Saturday, March 27, 2010



MARCH 28, 2010

ISAIAH 50:4-7
Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for me to know how to
give a word of comfort to the weary. Morning by morning he makes my
ear alert to listen like a disciple. Lord Yahweh has opened my ear and
I have not resisted, I have not turned away. I have offered my back to
those who struck me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; I have
not turned my face away from insult and spitting. Lord Yahweh comes to
my help, this is why insult has not touched me, this is why I have set
my face like flint and know that I shall not be put to shame.

Who, being in the form of God, did not count equality with God
something to be grasped. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a
slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a
human being, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a
cross. And for this God raised him high, and gave him the name which
is above all other names; so that all beings in the heavens, on earth
and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and
that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, to the
glory of God the Father.

LUKE 23:1-49
The whole assembly then rose, and they brought him before Pilate. They
began their accusation by saying, 'We found this man inciting our
people to revolt, opposing payment of the tribute to Caesar, and
claiming to be Christ, a king.' Pilate put to him this question, 'Are
you the king of the Jews?' He replied, 'It is you who say it.' Pilate
then said to the chief priests and the crowd, 'I find no case against
this man.' But they persisted, 'He is inflaming the people with his
teaching all over Judaea and all the way from Galilee, where he
started, down to here.' When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man
were a Galilean; and finding that he came under Herod's jurisdiction,
he passed him over to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
Herod was delighted to see Jesus; he had heard about him and had been
wanting for a long time to set eyes on him; moreover, he was hoping to
see some miracle worked by him. So he questioned him at some length,
but without getting any reply. Meanwhile the chief priests and the
scribes were there, vigorously pressing their accusations. Then Herod,
together with his guards, treated him with contempt and made fun of
him; he put a rich cloak on him and sent him back to Pilate. And
though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before, they were reconciled
that same day. Pilate then summoned the chief priests and the leading
men and the people. He said to them, 'You brought this man before me
as a popular agitator. Now I have gone into the matter myself in your
presence and found no grounds in the man for any of the charges you
bring against him. Nor has Herod either, since he has sent him back to
us. As you can see, the man has done nothing that deserves death, so I
shall have him flogged and then let him go.' But as one man they
howled, 'Away with him! Give us Barabbas!' (This man had been thrown
into prison because of a riot in the city and murder.) In his desire
to set Jesus free, Pilate addressed them again, but they shouted back,
'Crucify him! Crucify him!' And for the third time he spoke to them,
'But what harm has this man done? I have found no case against him
that deserves death, so I shall have him flogged and then let him go.'
But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices, demanding that
he should be crucified. And their shouts kept growing louder. Pilate
then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted. He released the
man they asked for, who had been imprisoned because of rioting and
murder, and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased. As
they were leading him away they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene,
who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross
and carry it behind Jesus. Large numbers of people followed him, and
women too, who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them
and said, 'Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for
yourselves and for your children. For look, the days are surely coming
when people will say, "Blessed are those who are barren, the wombs
that have never borne children, the breasts that have never suckled!"
Then they will begin to say to the mountains, "Fall on us!"; to the
hills, "Cover us!" For if this is what is done to green wood, what
will be done when the wood is dry?' Now they were also leading out two
others, criminals, to be executed with him. When they reached the
place called The Skull, there they crucified him and the two
criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said,
'Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.' Then
they cast lots to share out his clothing. The people stayed there
watching. As for the leaders, they jeered at him with the words, 'He
saved others, let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the
Chosen One.' The soldiers mocked him too, coming up to him, offering
him vinegar, and saying, 'If you are the king of the Jews, save
yourself.' Above him there was an inscription: 'This is the King of
the Jews'. One of the criminals hanging there abused him: 'Are you not
the Christ? Save yourself and us as well.' But the other spoke up and
rebuked him. 'Have you no fear of God at all?' he said. 'You got the
same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying
for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said,
'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' He answered him,
'In truth I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.' It was
now about the sixth hour and the sun's light failed, so that darkness
came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the
Sanctuary was torn right down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud
voice saying, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' With these
words he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken
place, he gave praise to God and said, 'Truly, this was an upright
man.' And when all the crowds who had gathered for the spectacle saw
what had happened, they went home beating their breasts. All his
friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied
him from Galilee and saw all this happen.

The readings of palm or passion Sunday suggest the themes of humility
and solidarity.

In the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem as fate would have it, it is
surprising that Jesus, who is known to be a king, takes on a colt
which is surely of lower stature than that of a horse. Yet this was
always consistent with the way of Jesus who was born in a manger on a

Such humility and solidarity is further strengthened in the second
reading. This hymn from the letter to the Philippians presents in a
succinct way how Jesus in his divinity humbled himself by becoming
like us in all things except sin. In doing so, God vindicates him by
raising him up so that his name shall be praised by all. One can
readily infer a kind of a descending and ascending movement. Jesus may
have changed and saved the world from a distance. Rather, he chose to
be one with us. He spent some years living among us as a manifestation
of his care and concern for us. There is then no truth to the song
that was a big hit yet theologically inaccurate "God is watching us
from a distance."

Such humility and solidarity is readily seen whenever we attend a
wake. We feel humbled in the face of death as we see our mortality. No
matter what we do, death is something that is inevitable. Death is a
humbling experience for we are reminded that life is indeed a gift. In
the face of death, we cannot but be humbled with our helplessness.
When it comes, we cannot do anything about it. In this regard, the
importance of solidarity cannot be overlooked as this is the moment
when we do not want to feel alone in our grief. Any support and show
of love helps us to find meaning amid the absurdity of life.

The Holy Week then becomes an opportunity to be humbled and to show
solidarity with Jesus who undergoes his passion. It was a trying
moment that began in his prayer in Gethsemane when he even tried to
bargain with God to let this suffering pass. It is not to be
judgmental but we can imagine the frustration of Jesus as he did not
even have the consolation and support that he must have expected from
his closest friends. Whereas in the Transfiguration scene, Peter,
James, and John were all wide awake, here they are asleep because it
was already evening and they must have been tired from the whole day
of activities. Yet, they knew what was to happen to Jesus as they were
given some idea during the evening Supper. But again, the spirit is
willing but the flesh is weak. Let us remain awake and show our
solidarity as we journey with Jesus in his Passion.

We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the personal intentions of Veronica Yap
… for the speedy recovery and healing of Mr. Yong
.. Birthday: Leticia Benitez
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Felix Asilo
- Gaudencio Ogatis
- Zoneth Pabalan
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Julie Torres
- Birthday: Aiden Thomas Yu Ampil
- Wedding Anniversary: Tita Sayson & Virgilio Sayson
- In Memoriam (+): Chua Ang Sing
… 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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