Jesus is crucified and suffers on the Cross. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Wisdom from the Holy Spirit so he can imitate Jesus Christ from the Cross and forgive others and by building the Virtue of Sacrifice so he can heroically sacrifice himself to build Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.
Holy Week – The Passion of Our Lord – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 26:14-27:66
After His grueling and brutal seizing, evil unjust trial by the Jews and Pilate, near-death scourging and the ordeal of carrying His Cross, the severely injured and weakened Jesus arrives at Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, for His Crucifixion; it is 9 o’clock on Good Friday morning.
Though the Romans offer Jesus wine mixed with gall (a narcotic to dull the pain; Mk 15:23), Jesus refuses and accepts the fullness of suffering of His Passion. Stripped naked to humiliate Him (10th Station of the Cross), Jesus is nailed to the Cross (11th Station) with iron spikes through His hands and feet (Jn 25:20). Instructed by Pilate to show his power over the Jews, the soldiers nail a sign above Jesus’s head which says, “This is the King of the Jews”. Nearby, two criminals are crucified on His left and right (Lk 23:32-33). The soldiers gamble for His valuable priestly linen tunic (Lev 16:4), woven without seams (Jn 19:23); after the Jewish high priest illegally tore (Lev 21:10) his own tunic (Mt 26:65), Jesus, the Divine Priest, sacrifices Himself on the Cross (Heb 2:17). Jesus prays, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34; 1st of Jesus’ 7 Last Words).
The Jewish chief priests, scribes and elders who orchestrated Jesus’ murder, arrive to mock and challenge Jesus to save Himself; passersby and soldiers also mock Him (Mk 15:24). When one of the criminals insults Jesus, the other criminal defends Jesus, confesses his crimes and, in an act of faith, asks Jesus to remember him in His kingdom; Jesus responds with the promise, “This day you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:39-43; 2nd of 7 Last Words). At noon, Jesus says to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John, “Woman, behold, your son! Behold, your mother!” (3rd of 7 Last Words; Jn 19:26-27), giving Mary to be the Mother of the Church and protecting the childless widow from destitution by commanding St. John to care for her for the remainder of her earthly life.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be astounded as Jesus remains in control of His Crucifixion; mocked as a false king, Jesus reigns from the Cross as Divine King; Jesus offers the Sacrifice of Himself as Divine Priest with the evil Jewish chief priests and leaders as witnesses; Perfection of Charity, rather than destroying His murderers in righteous Wrath, Jesus shocks with His prayer that they might be forgiven due to ignorance; Son of Mary, Jesus protects His Mother and blesses the Church by giving her to be the Holy Mother of all Catholics.
Forgive others by imitating Jesus from the Cross
Realize: The Crucifixion of Jesus in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary has traditionally been meditated upon to learn to Forgive Others (a Spiritual Work of Mercy).
Believe: Reflect upon Forgiveness (CCC 2838-2845).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Wisdom so I can more clearly see the world as Jesus sees it and be graced to be able to forgive those who hurt me, as Jesus forgives me for my sins.
Heroically sacrifice to build Christ’s Holy Catholic Church
Realize: Jesus heroically sacrifices Himself to establish His Church; every Catholic man must imitate Jesus by personally sacrificing to build Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.
Believe: Reflect upon the saving sacrifice of Christ’s Passion (CCC 599-630).
Pray: Jesus, Lamb of God, help me build the Virtue of Sacrifice (a part of Justice) so I continually seek to imitate You by making meaningful sacrifices to build Your Church.