15th April 2022 – Good Friday

15th April 2022 – Good Friday

(1) Isaiah 52:13-53:12

The humiliations of the suffering servant, who bore the sins of his people

See, my servant will prosper,
he shall be lifted up, exalted, rise to great heights.
As the crowds were appalled on seeing him —
so disfigured did he look that he seemed no longer human —
so will the crowds be astonished at him,
and kings stand speechless before him;
for they shall see something never told
and witness something never heard before:
‘Who could believe what we have heard,
and to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?’
Like a sapling he grew up in front of us,
like a root in arid ground.
Without beauty, without majesty (we saw him),
no looks to attract our eyes;
a thing despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering,
a man to make people screen their faces;
he was despised and we took no account of him.
And yet ours were the sufferings he bore,
ours the sorrows he carried.
But we, we thought of him as someone punished,
struck by God, and brought low.
Yet he was pierced through for our faults,
crushed for our sins.
On him lies a punishment that brings us peace,
and through his wounds we are healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each taking his own way,
and the Lord burdened him
with the sins of all of us.
Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly,
he never opened his mouth,
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house,
like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers,
never opening its mouth.
By force and by law he was taken;
would anyone plead his cause?
Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living,
for our faults struck down in death.
They gave him a grave with the wicked,
a tomb with the rich,
though he had done no wrong
and there had been no perjury in his mouth.
The Lord has been pleased to crush him with suffering.
If he offers his life in atonement,
he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life
and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.
His soul’s anguish over
he shall see the light and be content.
By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,
taking their faults on himself.

Hence I will grant whole hordes for his tribute,
he shall divide the spoil with the mighty,
for surrendering himself to death
and letting himself be taken for a sinner,
while he was bearing the faults of many
and praying all the time for sinners.

Responsorial: from Psalm 31

R./: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O Lord, O faithful God. (R./)

For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbours, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.
I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken. (R./)

But my trust is in you, O Lord;
I said, You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and persecutors. (R./)

Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the Lord. (R./)

(2) Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

We have in Christ a great high priest who understands us fully. By his sufferings he accomplished our salvation

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel: John 18:1-19:42

With dignity and strength, Jesus goes the royal road to Calvary

After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfil the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, 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 back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said “I am not.” Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” (This was to fulfil what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.) Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.” Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.” When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha.

Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, “The King of the Jews,” but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfil what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” And that is what the soldiers did.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.


All Completed and Fulfilled

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? .. In the words of that haunting song, sometimes it does indeed cause me to tremble, when I hear those words from the cross, “It is Consummated!” Consummated, completed, achieved to the last degree, engraved forever on the memory of mankind. “I have come to seek and to save what was lost, The Son of Man came, not to be served but to serve.” His life was one long act of loving service, and now it ends on a rocky hill outside Jerusalem’s walls, with a final act of total self-surrender to the Father, on our behalf. Nothing like it was ever accomplished before, and its fruits go on forever.

The marvel is that, in another sense, this hour of his death remains powerfully alive in the hearts of all who trust in him, this point of total, utter contact between us and almighty God. The utterly self-giving, loving, loyal spirit of Jesus at the point of leaving this world is shared and handed on. In the crucifixion, all is consummated, because by it he draws us into contemplation of the grace and mercy of God in our lives in every circumstance. As Joseph Mary Plunkett put it in a poem written in 1916, I see His Blood Upon the Rose

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

The poet finds in Christ the key for coping with sorrows in life, appreciating God’s presence with us every step of the way, and never more so than when we are called to share in the cross:

All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

Yet in another sense the wonderful saving work of Jesus is not completed until it is recognised, welcomed and absorbed by each of his faithful followers, and until we in turn bring the spirit of his boundless compassion to bear in our world, reaching out as he did to bring our fellow human beings, and especially those most in need, into the warmth of God’s family circle.

A new creation

In John’s Gospel, Jesus dies with the words “It is accomplished.” This Gospel beings with the words “In the beginning” and in John 20 we are told that the Risen Lord “breathed upon” the apostles. These details remind us consistently of Genesis 1-2, where “In the beginning God created heaven and earth” (Gen 1:1); “on the seventh day God had completed the work he had been doing” (Gen 2:2); blew the breath of life into his nostrils, (Gen 2:7). The evangelist is teaching us “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation” (2 Cor 5:17). (Kieran O’Mahony osa)

Not for God’s sake but for your own

Calvary sets in consoling relief the experience of all who suffer, whether the nightmare of physical pain or the emotional trauma of significant loss or the prospect of imminent death. The human Jesus, struggling to come to terms with the reality of his predicament, echoes every human experience of suffering and of loss and reflects the complexity and confusion of emotions that attend all those caught in the slipstream of pain and loss and death.

This Friday, in homes and in hospitals all over Ireland, those who experience pain and desolation in whatever form, all those who like Mary stand at the foot of the cross, will sense something of the complexity of emotions that were present on Calvary: the same confusion, the same disillusionment, the same desolation, the same anger, the same reproach. How many indeed this Friday will, in whatever shape or form, echo the great lamentation of Jesus as he died on the cross: My God, what have you done to me, answer me?

All who are suffering in whatever form this Good Friday, all who struggle to make sense of what, by any human estimate, seems to be senseless will find an echo of their pain in the sufferings of Jesus because the contradiction of the cross is that what it represents, the sufferings of Christ, continues to save and to heal and to comfort.

Contemplating Jesus on the cross brings comfort and resilience and strength to those who need it. And it reminds us that it is through his suffering that everyone and everything is redeemed, that the power and the presence and promise of God are now accessible to us in our suffering and in our need. Contemplating Jesus on the Cross reminds us that in our present frail and redeemed bodies we carry the saving power of God. Kiss the cross on Good Friday, not for God’s sake but for your own. (From a Good Friday reflection by Brendan Hoban).

One Comment

  1. Thara Benedicta says:

    Readings 15 April – Good Friday


    Key message:
    “Everything is accomplished.”

    Meditations on the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ:
    (Extracts from the real-life as depicted in the “Poem of Man-God”)

    The scourging:
    “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Death to Him!” – people shout.
    “Let Him be scourged” Pilate orders. “How many blows?”
    “As many as you like” people answer.
    Jesus is taken to the courtyard with a high column in the middle. There is an iron bar protruding at least a metre and ending with a ring. Jesus is tied to it with His hands joined above His head. Although tall, He is tied in such a way that only tips of the toes touch the floor. That position itself is a torture. They are armed with scourges. Each scourge has seven leather strips, ending with small lead hammers. They begin to strike rhythmically. One in front and one behind, so that Jesus’s trunk is in a whirl of lashes. They were playing dice on Him with the scourges.

    Every part of the body of our Lord Jesus was wounded for the different kind of sins we commit. His eyes were wounded as a penance for the sins we commit with our eyes. His ears were wounded for our gossips, His mouth – for our manipulative talk, His chest for our pride, His back for our lust, His stomach for our indifference, His legs for our bad ways, His hands for our laziness, His knees for our prayerlessness, His palms for our ingratitude…

    Mother Mary’s suffering of scourging:
    John says to Mother Mary “… They have not hurt him very badly.”. Mother Mary says “Do not lie, John. Not even out of pity for a mother. You would not succeed and it would be useless. I know. Since yesterday evening, I have followed Him in His sorrow. You cannot see it, but my flesh is bruised by the same scourges as His, the same thorns are piercing my forehead. I felt the blows, everything.”

    Mother Mary underwent the same suffering as our Lord Jesus Christ during scourging. This is partaking of saints in the sufferings of our Lord. When we suffer, like our dear Mother Mary, we also partake invisibly in the sufferings of our Lord.

    Our Lord Jesus carries the cross:
    Jesus carries the cross to Calvary, followed by two robbers. He is already bleeding because of the crown of thorns and the hours and hours of lashing and scourging. Jesus is panting more and more as He climbs Calvary with the cross on His shoulders. People throw stones, vegetable waste and the all the other wastes that are available on the path on Him. When He falls to the ground, people shout, “He used to cure saying –“Get up and walk”. Now let Him get up by Himself and walk.”

    Are we like the people who throw stones at the suffering persons saying, “Because of your sins you are suffering”?

    Our Lord Jesus falls on the ground:
    Our Lord Jesus gets up and proceeds to bend, and panting more and more, congested and feverish. He stumbles again and falls on both knees, hurting Himself where He is already wounded. The cross slips out of His hands, after striking His back violently. He bends to pick it up and painfully puts it back on the shoulder. As He does this the wound on the right shoulder can be clearly seen, from which serum and blood flow. The people applaud in seeing Him fall so badly.

    People cheer on seeing Him fall. Are we smiling secretly at the fall of our neighbours?

    Veronica wipes the face of our Lord Jesus:
    When Veronica offers a linen cloth to our Redeemer, He gladly accepts it. He cannot manage to use it with one hand only. So Veronica helps Him to take it to His face and press it, while taking care not to knock against His crown. Our Lord Jesus feels a great relief. The face of our Lord Jesus Christ is imprinted on the cloth.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ gives the first imprint of His face. The first photo of Jesus was created by Jesus for us to see and adore Him through His image. St. Faustina had a similar mission. Mother Mary also gave similar missions in Lourdes, Fatima, and many other places.
    We are not doing idol worship when we adorn our churches and homes beautifully with idols. We are only following the worship, our Lord Jesus Christ as asked us to do.

    Our Lord Jesus consoles the weeping women of Jerusalem:
    When our Lord Jesus arrives near the weeping women, they weep more loudly and bow low to Him. Jesus in His immense suffering consoles those who are suffering for Him.

    The weeping women help our Lord Jesus by crying out of love for Him. We may be helpless to the suffering. But can we listen to their pain and understand how they feel?

    Ropes are tied to the waist of our Lord Jesus:
    To help our Lord Jesus to walk the soldiers pass a rope around His waist, holding the two ends as if they were reins. But it does not make His load any lighter. The rope strikes against the cross and the crown and His wounds become deeper. Further, the rope rubs against His waist, making the wounds bleed more. So what was done to help Him, make Him suffer more?

    Are we the ropes making people suffer more, in the context of helping?

    Our Lord Jesus meets His Mother:
    Jesus sees Mother Mary and cries “Mother”. Mother Mary with Her out-stretched arms, cries “My Son”. A cry that breaks any heart. But it makes no-difference to those Jews.

    The only soul whom our Lord Jesus longed out to meet during His passion was Mother Mary. She strengthened Him with Her love.

    Simon carries the cross:
    The soldiers make Simon from Cyrene carry the cross. Though hesitant initially, when He sees the cry of Mother Mary and the Son, his heart gets transformed and He carries the cross for the love of Jesus.

    Can we be the Simon when our friends carry their cross?

    The crucifixion of our Lord Jesus:
    The procession ends. The two robbers throw their crosses on the ground swearing. The two robbers are so rebellious that some soldiers had to intervene to prevent them from kicking away the torturers. But our Lord Jesus is silent.
    The hands of Jesus are nailed. They sit on the chest of our Lord Jesus to nail them. After the right hand is nailed, since the hole is far from the reach of the left hand, the pull the hand, the skin gets torn. But the wrist and the hold do not match, so they nail Him the middle of the open palm. The pain is greater. But our Lord Jesus does not cry loud. With His lips firmly closed, He moans in a deep voice, while tears fall on the ground after falling on the wood.
    Similarly the legs also do not reach the holes. So they pull the feet down. Those who were sitting on the chest of Jesus, now sit on His knees, because, seeing the very long nail, Jesus involuntarily withdraws His legs. They nail one foot on top of the other.
    The wounds on His body rub on the coarse wood of the cross. The crown moves and is at the point of falling. One of the executioners presses it down on His head with a slap.
    The cross is raised and twice it slips out of the hands of those raising it. These falls cause considerable pain to Jesus. When they let the cross drop into its hole, it sways in all directions continuously shifting the poor body, hanging from three nails and the suffering must be atrocious.

    All our sins are nailed to the hands and feet of our loving Lord Jesus.

    Mother Mary is allowed to come near Jesus:
    No one was allowed to come near the place of execution. So Mother Mary, the Apostle John, other women, and Simon of Cyrene who carried the cross for Jesus were all standing at a distance. Then Longinus who was the Roman centurion in charge of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus saw Mother Mary’s tormented face and says to one of his soldiers, “If His mother wants to come up to be with her son, let her come. Escort her and help her.” When Mother Mary comes, the crowd showers the most disgraceful abuses on her.

    Mother Mary never left our Lord Jesus.

    Jesus pleads for forgiveness of our sins:
    The people keep making fun of Him. Our Lord Jesus prays to God, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”.

    Our Lord Jesus did not want us to see us suffer because of our sins.

    Paradise for the good thief:
    The good thief sees Mother Mary and cries to her. “Mother, I killed my mother with the sorrow I gave her. I am a sinner. Who will forgive me? Mother in the name of Your dying Son pray for me.” Mother Mary for a moment raises her tortured face and looks at him. She seems to caress Him with her kind, gentle eyes.
    The good thief scolds the bad thief for making fun of our Lord Jesus and pleads with Him for mercy. At the same moment our Lord Jesus assures Him, “Today you will be with me in Paradise”.

    The intercession of Mother Mary’s forgiveness for our sins has begun. Whenever we feel the guilt and heaviness of our sins and we do not know what to do, Mother Mary will give us the courage to plead to our Lord Jesus.

    The internal organs of our Lord Jesus:
    He hangs on the cross for three hours. The trunk reveals all its pain with its movement. His ribs are enlarged beyond measure. The lungs also have been enlarged with the result that breathing has become difficult. Lips have turned blue. The crown of thorns prevents Him from leaning against the trunk of the cross to help the suspension of His arms and lighten the weight of His feet. His kidneys and spine are curved upwards. From His pelvis upwards, His body is suspended and hanging forward.

    Psalm 22:14: -> “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.”
    The internal organs of Jesus melted. He purchased the cure for all our sicknesses.

    “Mother, this is Your Son. John, this is your Mother”.

    Mother Mary gives birth to us at the foot of the cross. Amidst huge pain she becomes our Mother. Our Lord Jesus Christ knew whoever goes to Mother Mary will be taken care of by Her. Hence He ordains Mother Mary mother of all of us.

    “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
    The face of Jesus becomes greenish pale showing that He is bleeding to death. The cramp from His feet now spread to His body to His jaws. Overcoming with His willpower the obstacle of His swollen tongue and throat, He shouts in a loud voice: “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabactani”.

    For the sake of all the suffering servants of God, our Lord Jesus Christ pleads, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

    “Everything is accomplished”
    There is dead silence. Then in utter darkness, the words “Everything is accomplished” are clearly heard.

    Jesus knew that He had accomplished all that had been entrusted into His hands by the Father.

    “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.”
    Our Lord Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit”. His head falls on the chest. His body leans forward. The trembling stops. He breathes no more.

    Jesus is laid on the lap of our dear Mother Mary:
    Jesus is brought down from the cross and is laid on the lap of Mother Mary. Mother Mary hugs Him and calls him in a heart-rending voice. She kisses and weeps over the wounds. She would like to tidy his hair. She slowly removes the crown of thorns as if from a newborn baby. She kisses the scratches of the thorns. While cleaning and drying the body her hand touches the gash on His chest. Her left hand enters almost completely into the large hole of the wound. She sees the chest open and the heart of her Son. She utters a cry then. A sword seems to be splitting her heart. She shouts and throws herself on her Son.

    As Simeon prophesized, the sword pierced Mother Mary’s heart too. Now both the hearts of our loving Lord Jesus and Mother Mary are pierced as penance for our sins.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ is buried in the tomb.
    We, as a church, wait at the tomb of our loving Lord Jesus Christ.

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