Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘Holy’

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on June 3, 2018

This IS MY BODY…

First Published: June 26, 2011

Have you ever noticed the connection between the Holy Trinity and Fatherhood? They lead by example – Fathers should lead by example. They are the Spiritual head of the Household of God – Fathers should be the spiritual head of their households leading in prayer and devotion to God. Today we have the continuation of this connection as found in the worship and celebration of the most Precious Body & Blood of Christ Jesus. Fathers should imitate Christ by the laying down of their lives for their families in the fullness of sacrificial love.

Office of Readings: Ordinary Time: Reading I: O Precious and Wonderful Banquet! : St. Thomas Aquinas : Christian Prayer (excerpt, emphasis added, with biblical and catechetical inserts added…)

Since it was the Will of God’s only-begotten Son that men should share in His divinity, He assumed our nature in order that by becoming man, He might make men gods.  Moreover, when He took our flesh He dedicated the whole of its substance to our salvation.  He offered His body to God the Father on the Altar of the Cross as a sacrifice for our reconciliation.

Before the Mormons get all up in arms and claim – See! That angel was right! No, ya’ll were deceived… (see 2Cor 11: 14-15)  When Jesus spoke about making men “sons of God”, He always referred to the resurrection – “…but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” ~ Mt Lk 20: 35-36, emphasis added

And those who followed Him and His commands…

They shall become the peacemakers, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” ~Mt 5:9

He shed His blood for our ransom and purification, so that we might be redeemed from our retched state of bondage and cleansed from all sin.  But to ensure that the memory of so GREAT A GIFT would ABIDE WITH US FOREVER, He left HIS BODY as FOOD and HIS BLOOD as DRINK for the faithful to consume in the form of bread and wine.

It’s no wonder that so many Protestant denominations are now practicing frequent communion – They so desire the EUCHARIST.  Unfortunately for them, until they return to the Apostolic Succession of Christ’s Holy Church, their communion will remain a symbol…

The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life.”  The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and WORKS of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented towards it.  For in the Blessed Eucharist, is contained the WHOLE spiritual good of the Church, NAMELY CHRIST HIMSELF, our Pasch. ~CCC§1324,emphasis added

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

O precious and wonderful banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness!  Could anything be of more intrinsic value?  Under the old law it was the flesh of calves and goats that was offered, but here CHRIST HIMSELF, the TRUE GOD, is set before us AS OUR FOOD.  What could be more wonderful than this?

Jesus said to them, “I AM the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst…Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and they died… I AM the living bread which comes down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is MY FLESH…

Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day… He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. ~Jn 6: 35, 49, 51, 53-54, 56, 

No other SACRAMENT has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift.  It is offered in the Church for the living and the dead, so that what was INSTITUTED for the SALVATION of [MANY] may be for the benefit of all…  See the Fifth Luminous Mystery

Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “take, eat; this is My Body.” And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, “drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” ~Mt 26: 26b-28

…It was the fulfillment of ancient figures and the greatest of ALL His MIRACLES, while for those who were to experience the sorrow of His departure, it was destined to be a unique and abiding consolation.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM with you always until the end of the age.” ~Mt 28: 18b-20, emphasis added

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine…

In the Eucharist, we come closer to God than is conceivable and He draws close to us in a moment of breathtaking wonder, if we only open our eyes and our minds to the marvel.  [As St. Thomas Aquinas said], “The Eucharist…is the living evidence, the shining token of God’s overpowering LOVE for us.  The very substance of our hopes has its foundation in this tender familiarity of Christ towards us.  The Eucharist IS PROOF…of God’s passionate love for us and all of our HOPE is grounded in this closeness that we have to God in this amazing MYSTERY.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, emphasis added.

The mystery of why Jesus gave us His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity for consumption is not all that difficult to understand.  For Jesus said…

And lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age. ~Mt 28:20b

He ascended into heaven after saying that (cf Mk 16:19; Acts 1:9)…

So does that make God a liar?  How could He still be with us if He has ascended into heaven?

Because Jesus did not leave us alone without His presence…

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…This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood…” ~Lk 22: 19, 20

“Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” ~Mt 26: 27c-28, emphasis added, emphasis added.

He gave us HIMSELF in the form of bread and wine that BECOMES HIS BODY and HIS BLOOD so that all who eat of Him worthily will have eternal life within them.  For Jesus told us while He was on earth that…

I AM the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world IS MY FLESH.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you;  he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life…For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. ~John 6: 51, 53-54, 55-56, emphasis added.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that…

“The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination BOTH of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ AND of the worship men offer to Christ and through Him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.” ~CCC§1325, emphasis added (BOTH/AND…Good Theology!)

Just a “symbol”…

I’ve noticed a lot lately that many of the mainline Protestant churches are practicing a “frequent communion” within their congregations.  However, theirs is merely a “symbol” of Christ and they do treat it as such as they do not have the continued Apostolic Succession; having broken away from Christ’s Church during the 16th century.

And yet the desire for communion with the Living God is so prevalent that I wonder how much longer they can go before demanding to receive the “real deal”…

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”  “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself, our Pasch.”  ~CCC§1324, emphasis added.

This is probably why Christ prayed so fervently during His last hours on earth for Christian Unity…

“Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee,  since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.

 I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I AM glorified in them.

Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou didst send Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate Myself [Holy Eucharist, Last Supper], that they also may be consecrated in TRUTH.

By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ Himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: His Body and His Blood, with His soul and His divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651). ~CCC§1413, in brief.

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they MAY ALL BE ONE; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, THAT THEY MAY ALSO BE IN US, so that the world may believe that Thou has sent Me.

The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE ARE ONE, I in them and Thou in Me, THAT THEY MAY BECOME PERFECTLY ONE, so that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them even as Thou hast loved me. ~Jn 19: 1-3, 17-19, 20-23, emphasis added.

Did Jesus pray that we may be ONE more than once? 

YES!  He did…which should tell the reader something: This is what God WANTS MOST for His Children. 

Does that mean, if I’m a committed Christian, that I can partake of the Eucharist and fulfill God’s commandment to eat His flesh and drink His blood?

Unfortunately, no, it does not.  Why?  Because, as St. Paul warns ALL of us…

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the BODY and BLOOD of the Lord. Let a man examine himself [CONFESSION], and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. ~1 Cor 11: 23-29, emphasis added.

The Catholic Church in the final days…

This applies to Catholics as well as Protestants.  Catholics, if you are partaking of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ with mortal and even venial sin on our soul you are drinking and eating judgment on yourself.  Protestants, so too will you do the same since the true understanding of the Eucharist has not been provided to you in your spiritual training as Christians.

Because, unfortunately, your forefathers (Luther, 1521; Carlstadt, Munzer, Storch, and Pfeiffer, 1523, Anabaptists; Ulric Zwingli, 1523, Puritans; King Henry VIII, 1535, Anglican Church; John Calvin, 1536, Calvinists; John Knox, 1560, Presbyterians; and the splits continued on from there…),  went the way of many of Christ’s own followers when Jesus concluded His discourse on why He was the Living Bread come down from heaven…

Many of His disciples, when they heard it said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” … After this many of His disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him. ~Jn 6: 60, 66

It was only the 12 that stayed, excepting Judas Iscariot who later betrayed the Lord, who then became the first Bishops of His Church and conferred others to take their place (see book of Acts).  They were there at the Last Supper when Jesus consecrated Himself and made the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. 

THEY were the ones Jesus gave the power to “do this in remembrance of Me”, and thus continue the promise of Jesus that He would never leave us.  And like so many Protestant ministers over the years have discovered when they have sought the meaning behind Jesus’ words in John 6…

What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh “given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit,” preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum. ~CCC§1392, emphasis added.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine…

So many have returned home to Rome…But for those of us who are home, let us always remember the privilege we have when we attend the Holy Mass, the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary relived.  Let us always keep in mind, this IS GOD’S GIFT to US and must therefore be treated with UTMOST RESPECT and DIGNITY.  For as the Catechism also reminds us, and as we celebrated the Holy Trinity last Sunday…

There is no limit or measure to this essentially divine forgiveness, (Cf. Mt 18:21-22; Lk 17:3-4), whether one speaks of “sins” as in Luke (11:4), or “debts” as in Matthew (6:12). We are always debtors: “Owe no one anything, except to love one another.” (Rom 13:8) The communion of the Holy Trinity is the source and criterion of truth in every relationship. It is lived out in prayer, above all in the Eucharist (Cf. Mt 5:23-24; 1 Jn 3:19-24).

We are given LIFE not death, SALVATION not condemnation, TRUTH not falsehood as Christ radically transforms us by His radical transformation of Himself or as someone once said…

We come today to that solemn moment when something of Eternity, something of the sacred sanctuary where God dwells in His total otherness, breaks through our world, and we come face to face with the Living God.  We celebrate today the institution of the Eucharist, that astonishing gift that Jesus left each one of us, His Presence among us [cf Mt 28:20b], as a living memorial of His Passion and Death, and as the living evidence of His care and concern for us, who often get so lost in the business of living we can forget how precious we are to our Creator. ~ Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, emphasis added.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

So as you approach Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of His Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity TODAY and every time you go to Mass, perhaps it would be advisable to the worshiper of Christ to prepare yourself as best you can with the help of one of the Church’s truly great and holy priest, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)…

Almighty and ever-living God, I approach the sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.  I come sick to the doctor of Life (cf Mt 9:12-13), unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light, and poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.  

Therefore, I ask in the abundance of Thy great generosity that Thou may heal my sickness, wash away my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness, so that I may receive the Bread of angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with that purpose and intention which is expedient for the salvation of my soul.

Grant me, I beseech Thee, that I may not only receive the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord, but also its reality and power.  O most kind God, grant that I may receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He received from the Virgin Mary, so that I may be worthy to be incorporated into His Mystical Body, and numbered among His members.

O most loving Father, grant that I may contemplate for all eternity the revealed face of Thy beloved Son, whom I intend to receive now under the veil of this Sacrament.  Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.

Prayer in Pdf for Printing: Prayer Before Mass

Posted in Mercy, Pay Attention... | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Holy Week Part II… Good Friday

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 30, 2017

Come to My Most Sacred Heart…

THE DIVINE MERCY NOVENA BEGINS TODAY! Visit HERE… It’s printable, too.

READING : 1 Peter 2:21-24 (Evening Prayer, Good Friday, emphasis added)

Christ suffered for you and left you an example, to have you following His footsteps.  He did no wrong; no deceit was found in His mouth.  When He was insulted, He returned no insultWhen He was made to suffer, He did not counter with threats.  Instead, He delivered Himself up to the One who judges justly.  In His own body He brought your sins to the Cross, so that all of us, dead to sin, could live in accord with God’s Will.  By His wounds you were healed.

The Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God…

Good Friday and Holy Saturday

Whew!  What a mouth-full…I might have to consider shortening the title… 🙂

But until then, let us begin our focus, that is The Passion of Christ that leads to His Resurrection and gives us a better understanding of the Mercy that is ours, especially on DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY, the SECOND Sunday of Easter.

THE PASSION: First Sorrowful Mystery: Agony in the Garden

BETRAYAL!

And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here, while I pray.” And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.  And He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.” ~Mk 14: 32-34

It is here that we begin…it is here that we see Jesus in His full humanity.  Sorrowful, even unto death, wanting nothing more than to have the support of His most intimate friends, those whom He chose to witness His very GLORY in the Godhead at His Transfiguration:

This is My Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.

And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light. ~Mt 17: 1-2

But for whatever reason, His most intimate friends, those He trusted so much to stay with Him and pray for that which was to come, they could NOT stay awake.  They did not follow His request to PRAY and WATCH.  In a very real sense, Jesus was betrayed in that they failed Him when He needed them most…

And He came and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~Mk 14: 37-38

For Jesus’ hour was fast approaching when another kind of betrayal would fall upon Him and Jesus would be turned over to those who had plotted and schemed His death almost from the very earliest moments of His ministry…

“What are we to do?  For this man performs many signs.  If we let Him go on thus, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation!”

“You know nothing at all;  you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” ~Jn 11: 47b-48, 49b-50

And what did Jesus in His humanity pray?  How did Jesus feel about the coming persecution that He KNEW He was about to endure?  Mark’s Gospel account tell us that…

Father if it be possible…Not My will but Yours Be done!

And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.  And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou will.” ~Mk 14: 35-36

Three times Jesus prayed, three times He struggled against the temptation to give in to the flesh and flee from what was before Him.  But Jesus knew His Father would strengthen Him in His most desperate hour of need.

Which is why John’s Gospel account has Jesus proclaiming God’s triumph and Matthew’s Gospel account demonstrates that TOTAL TRUST the Son has for the Father and gives US the example we need to also follow in the TOTAL TRUST of OUR FATHER…

…He lifted His eyes to Heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee, since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him…” ~Jn 17: 1b-2

“My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Thy will be done.” ~Mt 26:42b

Resolved and ready to face what Jesus knew needed to be for the Salvation of the World, and the fulfillment of the Promise the Father made to Abraham, Jesus went to His chosen friends to WAKE THEM UP and prepare them for the Unthinkable!

And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. And He came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come; the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” ~Mk 14: 40-42

One other thought of profound significance… Could this also be for US?  Has not our Lord sent His Blessed Mother to us numerous times to try and WAKE US UP! to the sins we are committing and the fruit of death that we are now harvesting?  WAKE UP!  For our betrayer is at hand!  Cling to Christ, He is our ONLY SALVATION!

Now I switch over to John’s Gospel account because I simply love the reaction of these temple soldiers who came out with “torches and weapons”, against ONE MAN, in the dark of night, with just a handful of his followers present …Okay… what were they afraid of ?  Perhaps their hearts knew even if their mind’s did not WHO it was they were arresting…

Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall Him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”  They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I AM He.”

When He said to them, “I AM He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. ~Jn 18: 4-5, 6

I love that John tell us this, that the soldiers “drew back and fell to the ground”, all because Jesus identified Himself with the words spoken to Moses…

I AM Who I AM

“I AM Who I AM…Say to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’ “ ~Exod 3: 14

Yet despite this minor set back, the temple guards did manage to cease Jesus, but not without a little tousle given by Peter who had his sword and decided to draw it out and use it…

Jesus answered, “I told you that I AM He; so, if you seek Me, let these men go.”

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?” ~Jn 18: 8, 10-11

It’s in the Gospel account of Luke that we learn of Judas’ part in the betrayal as he was the one to identify Jesus with a kiss…

Would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?

…there came a crowd and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them.  He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” ~Lk 22: 47-48


It’s also in this account that we hear of Jesus’ healing the ear of the soldiers whom Peter had cut off when he had drawn his sword…

And He touched his [Malichus] ear and healed him. ~Lk 22:51b

Peter followed from a distance…

All four Gospel accounts tell of Peter’s “following at a distance” because we all know that Jesus told Peter…

“I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know Me.” Lk 22:34

Yet do not be deceived, for Jesus ALSO KNEW that Peter would repent of this action and thus be ready to strengthen his fellow brethren who also could not stay by the Savior’s side…

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren. Lk 22: 31-32

So even though Peter experiences that devastating blow with the fulfillment of the Savior’s words…

…three times you will deny Me… cf Mt 34c; see Lk 22:55-62; Mt 26: 69-75; Mk 14: 66-72

Peter will gather his brethren together during Holy Saturday and await for the news of Jesus Resurrection as witness by the women…but I’m jumping ahead.

He was brought before Caiaphas…

The trial before Caiaphas is anything but real, many come before them making false accusations (Mt 26:60), about the Savior King, the guards hit and buffet Jesus without cause (Lk 22:63; Jn 18:22), and through it all Jesus never spoke any words of hate or falsehood, but only of the beauty of the TRUTH that was His from the Father…

“But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” ~Mt 26:64b

Which is a DIRECT REFERENCE of the coming Kingdom of God that was revealed to us AFTER Jesus ascended into heaven and the disciple whom Jesus Loved was an old man in exile on the Greek island of Patmos…

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth;…And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men.  He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more…for the former things have passed away.”

And He who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” ~Rev 21: 1a, 2-4b, 4c, 5a

Words, that if you did watch Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, that were uttered by Jesus when He met His mother on His Way of the Cross.  Jesus’ Passion and Death DID make all things NEW!

Jesus’ words were enough to condemn Him in the eyes of the Sanhedrin and fulfilled the desires of the Pharisees that…

It is is best for One Man to die than a whole nation… ~cf Jn 11:50

Now all that needed to be done was to convince Pilate that Jesus was indeed a dangerous man and deserving of death.  And convince him they did…

“…the high priest [Caiaphas, this year] who is a puppet of the Romans and remains in power only as long as he is in favor with them, remembers the terrible destruction [of Jerusalem] under Pompey… fears that this will happen again, if some self-proclaimed Messiah stirs up the people again. National aspirations and the restoration of the Kingdom of David is in the air.” ~Fr Stevens, Homily, Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent.

“Are You the king of the Jews?”

So what does Caiaphas do?  He reminds Pontius Pilate that there can be no king but Caesar(Jn 19:12).  And this Jesus is making Himself into a king, so wouldn’t that threaten the current ruler, Caesar?  After all, Pilate examined Jesus himself and asked Him…

Are you the King of the Jews? ~Jn 18:33c

Jesus asks Pilate if this question comes from him – Pilate – or because this is what those who are seeking His death have said?  Pilate answers Him…

“Am I a Jew?  Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?” Jn 18:35

This begins one of the most interesting discourses between God and man.  Here is a man, Pilate, who has charge of an outpost in the Roman Empire that is notorious for dissenters, zealots, and assassins who would love nothing better than to be rid of the Romans…

…Judas the Cicarii, one of the political assassins whose hatred of the Romans drove them to violence… ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Tuesday of Holy Week.

And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. ~Mk 15:7

He released a man who had been thrown in prison for insurrection and murder, whom they asked for; ~Lk 23:25

So Pilate really wants to understand why all this fuss…what’s the real reason for the religious leaders turning this man who seemed quite innocent, over to him to be put to death?…

For he knew it was out of envy that they had delivered Him up. ~Mt 27:18

So Jesus answers Pilate…

My kingship is not of this world; if… [it] were, My servants would fight, that I might not be handed over… ~Jn 18:36

[Pilate Answers] So you are a king? ~Jn 18:37

[Jesus responds] …For this I was born, for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.  Every one who is of the truth hears My voice.” ~Jn 18:37b

Then Pilate reveals his true motives when he asks…

What is truth? ~Jn 18:38

Have nothing to do with this Man…

So, Pilate being full aware of the turmoil that existed because of the occupation by the Romans was not interested in starting anything new.  The mere fact that he could not find any guilt in Jesus (Lk 23:14; Mk 15:14; Jn 18:38), and his wife sent him word telling him to leave Jesus alone (Mt 27:19), leaves the reader to see that Pilate was TRULY, only INTERESTED in KEEPING HIS JOB…

So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this righteous Man’s blood;…” ~Mt 27:24

…Pilate wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. ~Mk 15:15

And their voices prevailed…Jesus he delivered up to their will. ~Lk 23: 22c, 25c

Then he handed Him over to them to be crucified. ~Jn 19:16

Pilate had the power to release Jesus (Jn 19:10), but he also knew that TRUTH was not something he wanted to deal with.  Pilate’s truth existed in maintaining his head on his shoulders, and to go against Caesar meant losing that head.

“If you release this Man, you are not Caesar’s friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar!” ~Jn 19: 12b, emphasis added.

And they crucified Him…

Jesus is lead off to be put to death, a criminal’s death for He had two criminals crucified along with Him (Lk 23:32).  His hands and feet were fixed to the Cross, His garments were divided among the soldiers (Jn 19: 23-24), and prophecy upon prophecy was fulfilled (Ps 22:18, Ps 69:21; Is 2-6, Zech 12:10), and most importantly sin lost its grip on humanity!

“O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~1 Cor 15: 15c-17

Such was given to us on that fate-filled day, when the Lamb was slain, when the Church was born by His own blood and water which flowed from His side (Jn 19: 34-35), and the veil in the temple – that which separated God from the everyman – was torn in half with an earthquake that followed.  Many of the Roman soldiers then exclaimed…

“Truly this man was the Son of God!” ~Mk 15:39c

None so great a testimony to this was the Resurrection of the Son of God that followed three days later as Jesus predicted it would…

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and He will be raised on the third day.” ~Mt 20:18-19

And it is because of that Resurrection Christ gives us His most GLORIOUS GIFT –  His DIVINE MERCY!

Watch and REMEMBER what our Lord, Jesus Christ, SUFFERED for US!

Posted in Hmmm, that's interesting... | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: