Friday, March 29, 2024

† "..Obedient to the point of ...."


†Quote of the Day

"As they were looking on, so we too gaze on his wounds as he hangs. We see his blood as he dies. We see the price offered by the redeemer, touch the scars of his resurrection. He bows his head, as if to kiss you. His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you. His arms are extended that he may embrace you. His whole body is displayed for your redemption. Ponder how great these things are. Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind: as he was once fixed to the cross in every part of his body for you, so he may now be fixed in every part of your soul."
–St. Augustine of Hippo

Today's Meditation

Jesus Christ did not think the sovereign beatitude and glory of Heaven too dearly purchased at the price of unspeakable tortures, and by suffering His sacred flesh to be mangled by nails, thorns, and scourges. Great indeed must be the value of that which cost the Son of God so dear! And yet we esteem it so little, as to be even ready to renounce our claim to it, as, in fact, so many of us do, for the sake of some wretched pleasure or despicable interest! Ye blind and deluded children of men, contemplate the Wounds of your Crucified God, and see in what manner the gates of the kingdom of glory have been opened to you! See what it has cost Him to place you in possession of it, and understand, if possible, how infinite a benefit was bestowed upon you by the Son of God when He purchased for you Heaven, which you had lost by sin! … Enter in spirit into these sacred Wounds, and you will comprehend the value and sublimity of that eternal felicity which they have acquired for you, and you will learn to detach your heart from the earth and from creatures, so as to place all your affections and desires upon Heaven."
—Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Christ, p. 226-227

Daily Verse

"Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
–Philippians 2:5-11


Good Friday

On the Friday of the Lord's Passion (Good Friday) the Church commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross for the sins of all mankind, at the same time the Passover lamb was being killed and prepared for consumption among the Jewish people. On this day the Church does not celebrate Mass. The main altar remains completely bare, and the Tabernacle is empty. It is at the 3 o'clock hour on Good Friday that Jesus expired on the Cross, His Divine Mercy being poured out on the whole world. At this hour the Christian faithful should observe a solemn and prayerful silence in memory of the hour in which our salvation was won at so great a price.


St. Berthold of Mt. Carmel

St. Berthold of Mt. Carmel (d. 1195), also known as Bartoldus of Calabria, was born in France, the son of a Count. He excelled at his studies and was ordained a priest. Berthold's brother, Aymeric, became the Latin patriarch of Antioch. The two joined together to participate in a Crusade to the Holy Land. While in the Holy Land, Berthold traveled to Mount Carmel and built a monastery and church dedicated to the Prophet Elijah. He gathered together a number of hermits scattered throughout Palestine to live together in imitation of the life of the great prophet as recorded in the Old Testament. Berthold became the group's superior and stayed with the community at Mount Carmel for 45 years until his death in 1195. It was the life and work of St. Berthold that laid the foundation for the Carmelite Order, whose rule was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226. St. Berthold's feast day is March 29.


Good Friday of the Lord's Passion

Reading I Is 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.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25

R (Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.

Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
For all my foes I am an object of reproach,

a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.

I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.
R Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;

I say, "You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me

from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors."
R Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine upon your servant;

save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,

all you who hope in the LORD.
R Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Reading II Heb 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.

Verse Before the Gospel Phil 2:8-9

Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name.
The passion narratives are proclaimed in full so that all see vividly the love of Christ for each person. In light of this, the crimes during the Passion of Christ cannot be attributed, in either preaching or catechesis, indiscriminately to all Jews of that time, nor to Jews today. The Jewish people should not be referred to as though rejected or cursed, as if this view followed from Scripture. The Church ever keeps in mind that Jesus, his mother Mary, and the apostles all were Jewish. As the Church has always held, Christ freely suffered his passion and death because of the sins of all, that all might be saved.

Gospel Jn 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.


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 52:13–53:12

Their guilt he shall bear. (Isaiah 53:11)

Though written nearly six centuries before Christ, the "Servant Songs" in the Book of Isaiah are remarkable for the way they seem to describe Jesus and his mission. Today's reading even sums up what Jesus would accomplish by his passion and death: "Through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear" (Isaiah 53:11).

Yes, Jesus willingly bore our guilt. He even bore the guilt of the very people who were complicit in his arrest, trial, and crucifixion! John's passion narrative, which we read every Good Friday, makes it clear who they are:

Judas, one of the Twelve, who followed Jesus from the beginning of his public ministry and yet still made the grievous decision to betray him.

The high priest Caiaphas, who failed to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and sent him to be tried before the Roman authorities.

Peter, one of Jesus' closest disciples, who swore that he would die rather than turn on his Master but then denied three times that he even knew him.

Pontius Pilate, who knew that Jesus was innocent but, fearing the reaction of the people, condemned him to death.

The people in the crowd, who called out to Pilate, "Crucify him!"

Of this cast of characters, we only know of one person, Peter, who responded to the grace of the cross and received Jesus' forgiveness (John 21). Fully restored, Peter went on to preach the good news and ultimately give his life for the Lord.

The truth is that all the people in this story could have repented and turned to the Lord—even in the last hour of their lives. Despite their treatment of him, Jesus loved them, and by "his stripes," he offered all of them healing and forgiveness (Isaiah 53:5). And perhaps some of them did accept his mercy!

Astounding? Yes. But that's the message of the cross. Not only on Good Friday, but every day, let that message speak to you: You are loved. You are forgiven. You are redeemed.

"Jesus, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for bearing my guilt so that I might be healed of all the wounds of sin."

Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
John 18:1–19:42


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
_"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......."_ end quote.

This is it. This is the day that the Lord came for. He gave us Himself in the Last Supper, but now, He would surrender something from Heaven. For what? For saving people? For healing people?

Today do the stations of the cross, our parish recites the Good Friday Reproaches. Click to see
In the Good Reproaches in some of these stations, we hear our Lord saying things like "I opened the sea for you to cross and you have opened my side with a lance" and He continues always asking "why, what have I done to you, answer me".

In other words, we are given the highest of gifts, and in turn, we scorn and scoff Him. Think of the cruelty today towards Him. The mockery. Just turn your life to Jesus and see how people will scorn and scoff at you at work or school or in general public. It is more like that in a world that has disdain for the Lord. And if you do this in an anti-Christian culture, you might not live very long, your very own crucifixion is not far away.
And so, the question is, how do you love God and others?

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside." Where is the wise one?"
It is complete ignorance to mock the creator of wisdom. Yet it happens and a perfect example is Satanism that makes sarcasm of every thing that is Catholic, like a black mass for instance. And what does the world take from that? Right now, as has been the case for centuries, marriage is being made a mockery, with people marrying whoever or whatever they like, even dogs and houses and themselves. A complete mockery of the institution of love that God created for life and creation.
And why not speak about darkness today, the darkest day of our Lord's life? Because, take it from a guy who has seen in a vision, the last moments of His life, His last breaths, the moment was cataclysmic and dark. He was covered in darkness, disfigured, the clouds and the sky were dark, and looking around, I couldn't see my people, but some were lights and some were not there as lights. Some lights brighter than others. But what a disfigure. From what I could tell, the blood all over His countenance, I couldn't see it was so dark but I could tell, without seeing, his bloodied hair and face was disfigured, bruised swollen and beaten. It was hideous. And this is what evil does. It disfigures the body of Christ. And we are all baptized as the body of Christ. Sin makes us terrible to look at. This is a terrible day, but one that would never be forgotten...ever.
But let me tell you what my soul knew of that Soul on the cross. My entire being knew and without a doubt, that this was my Father, and your Father. He was holding the whole world with His being on that cross. He was doing something phenomenal in His suffering. Redemption was at hand after the brutal assault of all the demonic in the world on Him.
The perfect Lamb of God was sacrificed. He gave us His 7 last words. The 7 last things.
The lance thrust into His side made water and blood pour out.
He is the new Adam. The new blood. The new wife from His side would be formed in His blood and water, purified forever.
Think of the Holy Sacraments. We are purified in them and we bless God.

From this moment on, the crucifix would mean something good. A blessing. Turning a curse into a blessing, like the saraph serpent, in the Old Testament, lifted up for the world to see and the message continues. "Look at what you have done. Now repent, and be healed."
Evil absolutely hates a crucifix. But as Catholics, we have them everywhere, in Holy Mass, the priest must look at it during Mass. In the Holy Sacraments, there is a crucifix. In exorcisms there is a crucifix. In every room in your house there should be a blessed crucifix. There is one at my computer as I write to you it is in my view.

The cross says a message of a thousand words. There is God, the Son of God, with open arms stretched out, forever saying to us all, "I Love You to no end. I will go to the ends of the earth for you and beyond." It is an invitation to an embrace, an intimacy with Him. The Father awaits. Where have you been? Where else would you rather be?
Someone said there was a jewelry stand and the seller of jewelry asked the Christian "do you want a gold cross, or do you want a cross with the man on it?" Who knows what religion the seller was but apparently he couldn't understand what it was all about, he was just trying to make a dollar.
What if someone asked you who that is on the cross?
What would you say?
I would say that there on the cross...that person is my very life and soul. I don't see many men in church daily. But I do see Him there always, with open arms. And how many days go that I won't stop by. Wasted days. Wasted nights. Wasted life. If I desire to live on earth as it is in Heaven....I shall desire to be with Him every moment of my life.
I was bore and born from His very side to live and to love Him and keep Him company, and to serve Him. All of us born into Him in a Holy Trinity Baptism. We are all born for this. I speak often in first person point of view so you will implement the words into your soul. I was born for Him. I was made to love Him and serve Him, and even give my life for Him.

Lord, this and every Friday we shall remember You and sacrifice for You. Let us remember to be loving and giving to God our Father with all we have, with our outstretched arms to the Heavens.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 16:3

3 Commit your work to the LORD,

and your plans will be established.


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