Jesus dies on the Cross. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Gratitude so he can give Jesus thanks that He personally died to save him and by pursuing the Virtue of Piety so he can more fully receive the fruits of Holy Communion.
Holy Week – The Passion of Our Lord – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 26:14-27:66
Nearing the end of His Passion (Latin: passio, meaning “suffering”), Jesus victoriously achieves His mission by His sacrificial and redemptive death on the Cross to forgive sins and by establishing the Sacrament of the Eucharist; it is noon (6th hour) on Good Friday.
Suddenly, the sun stops shining (Lk 23:45) and darkness descends, an act of God which fulfills a 700-year-old prophecy (Amos 8:8-10) and is a condemnation of the infinite sin murdering the Son of God. Dying on the Cross, Jesus loudly cries out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46, 4th of 7 Last Words); rather than weakness or despair, Jesus quotes Psalm 22, a vigorous proclamation of the Almighty Father’s total victory over evildoers. Some nearby mistakenly believe Jesus is calling Elijah. While severely dehydrated, when Jesus says, “I thirst.” (Jn 19:28; 5th of 7 Last Words) and receives sour wine (vinegar), His true purpose is to drink the 4th and final cup of wine from the uncompleted Passover Seder from the Last Supper; in this Jesus transforms the Seder ritual and establishes the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
After establishing the Eucharist, Jesus exclaims, ““It is finished” (Jn 19:30; 6th of 7 Last Words); the Greek word used (τελέω) means to “fulfill a command” and to “achieve a final purpose”, an exclamation of His total victory in the battle against Satan and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit” (Lk 23:46; 7th of 7 Last Words) and dies (12th Station of the Cross) at the 9th hour (3 p.m.); Jesus’ relatively quick but extremely painful death (only 6 hours vs typical 24 or more hours) is due to a tremendous loss of blood, shock and asphyxiation. Immediately, the veil in the Temple which separated sinners from God in the “holies of holies”, is torn by God Himself, revealing the end of the Old Covenant and the establishment of the New Covenant by which all men can approach God and Heaven through Christ. A rock-splitting earthquake leads a Roman Centurion to revelation, proclaiming, “Surely this man was the Son of God.” Nearby, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John and several women are witnesses.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be astounded by Christ’s Sacrament of the Eucharist: Person of the Trinity, He established the 1200-year-old Passover ritual in preparation for His Passion; Divine Priest, He conceives of the astounding idea to feed mankind across millennia with His Glorified Body and Blood in the Eucharist; He heroically becomes the sacrificial Lamb of God to save men from sin; He continues to offer Himself today in every Catholic parish in the world.
Be grateful Jesus died to save you personally
Realize: Jesus willingly died for the sins of all mankind and for the sins of each man personally.
Believe: Reflect upon The Passion (CCC 571-637).
Pray: Jesus, Crucified Christ, help me grow in the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice), so I recall and give thanks every day to You for dying to save me from my sins.
Grow in piety to receive the Fruits of the Eucharist
Realize: Gratefully receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist (when in a state of grace) gives every Catholic man supernatural fruits which help him grow in holiness.
Believe: Reflect upon the Fruits of Holy Communion (CCC 1391-1401, 1416).
Pray: Jesus, Holy Eucharist, help me build the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I recognize, give thanks for, and regularly receive the many fruits of communion through Your Sacrament of the Eucharist.