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Gospel of Sunday 28 March: Mark 14-15



Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (

Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.

Comment on the Passion and Death of Jesus according to Mark would involve a very long meditation. Rather than dwelling on some general themes, I preferred to report some exegetical-spiritual ideas for the individual passages, to allow everyone in Holy Week to contemplate the “Word of the Cross” (1 Cor 1.18) in individual or community prayer.


The Gospel of Mark is “the Gospel of the Cross”: therefore Mark dedicates 140 verses out of 678 to the story of the Passion and Death of the Lord. It is in the mystery of the Passion that God reveals himself (14,40.62), it is at his Death that Jesus is recognized as the Son of God (15,39).

  1. The anointing in Bethany: 14.3-9
    For Mark she is a woman who discovers in Bethany, the “house of the poor”, that Jesus is the afflicted, the sufferer par excellence, and that she gives for him “everything she could” (14.8). There are various ecclesiological references: a) we are “at home”, that is, in the Church, where we find an ex-leper and a prostitute: the Church is the place of the poor, of sinners; b) Jesus is the Priest, who lives in community (Ps 133); c) Jesus is the Groom of the Song, who is perfumed by the Bride, the Church (Song 1.3; 5.5); d) Jesus the King must be served in the suffering (9.36).
  2. Institution of the Eucharist: 14,22-25
    a) During the Easter dinner, Jesus first of all performs a “mime”, a prophetic gesture: he gives himself to them to be “eaten” like bread and wine; b) he offers his “body” – basar and his “blood” – wadam: in Hebrew basar-wadam indicates the two parts of the covenant sacrifice: it is the new Covenant prophesied by Jer 31,31-34.
  3. At Gethsemane: 14.32-42
    a) To the disciples that Jesus wanted with him at the Transfiguration and resurrection of Jairus’ daughter, Jesus asks for solidarity in the supreme hour; b) Jesus fully experiences human finitude, complete failure, and expresses them by quoting Ps 42 and 43; c) Jesus makes a prayer that echoes the “Our Father”, from Mark not reported: the true request of the believer is always only to do the will of God; d) the will of God is the overcoming of the creaturely limit that he himself takes upon himself, in the Person of the Son, until his death; e) the believer often experiences the silence of God; f) in the struggle with God Jacob obtains a new name, Israel (Gen 32); here Jesus proclaims God with a Name that only here resonates in the Gospels: “Abba”, that is, “Papalino”, “Papi” (see Rom 8.15; Gal 4.6).
  4. The arrest of Jesus: 14,43-52
    a) Jesus is “handed over” by Judas, who gives him the disciple’s typical kiss to the Rabbi; b) Mark does not motivate Jesus’ betrayal for us: for him it is a frequent experience in the life of the individual and the community.
  5. Jesus confesses his divinity: 14,53-65
    a) The High Priest is Joseph known as Kayepha, the Inquisitor, Sadducee in office until 36 AD. C., son-in-law of Anna, who preceded him as High Priest; b) the true fire (14.54) is Christ, who is at the same time a holocaust; c) Jesus is silent like the Suffering Servant of Is 53.7 (Ps 39); d) Jesus proclaims himself God: “I am!” (14.62); now, that it has been “delivered”, the messianic secret can disappear;
  6. Peter denies the Lord: 14,66-72
    a) Peter, the rock, denies Christ three times; b) he warms himself at a small fire, and not at the living flame of Christ; c) Peter, however, remembers the Word of the Lord, and his crying is conversion (Lam 3,17-23; 5,15-17).
  7. Jesus handed over to Pilate: 15,1-15
    a) The verb “deliver” occurs 10 times in chapters 14 and 15: here Jesus is delivered to the pagans; b) Bar Abba, i.e. “son of the father”, i.e. “of n.n.”: the choice is between a son of no one and the Son of the Father, of God: but the Son of the Father redeems all of us, children of no one, the the innocent saves sinners, the peaceful the violent.
  8. Jesus is the crowned King: 15,16-20
    Mark dwells on the crowning with thorns: a) in Israel only God is the King (see Sl Regali); b) the soldiers, in their parody, proclaim the great truth of the kingship of Christ; c) just as Moses knelt before the burning bush, so the soldiers prostrate themselves before the crowned with thorns.
  9. The crucifixion: 15,21-27
    a) Simon of Cyrene, who will become a well-known Christian (Rm 16.3), is the type of disciple, called to carry the cross after his Lord (Mk 8.34; Lk 23.26); c) Simon the Pope is not there, but there is Simon of Cyrene, a Jew from the diaspora, who lives in Libya; d) power makes a foreigner, a poor person, carry the cross.
  10. Jesus crucified mocked: 15,29-32
    a) Jesus is the mocked Servant, before whom one shakes his head (Is 53.3-5; Ps 22.7-80); b) he is mocked as a prophet who announced the destruction of the Temple (14.65; 15.29), in reality on the cross the destruction of the Temple of his body takes place; c) he is vilified as the High Priest who must save others (14.63; 15.31), in reality on the cross he is saving the world; d) he is mocked as King (15.17-18.32), in reality he is God who reigns from the wood (Ps 96.10).
  11. The death of Jesus: 15,32-40
    a) The death of Jesus occurs in an apocalyptic setting (Am 8,9-10); the darkness recalls the first creation (Is 43.19), and the cry of Jesus pierces the primordial silence and begins a new Genesis; b) Jesus dies alone, abandoned by everyone (Ps 38); c) “Jesus, giving a loud cry, breathed his last”: it is the cry that proclaims the definitive defeat of evil (9.26), which announces the liberation of Jerusalem (Is 40.2-9), it is the cry of the new creation (Gen 1,1-2); d) the veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom, that is, by the work of God: the torn flesh of Christ is the veil through which we have access to the Holy One (Heb 10.19-20); e) “having seen him expire in that way”, the centurion proclaims Jesus as the Son of God: the Cross is the maximum revelation of God, of his being his Love for him; f) the pious women are a type of the disciple, who is with Jesus even at the moment of the Cross. .
  12. The burial: 15.42-47
    a) Joseph of Arimathea is also a type of faithful Israel and the disciple (15.43); b) he who is placed in the tomb as an object will be resurrected on the third day, on the eternal Sabbath.

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at


Spazio Spadoni

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