Gospel: Mk 14:1 — 15:47* (or Mk 15:1-39)
Early in the morning, the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the Law (that is, the whole Council or Sanhedrin) had their plan ready. They put Jesus in chains, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “You say so.” As the chief priests accused Jesus of many things, Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer at all? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus gave no further answers, much to Pilate’s surprise. At every Passover festival, Pilate used to free any prisoner the people asked for. Now there was a man called Barabbas, jailed with the rioters who had committed murder in the uprising. When the crowd went up to ask Pilate the usual favor, he said to them, “Do you want me to set free the King of the Jews?” for he realized that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him out of envy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask instead for the release of Barabbas. Pilate replied, “And what shall I do with the man you call King of the Jews?” The crowd shouted back, “Crucify him!” Pilate asked, “What evil has he done?” But they shouted the louder, “Crucify him!” As Pilate wanted to please the people, he freed Barabbas; and having had Jesus flogged, Pilate handed him over to be crucified. (…) The soldiers led him out of the city to crucify him. On the way they met Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, and forced him to carry the cross of Jesus. When they had led him to the place called Golgotha, which means the Skull, they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he would not take it. Then they nailed him to the cross, and divided his clothes among themselves, casting lots to decide what every man should take. It was about nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The statement of his
offense was displayed above his head, and it read, “The King of the Jews.” They also crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says: And with lawless ones he was numbered. (…) When noon came, darkness fell over the whole land and lasted until three o’clock; and at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” As soon as they heard these words, some of the bystanders said, “Listen! He is calling for Elijah.” And one of them went quickly to fill a sponge with bitter wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink, saying, “Now let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down.” But Jesus uttered a loud cry and gave up his spirit. And immediately the curtain that enclosed the temple Sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The captain, who was standing in front of him, saw how Jesus died and heard the cry he gave; and he said, “Truly, this man was the Son of God.”
Read: The Passion of our Lord, emerging out of a passion for his people. God undergoes human violence to protect and redeem us from our own violence. Though he was God, he assumed human condition to raise us to the divine.
Reflect: The greatest of suffering one can undergo is the suffering resulting out of betrayals by those whom one deeply loves. How great had been the suffering of Jesus! He, God, is betrayed by everyone
around – his own beloved disciples, family members, those who received his favors, his own people, the entire humanity whom he had created. But he willingly bears it out of love and mercy.
Pray: Pray for true repentance for your sins against God and neighbor.
Act: Mend a broken relationship.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018