Thursday, April 09, 2009



APRIL 10, 2009

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.

The drama unfolds beginning with a betrayal, then an arrest. A trial
is hastily organized, but the outcome seems predetermined. The
defendant undergoes incessant beatings and inhumane torture.
Consequently, a crown of thorns is placed on his head. The most
powerful Roman authority figure gives in to pressure and hesitantly
casts a sentence to end his life. The cross is forebodingly brought
out and nails ensure that the order is carried out with military

Every time we reflect on what Our Lord went through for our sake, we
cannot remain apathetic. Rather, our hearts are wrenched meditating on
such intense pain and suffering. Jesus not only endures hardship, he
represents all of humanity which stays vulnerable in the face of
injustice; indubitably silent when harsh voices seek to harm and wound
instead of heal.

On Calvary, Jesus unites with ultimate finality his total commitment
to all of us. He embraces all our sufferings, pains, and frustrations.
In our darkest moments, when all hope seems lost, Our Lord is truly
present. Whatever hurt we encounter, he is there to share that despair
with us.

Love does not fleetingly disappear when things go wrong. Most
assuredly, it is the driving force that keeps us in one piece. In
spite of the intense difficulties, Jesus stands fast. There is a
memorable quote that aptly summarizes this: "It wasn't the nails that
kept Jesus on the cross. It was his love for you and me."

So, when life throws typhoons and tumultuous events our way, the
steadfast presence of Christ is our stronghold. Let us continue to
pray that we will always remain in his love especially during our most
difficult and troubled moments. Together with him, our spirit will
survive the challenges presented to us.

We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the healing and strength of:
- Sophia Gonzalez
- Ester Marcelo
- Lisa
- Christy Chin
- Eligia Fernando
- Marlyn Tadeo
… for the speedy recovery of:
- Gaudencio
- Cora C.
… for the safety of Johnson Cuiting
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Avelina VS Mallonga
- Birthday: Miggy N. Morabe
- Birthday: Connie Lo
- Prayer Intention: Imelda C. Inocentes
- Wedding Anniversary: Barbara & David Lim
… for the healing and peace of all families

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

Have a good day!

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