO PROTECT JESUS

Simon Peter, with his usual impetuosity, drew a sword to protect Jesus. He struck the ear of Malchus, a servant of the High-priest. But Jesus knew that He would not fulfil His Father’s command by allowing His disciples to start an open revolt. ‘Put up thy sword,’ He said to Peter, ‘into the scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?’ (John 18:11).

‘AS AGAINST A ROBBER HAVE YOU COME OUT’

Then, with sorrowful dignity, Jesus said to the crowd, ‘As against a robber have you come out, with swords and clubs. When I was daily with you in the Temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness’ (Luke 22:52-53). And thus, Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God, resigned Himself into the hands of men to be done to death for the salvation of men.

BEFORE ANNAS, THE FATHER-IN-LAW OF CAIPHAS

The soldiers and the attendants of the Jews seized Jesus, bound Him and led Him to Annas, formerly High-priest, now the father-in-law of Caiphas, the incumbent High-priest. Peter and John had followed Jesus to the home of Annas. John was known there and gained entrance. He induced the guards to allow Peter to enter the courtyard. One of the serving maids, a portress, thought she recognised Peter as a disciple of Jesus, but Peter denied this.

‘IF I HAVE SPOKEN ILL, BEAR WITNESS TO THE EVIL’

Meanwhile Annas was questioning Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. Jesus, refusing to admit that there had been anything furtive or criminal about His behaviour, replied, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why dost thou question me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them: behold these know what I have said’ (John 18:20-21).

One of the attendants then struck Jesus, saying, ‘Is that the way thou dost answer the high priest?’ (John 18:22). Jesus, confident of the justice of His cause, replied, ‘If I have spoken ill, bear witness to the evil; but if well, why dost thou strike me?’ (John 18:23).

Meanwhile, in the courtyard Peter had been again tentatively identified as one of the disciples of Jesus, and had again denied knowing Him.

A HASTY SESSION OF THE SANHEDRIN WAS CALLED

Annas made no decision, but sent Jesus bound to Caiphas. A hasty session of the Sanhedrin was called. The priests, Pharisees and Scribes were all represented. A parade of false witnesses appeared against Jesus. But their testimony was not sufficient to enable the Sanhedrin to pronounce a sentence of death against Him. Caiphas had previously decided that Jesus must die. It was necessary, therefore, for Caiphas to find some cause for death which would both satisfy the Jews and induce the Roman authorities to make the sentence of death effective.

‘ART THOU THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE BLESSED ONE?’

Two witnesses come forward to say that they had heard Jesus say that He would destroy the temple and in three days restore it. This supposed threat to the temple was a serious charge. But the testimony of the witnesses was not concordant.

Then the High-priest himself asked Jesus, ‘Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ (Mark 14:61). Jesus replied, ‘I am. And you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven’ (Mark 14:62). Upon hearing these words the High-priest tore his garments and said, ‘What further need have we of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’ (Mark 14:63). Then the Sanhedrin judged that Jesus was liable to death.

Again, outside, Peter was challenged and denied knowing Jesus. At that moment a cock crew and Peter remembered the warning of Jesus that he would deny Him thrice before the cock crowed thrice. Peter then wept bitterly.

AT DAYBREAK…

At daybreak Jesus was again led before the Sanhedrin. Again He was questioned. ‘If thou art the Christ, tell us.’ Jesus said, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe me; and if I question you, you will not answer me, or let me go. But henceforth, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God’ (Luke 22:66-69).

Remembering that Jesus had allowed Himself to be called the ‘Son of God,’ thus making Himself equal to God, they asked Him, ‘Art thou, then, the Son of God?’ He answered, ‘You yourselves say that I am.’ This acknowledgement by Jesus that He was the Son of God convinced the Sanhedrin that He was guilty of blasphemy. They were unable to believe that He Whom they saw as man could be also be God. Hence they found Him guilty of blasphemy, a capital offence, punishable by death.

GETTING THE ROMAN AUTHORITIES TO DO THE DEED

But, although the Sanhedrin had the power to try Jesus and convict Him, they had not the power to carry out effectively a sentence of death. Hence they were compelled to appeal to Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judea, to condemn Jesus and see to His execution.

JUDAS WAS APPALLED AT THE DEVELOPMENTS

After the Sanhedrin had passed the sentence of death on Jesus, Judas, who had betrayed Him, became appalled at the consequences of his betrayal. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the priests. Then, in despair, he went out and hanged himself.

The priests, unwilling to use this blood money for the Temple itself or for themselves, bought a field to be used as a burial ground for the poor. St Matthew, putting together a prophecy from Jeremias [Jeremiah] and one from Zacharias [Zechariah], remarks, ‘Then was fulfilled what was spoken through Jeremias the prophet, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him who was priced, upon whom the children of Israel put a price; and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me’ (Matthew 27:9-10).

PONTIUS PILATE’S POLITICAL AMBITIONS WERE HIS WEAKNESS

Now Pilate was both a Roman and a politician. As a Roman he had great respect for law. As a politician he had a great desire to administer his procuratorship successfully, above all, to avoid getting into trouble with the Emperor at Rome. His respect for law was an advantage to Jesus, for, after all, Jesus had done nothing to bring upon Himself the wrath of Rome. But his political ambitions were the weaknesses which the priests used to induce him to accede to their wishes.

‘WHAT IS TRUTH?’

First they pretended that Jesus was inciting the people to rebellious or seditious acts. ‘We have found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding the payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that he is Christ a king’ (Luke 23:2). Pilate asked Jesus if He were the king of the Jews. Jesus answered him, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my followers would have fought that I might not be delivered to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate, seeing that Jesus did speak of a kingdom as His own kingdom, said to Him, ‘Thou art then a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘Thou sayest it; I am a king. This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.’ Pilate, a practical government official, not given much to questions of philosophy or religion, said, ‘What is truth?’ (John 18:33-38).

HE SAW THAT JESUS WAS NO THREAT TO ROME

The Jews had attempted to induce Pilate to condemn Jesus on the charge that He was pretending to be a political king, inciting the people to rebellion against Rome. Jesus had acknowledged that He was a king indeed, but the king of a spiritual realm, the realm of truth. Pilate, seeing this, knew that Jesus was not a threat to the political domination of Rome. As for intellectual or religious domination, he was indifferent to such matters. Hence he found Jesus guilty of no crime against the state.

A DIPLOMATIC MOVE

But the enemies of Jesus persisted in saying that Jesus was stirring up the people. On learning from them that Jesus was from Galilee Pilate seized the opportunity to rid himself of this troublesome case and regain the friendship of Herod Antipas, king of Galilee. He sent Jesus to Herod for judgment. Herod was pleased at this mark of respect for his own authority. Besides, he had heard of Jesus and thought that Jesus might work a miracle for him. Jesus, of course, refused to cater to such curiosity seeking and, in fact, refused to answer any questions. Thereupon Herod, himself a shrewd politician, sent Jesus back to Pilate.

TRYING ANOTHER STATEGY TO SOLVE THE DILEMMA

Pilate then pointed out to the priests and leaders of the people that both he and Herod had found no guilt in Jesus. But they persisted in their demands for the execution of Jesus. Pilate then thought of a stratagem.

It was customary for the procurator to release a prisoner at the time of the festival. Pilate then offered to the crowd the choice between a man called Barabbas, a political prisoner and assassin, and Jesus, called the Christ. Unfortunately Pilate asked whether they wished him to release Jesus, ‘the king of the Jews’? (Mark 15:9). Now the very people clamouring for the death of Jesus had refused to acknowledge Jesus as their king in the world of spirit. Moreover, at the moment, He was a figure of humiliation, a prisoner in the hands of the hated Roman authorities. Hence they cried out, ‘Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas’ (Luke 23:18).

PILATE TRIED AGAIN

Pilate tried again. ‘What then do you want me to do to the king of the Jews?’ (Mark 15:12). The people cried out, ‘Crucify him!’ Pilate, in desperation, asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they kept crying out ‘Crucify him!’ (Mark 15:12-13).

THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR

Pilate resorted to another stratagem. He ordered his soldiers to scourge Jesus. This was a procedure usually adopted by the Romans before the crucifixion of a condemned criminal. Pilate seems to have thought that when the people saw Jesus so brutally wounded and helpless they would relent and consent to His release.

The soldiers led Jesus away to the courtyard of the praetorium. There they stripped Him, scourged Him until His skin was stripped to the bone and His blood ran on the pavement.

THE CROWNING WITH THORNS

Then, in the fashion of rough soldiers, they mocked Him, clothing Him in the purple of kings and crowning Him with a crown of thorns. After this they led Him back to Pilate.

‘ECCE HOMO’ – ‘BEHOLD THE MAN’

Pilate then showed Him to the people and said to them, ‘Behold, I bring Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in him.’ When the priests and their attendants saw Jesus they cried out again ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ Pilate in anger said, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.’ But the Jews replied, ‘We have a Law, and according to that Law he must die, because he has made himself Son of God’ (John 19:4-7).

HE HAD NO DOUBT BEEN IMPRESSED WITH BY THE CALM AND DIGNIFIED BEHAVIOUR OF JESUS

Now Pilate, a Roman, was accustomed to the notion that the gods might have sons or daughters. Moreover, he had no doubt been impressed by the calm and dignified behaviour of Jesus, as contrasted with the turbulence and violence of the crowd. Hence, if only through superstition, he became afraid.

He went to Jesus and asked Him, ‘Whence art thou from?’

Pilate already knew that Jesus was from Galilee. His question, therefore, was not concerned with the geographical place of origin of Jesus. He was wondering whether or not Jesus might belong to the pantheon of gods in whom the Romans believed, or to the pantheon of one of the eastern nations of the world.

PILATE’S CONFIDENCE WAS SHAKEN

Jesus gave no answer. Then Pilate reminded Him that he had the power of life and death over Him. Jesus then replied, ‘Thou wouldst have no power at all over me were it not given thee from above. Therefore, he who betrayed me to thee has the greater sin’ (John 19:11).

IF YOU RELEASE HIM WE’LL REPORT YOU TO THE EMPEROR AND YOUR POLITICAL CAREER IS OVER

Pilate was still in doubt about the identity of Jesus. But his confidence was shaken and he wished to release Jesus. But the priests and the crowd put his own personal issue to him clearly. ‘If thou release this man,’ they said to Pilate, ‘thou art no friend of Caesar; for everyone who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar’ (John 19:12).

PILATE BETRAYS HIS OWN PRINCIPLES

Pilate made one last effort. He brought Jesus before the crowd once again. Jesus stood before them, a man weak and bleeding, clad in a mock robe of royal purple, wearing a mock crown of thorns. Then Pilate said, ‘Behold your king!’ But the people, rather than accept so abject a figure as their king, cried out, ‘Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!’ Pilate asked, ‘Shall I crucify your king?’ The priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar’ (John 19:13-15).

Pilate’s Roman instinct for law lost the battle. His conscience was conquered. Before the threat to report him to Rome for negligence in dealing with possible enemies of the Emperor, Pilate betrayed his own principles. He delivered Jesus to the Jews to be crucified.”
– Martin J. Healy S.T.D., 1959

 

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15th APRIL, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 13:21-33, 36-38)

ONE OF YOU WILL BETRAY ME… BEFORE THE COCK CROWS YOU WILL HAVE DISOWNED ME THREE TIMES.

While at supper with his disciples, Jesus was troubled in spirit and declared, “I tell you most solemnly, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, wondering which he meant. The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus; Simon Peter signed to him and said, “Ask who it is he means”, so leaning back on Jesus’ breast he said, “Who is it, Lord?” “It is the one,” replied Jesus “to whom I give the piece of bread that I shall dip in the dish.” He dipped the piece of bread and gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.

At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus then said, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” None of the others at table understood the reason he said this. Since Judas had charge of the common fund, some of them thought Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival,” or telling him to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. Night had fallen.
When he had gone Jesus said:
“Now has the Son of Man been glorified,
and in him God has been glorified.
If God has been glorified in him,
God will in turn glorify him in himself,
and will glorify him very soon.
My little children,
I shall not be with you much longer.
You will look for me,
and, as I told the Jews,
where I am going
you cannot come.”

Simon Peter said, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; you will follow me later.” Peter said to him, “Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” “Lay down your life for me?” answered Jesus. “I tell you most solemnly, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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