Thursday, April 13, 2006


Good Friday of the Lord's Passion

April 14, 2006
Good Friday of the Lord's Passion - Yr II

ISAIAH 52:13--53:12
See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly
exalted. Even as many were amazed at him-- so marred was his look
beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of
man-- so shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall
stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who
have not heard shall ponder it. Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up like a
sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; there was in
him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that
would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by people, a man of
suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom people hide
their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. Yet it was our
infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we
thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he
was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the
chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had
all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the LORD
laid upon him the guilt of us all. Though he was harshly treated, he
submitted and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or
a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought
any more of his destiny? When he was cut off from the land of the
living, and smitten for the sin of his people, a grave was assigned him
among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers, though he had done
no wrong nor spoken any falsehood. But the LORD was pleased to crush
him in infirmity. If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall
see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be
accomplished through him. Because of his affliction he shall see the
light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall
justify many, and their guilt he shall bear. Therefore I will give him
his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with the
mighty, because he surrendered himself to death and was counted among
the wicked; and he shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for
their offenses.

HEBREWS 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Brothers and sisters: Since 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 one who has similarly been tested
in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the
throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. In
the days when Christ was in the flesh, he offered 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 reverence. Son though
he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was
made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who
obey him.

JOHN 18:1--19:42
Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where
there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. Judas his
betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with
his disciples. So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the
chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches,
and weapons. Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, "Whom are you looking for?" They answered
him, "Jesus the Nazorean." He said to them, "I AM." Judas his betrayer
was also with them. When he said to them, "I AM," they turned away and
fell to the ground. So he again asked them, "Whom are you looking for?"
They said, "Jesus the Nazorean." Jesus answered, "I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go." This was to fulfill
what he had said, "I have not lost any of those 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 into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup
that the Father gave me?" So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the
Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It
was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man
should die rather than the people. Simon Peter and another disciple
followed Jesus. Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus. But Peter
stood at the gate outside. So the other disciple, the acquaintance of
the high priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter
in. Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, "You are not
one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." Now the
slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they
had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was
also standing there keeping warm. The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine. Jesus answered him, "I have
spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in
the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said
nothing. Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They
know what I said." When he had said this, one of the temple guards
standing there struck Jesus and said, "Is this the way you answer the
high priest?" Jesus answered him, "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 there keeping warm. And they said to him, "You are not 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 one whose ear Peter had
cut off, said, "Didn't I see you in the garden with him?" Again Peter
denied it. And immediately the cock crowed. Then they brought Jesus
from Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was morning. And they themselves
did not enter the praetorium, in order not to be defiled so that they
could eat the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and said, "What
charge do you bring against this man?" They answered and said to him,
"If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you."
At this, Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves, and judge him
according to your law." The Jews answered him, "We do not have the
right to execute anyone," in order that the word of Jesus might be
fulfilled that he said indicating the kind of death he would die. So
Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to
him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this
on your own or have others told you about me?" Pilate answered, "I am
not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over
to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong
to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants
would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as
it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a
king?" Jesus answered, "You say 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 said to him, "What is
truth?" When he had said this, he again went out to the Jews and said
to them, "I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I release
one prisoner to you at Passover. Do you want me to release to you the
King of the Jews?" They cried out again, "Not this one but Barabbas!"
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him
scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on
his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and
said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck him repeatedly. Once
more Pilate went out and said to them, "Look, I am bringing him out to
you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him." So Jesus came
out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to
them, "Behold, the man!" When the chief priests and the guards saw him
they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take
him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him." The Jews
answered, "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God." Now when Pilate heard this
statement, he became even more afraid, and went back into the
praetorium and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?" Jesus did not
answer him. So Pilate said to him, "Do you not speak to me? Do you not
know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?"
Jesus answered him, "You would have no power over me if it had not been
given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to
you has the greater sin." Consequently, Pilate tried to release him;
but the Jews cried out, "If you release him, you are not a Friend of
Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar." When Pilate
heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge's
bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was
preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. And he said to the
Jews, "Behold, your king!" They cried out, "Take him away, take him
away! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?"
The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then he
handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and,
carrying the cross himself, he went out to what is called the Place of
the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him
two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also
had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus the
Nazorean, the King of the Jews." Now many of the Jews read this
inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the
city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief
priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the
Jews,' but that he said, 'I am the 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 shares, a share
for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another,
"Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be," in
order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says: They
divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots. This
is what the soldiers did. Standing by the cross of Jesus were his
mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of
Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the
disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took
her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst."
There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked
in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had
taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he
handed over the spirit. Here all kneel and pause for a short time. Now
since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain
on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a
solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and that
they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the
first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when
they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break
his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and
immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified,
and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so
that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the
Scripture passage might be fulfilled: Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says: They will look upon him whom they have
pierced. After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus
for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of
Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came
bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred
pounds. They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths
along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. Now in
the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the
garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid
Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was
close by.

To suffer for a person one loves: only humans are capable of this
experience and the experience deepens their humanity. God himself could
not have this experience, had he not become human. God did become human
and he did have this humanizing experience: "Greater love than this no
person has, to lay down one's life for a friend." Is there anything
that is more deeply, more profoundly, more intensely human than love
poured out totally in sacrifice for a person beloved?

This is the core of Good Friday's mystery. It is the reason,
ultimately, why this Friday, which witnessed a tragic death violently
imposed on an innocent man two thousand years ago, has been called Good
Friday. This Friday witnessed the ultimate manifestation of human
goodness: Jesus laid down his life for his friends.

"Ultimate manifestation of human goodness?" Maybe not; maybe there is a
greater love than this, and therefore a more intense way of being
human. St. Paul believed this to be true. After reflecting on Jesus'
words: "There is no greater love than this, to lay down one's life for
a friend," Paul wrote to the Romans: "We were helpless when at the
appointed moment Christ died for sinful man." Paul, it would seem,
imagined himself on the cross in the place of Christ and he came to
this realization, "It is not easy to die for the sake of a good man . .
. what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we
were still sinners." Christ died-an act of love-not only for his
friends; he died also for those who had set themselves against him. He
died for the Romans who put him to death, for the Pharisees and the
priests, who pressured the Romans to kill him. He died for those who
would persecute his Church, for those who were to crucify him in his
followers down through the centuries. He died for us in spite of our

Jesus, having become man, pushed back the limits of human love and
sacrifice. He became far more intensely human than we are - with our
limitations, the conditions we place on our love.

>From the cross Jesus looked about him. "Father," he prayed, "forgive
them, they do not know what they are doing." His prayer is much more
than a prayer of forgiveness for us, it is also a cry from the depth of
Jesus' Heart to the depths within us. He pleads with us to allow our
love to grow and expand, to embrace not only those who love us but even
those who set themselves against us. He pleads with us to learn from
him how to be fully human.

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the speedy recover of Rita delos Reyes.
- for the personal intentions of Dr Cip delos Reyes and Jose delos
- good health to Mila San Juan, Yolanda Legaspi and Alejandro Legaspi.
- for the safe travel of Albert & Veny Yap.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: JY Bautista
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a Blessed Good Friday!

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� 2006 Daily-Homily

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