Gospel for Sunday, April 10 Luke 22: 14-23, 56
Palm Sunday: Passion of the Lord C
14When the time came, he took his place at the table and the apostles with him, 15and said to them: “I have longed to eat this Passover with you, before my passion, 16because I say to you: I will no longer eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17And having received a cup, he gave thanks and said: “Take it and pass it among you, 18for I say to you, from now on I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19Then he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying: “This is my body, which is given for you; Do this in memory of me”. 20And after having supped, he did the same with the cup, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you.” 21“But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me, on the table. 22The Son of Man goes, according to what is established, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!23Then they began to ask each other which of them would do this. 24And a discussion also arose between them: which of them was to be considered greater. 25He said: “The kings of the nations rule over them, and those who have power over them are called benefactors. 26But you don’t do this; but let the greatest among you be like the youngest, and the one who governs like the one who serves. 27Indeed, who is greater, he who sits at the table or he who serves? Isn’t he the one at the table? Yet I stand among you as one who serves. 28You are the ones who persevered with me in my trials 29and I prepare for you a kingdom, as my Father prepared it for me, 30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. And you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31Simon, Simon, behold: Satan sought you to sift you like wheat; 32but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And you, once converted, confirm your brothers.” 33And Peter said to him: “Lord, with you I am ready to go even to prison and to death”. 34He replied: “Peter, I tell you: today the rooster will not crow before you deny knowing me three times.” 35Then he said to them, “When I sent you without purse, or bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They replied: “Nothing”. 36And he added: “But now, let him that hath a bag take it, and so shall he that hath a bag; whoever has no sword should sell his cloak and buy one. 37For I say to you: this word of Scripture must be fulfilled in me: And he was numbered among the wicked. In fact, everything that concerns me is coming to fruition.” 38And they said, “Lord, here are two swords.” But he said: “Enough!”. 39He went out and went, as usual, to the Mount of Olives; the disciples also followed him. 40Having arrived at the place, he said to them: “Pray, so as not to enter into temptation”. 41Then he walked about a stone’s throw away from them, fell on his knees and prayed, saying: 42“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me! However, not my will, but your will be done.” 43An angel then appeared to him from heaven to comfort him. 44Having entered the fight, he prayed more intensely, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45Then, having risen from prayer, he went to the disciples and found them sleeping out of sadness. 46And he said to them: “Why are you sleeping? Rise up and pray, so as not to enter into temptation.” 47While he was still speaking, a crowd arrived; he who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, preceded them and approached Jesus to kiss him. 48GJesus said to him, “Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49Then those who were with him, seeing what was about to happen, said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51But Jesus intervened saying: “Leave it! That’s enough!”. And touching his ear, he healed him. 52Then Jesus said to those who had come against him, the chief priests, the heads of the temple guard and the elders: “As if you were a thief you have come with swords and clubs. 53Every day I was with you in the temple and you never laid hands on me; but this is your hour and the power of darkness.” 54After capturing him, they led him away and made him enter the house of the high priest. Peter followed him from afar. 55They had lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it; Peter also sat among them. 56A young servant girl saw him sitting near the fire and, looking at him attentively, said: “This one was also with him.” 57But he denied it, saying: “O woman, I do not know him!”. 58Shortly after another saw him and said: “You are one of them too!”. But Peter replied: “O man, I am not!”. 59After about an hour, another insisted: “Truly, this one also was with him; in fact he is Galileo”. 60But Peter said, “O man, I know not what you say.” And at that moment, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61Then the Lord turned and fixed his gaze on Peter, and Peter remembered the word that the Lord had said to him: “Before the cock crows, today you will deny me three times”. 62And when he came out he cried bitterly. 63And meanwhile the men who had Jesus in their custody mocked him and beat him, 64they blindfolded him and told him: “Be a prophet! Who is it that he hit you?”. 65And many other things they said against him, insulting him. 66As soon as it was day, the council of the elders of the people met, with the chief priests and the scribes; they brought him before their Sanhedrin 67and they said to him: “If you are the Christ, tell us.” He answered them, “Even if I tell you, you will not believe me; 68if I ask you, you will not answer me. 69But from now on the Son of man will sit at the right hand of the power of God.” 70Then they all said, “Are you then the Son of God?” And he answered them: “You yourselves say that I am.” 71And they said: “What further need do we have of testimony? We ourselves heard it from his mouth.” 23,1The whole assembly rose; they took him to Pilate 2and they began to accuse him: “We found this man who was agitating our people, preventing them from paying tribute to Caesar and claiming to be Christ the King.” 3Pilate then questioned him: “Are you the king of the Jews?”. And he replied, “You say so.” 4Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd: “I find no reason for condemnation in this man.” 5But they insisted, saying: “This man raises up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, having begun from Galilee, up to here.” 6Hearing this, Pilate asked if that man was Galilean 7and, knowing that he was under the authority of Herod, he sent him back to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem in those days. 8Seeing Jesus, Herod was very happy. In fact, for a long time he had wanted to see him, having heard about him, and hoped to see some miracle performed by him. 9He questioned him, asking him many questions, but he answered him nothing. 10The chief priests and scribes were also present, and they insisted on accusing him. 11Then Herod also, with his soldiers, insulted him, mocked him, put a splendid robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12On that day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; in fact before there had been enmity between them. 13Pilate, having gathered together the chief priests, the authorities and the people, 14he said to them: “You have brought this man to me as an agitator of the people. Behold, I have examined him before you, but I have not found in this man any of the faults of which you accuse him; 15and not even Herod: in fact he sent him back to us. Behold, he has done nothing that deserves death. 16Therefore, after punishing him, I will set him free.” 18But they all started shouting together: “Get this guy out of the way! Set Barabbas free for us!”. 19He had been put in prison for a revolt that broke out in the city and for murder. 20Pilate spoke to them again, because he wanted to release Jesus. 21But they shouted: “Crucify him! Crucify him!”. 22And he, for the third time, said to them: “But what harm has this man done? I found nothing in him that merited death. Therefore, I will punish him and set him free.” 23Essi però insistevano a gran voce, chiedendo che venisse crocifisso, e le loro grida crescevano. 24Pilate then decided that their request should be carried out. 25He released the one who had been put in prison for revolt and murder, and whom they requested, and handed Jesus over to their will. 26As they led him away, they stopped a certain Simon of Cyrene, who was returning from the fields, and they placed the cross on him, to carry after Jesus. 27A great multitude of people and women followed him, beating their breasts and wailing over him. 28But Jesus, turning towards them, said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29Behold, the days are coming when they will say: “Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.” 30Then they will begin to say to the mountains: “Fall on us!”, and to the hills: “Cover us!”. 31Because, if green wood is treated like this, what will happen to dry wood?”. 32Two others, who were criminals, were also led to death together with him. 33When they arrived at the place called Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on the right and the other on the left. 34Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Then dividing her clothes, they cast lots for her. 35The people watched; the leaders instead mocked him saying: “He saved others! Save himself, if he is the Christ of God, the chosen one.” 36Even the soldiers mocked him, they approached him to offer him some vinegar 37and they said: “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38Above him there was also an inscription: “This is the king of the Jews”. 39One of the criminals hanging on the cross insulted him: “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”. 40The other instead rebuked him saying: “Have you no fear of God, you who are condemned to the same punishment? 41We, rightly so, because we receive what we deserved for our actions; but he did nothing wrong.” 42And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43He answered him: “Truly I say to you: today you will be with me in paradise”. 44It was already around noon and it became dark over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45because the sun had been eclipsed. The veil of the temple was torn in half. 46Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he passed away. 47Seeing what had happened, the centurion gave glory to God, saying: “Truly this man was righteous.” 48Likewise, all the crowds who had come to see this spectacle, thinking back to what had happened, went away beating their chests. 49All his acquaintances, and the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood from afar watching all this. 50And behold, there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, good and righteous. 51He had not supported the decision and actions of others. He was from Arimathea, a city in Judea, and was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52He presented himself to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53He took him down from the cross, wrapped him in a sheet and placed him in a tomb dug into the rock, in which no one had yet been buried. 54It was Easter Sunday and the Sabbath lights were already shining. 55The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph; they observed the tomb and how the body of Jesus had been placed, 56then they went back and prepared spices and perfumed oils. On the Sabbath they observed rest as prescribed.
Luke 22: 14-23, 56
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (www.buonabibbiaatutti.it).
Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.
The Lenten journey today takes us to the foot of the Cross. The Cross is the maximum expression of God’s love for us, the historically culminating moment of God’s bending over humanity to embrace it and save it. Unfortunately, however, for us, the Crucifix is no longer a “scandal, … foolishness” (1 Cor 1.23), and at the same time a wonder before which we fall into moved adoration: by now we have become accustomed to the sight of this sacred symbol, which many now wear around their neck like any lucky charm, between a croissant and a four-leaf clover. Even in our churches, the Crucifixes are often pious representations on which our eye is accustomed to rest: the Jesus who is fixed there is perhaps serene and almost glorious, and thus we are unable to understand the greatest miracle of God’s love. The crucified Jesus is no longer the one who “has no appearance or beauty to attract our gaze…, despised and rejected by men” (Is 53,2-3).
We should still be able to be disturbed in front of the Crucifix. We are the only religion that has as its emblem a tortured person with the most cruel tortures, with every macabre and crazy means invented by human wickedness. But precisely for this reason every man, even those who have suffered the most terrible violence, who are struck by the most atrocious evil, can turn their gaze to the Crucifix to find in that God who is fixed there the greatest understanding, the fullest solidarity. There is no pain that is not included in the sufferings of Christ, there is no evil that he did not take upon himself: this is why he is truly “God with us” (Mt 1.23).
On his “disfigured, ruined face, the imprints of all the miseries of the world are printed. A face that collects the documentation of all the tortures that men of all times will have to suffer. The Body of Christ becomes the immeasurable continent of human pain. On that cross is the weight of those who can no longer bear it… Truly, with the cross Christ receives the sacrament of human pain. Here is the One who «bears, endures, takes away our anguish» (K. Barth)… What a lightning rod, that cross… The cross is heavy. Because the cross of millions of creatures is heavy. And Christ, who carries them all, becomes “He who can no longer bear it”: “They took a certain Simon of Cyrene… and placed the cross on him so that he could carry it after Jesus” (Lk 23:26). From that moment on, anyone can shout: “I can’t take it anymore!”. He knows that there is Someone who understands him. Because he tried ”(A. Pronzato).
Pope Francis invites us to “look at Christ crucified… Look at him. He looks at the wounds. Enter the wounds. By those wounds we were healed. Do you feel poisoned, do you feel sad, do you feel that your life is not going well, is it full of difficulties and even illness? Look at them. In silence. Look… Especially in bad moments, in difficult moments, poisoned a little by having said in our heart some disappointment against God, we must especially look at the wounds. Christ raised like the serpent of Numbers 21.4-9: because he became a serpent, he annihilated himself entirely to overcome “the” evil serpent”.
Happy Mercy to all!
Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org.