Palm Sunday A

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This powerpoint presentation of this Sunday\'s Mass Readings [Passion/Palm Sun] is coming to us through the kindness of Rev. Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM.

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Palm Sunday A

  1. 1. W e l c o m e t o o ur B ib l e St u d y Palm Sunday A April 17, 2011 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  2. 2. 1 st reading: Isaiah 50,4-7 <ul><li>God’s goodness to the suffering servant </li></ul><ul><li>4 The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; </li></ul><ul><li>Active non-resistance </li></ul><ul><li>5 and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. 6 I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. </li></ul><ul><li>God’s goodness to the suffering servant </li></ul><ul><li>7 The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. </li></ul>The focus is on the ability to face sufferings.
  3. 3. 1 st reading: Isaiah 50,4-7 <ul><li>God’s goodness to the suffering servant </li></ul><ul><li>4 The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; </li></ul><ul><li>Active non-resistance to violence </li></ul><ul><li>5 and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. 6 I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. </li></ul><ul><li>God’s goodness to the suffering servant </li></ul><ul><li>7 The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary </li></ul><ul><li>The reading is one of the suffering servant’s songs. </li></ul><ul><li>The servant speaks in the first person. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.4, he mentions the gifts that make him prepared to embrace sufferings. </li></ul><ul><li>His gifts from God are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A well-trained tongue (ability to console and encourage) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open ears (updated with everyday events, knowledge and wisdom) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In vv.5-6, the servant describes his behavior. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I have not rebelled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I have not turned back </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I gave my back… to those who beat me </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I gave my cheeks… from those who plucked my beard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I did not shield my face.. From buffets and spitting. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 1 st reading: Isaiah 50,4-7 <ul><li>God’s goodness to the suffering servant </li></ul><ul><li>4 The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; </li></ul><ul><li>Active non-resistance to violence </li></ul><ul><li>5 and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. 6 I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. </li></ul><ul><li>God’s goodness to the suffering servant </li></ul><ul><li>7 The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. </li></ul><ul><li>Truly the suffering servant has submitted himself to violence, without running away from it, or, taking vengeance. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.7, the servant acknowledges God as a big help. He acknowledges he is not disgraced (disintegrated, lost self-confidence). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I have set my face like flint (hard- like rock). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He is not put to shame. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Reflections on the 1 st reading <ul><li>What is the wisdom in embracing sufferings? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the purpose of not resisting people who make us suffer? </li></ul><ul><li>Why don’t we fight back? </li></ul><ul><li>We are called to take hold of ourselves, to be strong in times of trouble and provocations, to be men and women standing tall, not behaving like immature or people with a sick mind. </li></ul><ul><li>To be true servants, we must die as heroes. </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2 nd reading: Philippians 2,6-11 <ul><li>The God-Christ (state of being) </li></ul><ul><li>6 Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. </li></ul><ul><li>The Christ-Man (state of becoming) </li></ul><ul><li>7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. </li></ul><ul><li>The Christ-Lord God (state of becoming and being) </li></ul><ul><li>9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. </li></ul>The focus is on the emptying of Jesus.
  7. 7. 2 nd reading: Philippians 2,6-11 <ul><li>The God-Christ </li></ul><ul><li>6 Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. </li></ul><ul><li>The Christ-Man </li></ul><ul><li>7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. </li></ul><ul><li>The Christ-Lord God </li></ul><ul><li>9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary </li></ul><ul><li>The passage is about the emptying of Christ and as a result, his exaltation. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus, as God, does not remain in his Godship. </li></ul><ul><li>Christ does not stay enjoying his being divine. V.6 </li></ul><ul><li>He decides to become like us. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.7, Christ empties himself (kenosis) of his being God (while remaining God) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Becoming a slave (servant), not a landowner, a slave driver, a boss, not even just an ordinary citizen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He moves from the form of God to the form of a human. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 2 nd reading: Philippians 2,6-11 <ul><li>The God-Christ </li></ul><ul><li>6 Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. </li></ul><ul><li>The Christ-Man </li></ul><ul><li>7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. </li></ul><ul><li>The Christ-Lord God </li></ul><ul><li>9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.8, Jesus consciously humbles himself as a slave. </li></ul><ul><li>He shows humility by obeying God to death. </li></ul><ul><li>He dies on a cross, like a criminal. </li></ul><ul><li>He embraces the most cruel, most tragic, most humiliating way to die, dying without dignity, without glory and honor, without identity. </li></ul>
  9. 9. 2 nd reading: Philippians 2,6-11 <ul><li>The God-Christ </li></ul><ul><li>6 Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. </li></ul><ul><li>The Christ-Man </li></ul><ul><li>7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. </li></ul><ul><li>The Christ-Lord God </li></ul><ul><li>9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. </li></ul><ul><li>V.9 reverses everything that has happened to Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>Because of his total emptying, total submission and obedience, not withholding anything for himself, he became totally nothing, worthless, (not even a basura ) </li></ul><ul><li>God now greatly exalts him, puts him in the highest pedestal and bestows on him a great name, above all other names. </li></ul><ul><li>At the mention of his name, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Every knee bends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Every tongue confesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AMGD </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Christ is now greatly exalted. </li></ul><ul><li>No one is more highly exalted than Christ. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Reflections on the 2 nd reading <ul><li>To gain honor, one must first do the supreme act of humility. </li></ul><ul><li>To gain God’s favor, we must empty ourselves of titles, authority and security (all those garbage!). </li></ul><ul><li>We must appear naked before the Lord, without defenses and pretensions. </li></ul><ul><li>We must be willing to expose our vulnerability without feeling ashamed. </li></ul><ul><li>Are you ashamed of yourself? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Gospel reading: Matthew 26,14—27,66 <ul><li>14 Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, &quot;What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?&quot; They paid him thirty pieces of silver, 16 and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over. </li></ul><ul><li>The Traitor </li></ul><ul><li>Judas Iscariot, the treasurer, is a traitor of Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>He betrays Jesus by going to the chief priests. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the olden times, if you have a friend and if he goes to your enemy, he becomes your traitor. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surely he will say or reveal something about you for your enemies’ advantage. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Judas exchanges Jesus with 30 pieces of silver (makes Jesus a commodity). </li></ul><ul><li>It is the compensation paid to a slave owner, whose slave is gorged by an ox (Ex 21,32) </li></ul><ul><li>He makes a little money out of the anger of the chief priests. </li></ul><ul><li>In return, he will submit to their demand, to facilitate the capture of Jesus. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>17 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, &quot;Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?&quot; 18 He said, &quot;Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The teacher says, &quot;My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.&quot; 19 The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover. </li></ul><ul><li>The Passover Feast </li></ul><ul><li>In the feast, they eat the Passover meal. </li></ul><ul><li>The Passover celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from the oppression in Egypt. </li></ul><ul><li>As the Israelites poised “to escape,” there was no time to let the dough rise. </li></ul><ul><li>It is celebrated in a house. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They prepare different kinds of food symbolizing their sufferings, oppression and liberation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They eat them in the context of story telling of their liberation from Egypt. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In v.18, Jesus commands them to prepare for the Passover. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.19, the disciples obey. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, &quot;Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.&quot; 22 Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, &quot;Surely it is not I, Lord?&quot; 23 He said in reply, &quot;He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.&quot; 25 Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, &quot;Surely it is not I, Rabbi?&quot; He answered, &quot;You have said so.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The Passover starts at about 6 PM, at sundown. </li></ul><ul><li>At table, while eating, Jesus suddenly informs everyone about his betrayal. </li></ul><ul><li>He picks up the topic of the beginning of the passion narrative in v.14. </li></ul><ul><li>The disciples react and deny. </li></ul><ul><li>They are not traitors. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.23, Jesus still speaks in parables. He does not directly identify his betrayer. </li></ul><ul><li>V.24 pronounces doom to his traitor. Better for him not to have been born. </li></ul><ul><li>V. 25 informs us that Judas is the betrayer, but Judas also denies he will betray Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus insists he is the traitor. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, &quot;Take and eat; this is my body.&quot; 27 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, &quot;Drink from it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. </li></ul><ul><li>The Eucharist </li></ul><ul><li>In v.26, the story goes back to the Passover in which Jesus institutes the Holy Eucharist. </li></ul><ul><li>The institution of the Holy Eucharist takes place in the context of the Jewish Passover Meal. </li></ul><ul><li>Why does Jesus say, “Take and eat; this is my body… Drink, this is my blood.” </li></ul><ul><li>It is a mystery. </li></ul><ul><li>Here the blood of Christ has a special treatment. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the blood of the new covenant. The old one was sealed at Mt. Sinai with the blood of animals. </li></ul><ul><li>The eucharist is for the forgiveness of sins. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>29 I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.&quot; 30 Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, &quot;This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written: 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed'; 32 but after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Mount of Olives </li></ul><ul><li>After the last Supper, Jesus and his disciples go to the Mount of Olives, a good walking distance from Jerusalem. </li></ul><ul><li>There Jesus predicts that their faith will be shaken and they will be dispersed. </li></ul><ul><li>They will be shepherdless, without a leader, without a voice. </li></ul><ul><li>The disciples will have no direction. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus also predicts his resurrection (and ascension). </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>33 Peter said to him in reply, &quot;Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.&quot; 34 Jesus said to him, &quot;Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.&quot; 35 Peter said to him, &quot;Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.&quot; And all the disciples spoke likewise. </li></ul><ul><li>Peter grandstands, ”My faith will not be shaken.” </li></ul><ul><li>Because of this, Jesus predicts his (Peter’s) denial. </li></ul><ul><li>Peter assures of his faith. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.34, Jesus reacts to Peter, predicting he will deny him three times before sunrise. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.35, Peter denies that he will deny Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>Peter again assures of his loyalty, also the other disciples. </li></ul><ul><li>Peter will deny Jesus to preserve himself. </li></ul><ul><li>Denial is used to preserve oneself. </li></ul><ul><li>It is easy to promise not to deny. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, &quot;Sit here while I go over there and pray.&quot; 37 He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. 38 Then he said to them, &quot;My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.&quot; 39 He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, &quot;My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus prays </li></ul><ul><li>Gethsemane is on the Mt. of Olives. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus prays there. </li></ul><ul><li>He is accompanied by Peter and 2 sons of Zebedee. V.37 </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus becomes depressed. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.38, Jesus invites them to be with him in his prayer. </li></ul><ul><li>V.39 indicates his posture of prayer (He prostrates). </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus prays to his Father, asking that his cup (of suffering) may pass from him. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, Jesus states his willingness to comply with God’s will. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>40 When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, &quot;So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.&quot; 42 Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, &quot;My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>In v.40, Jesus returns to his disciples for the first time (to check what they are doing) but they are asleep. </li></ul><ul><li>Supposedly they are drunk because of the 4 cups of wine at the Passover (Last Supper). </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus addresses himself to Peter. </li></ul><ul><li>He challenges him to pray with him for an hour. </li></ul><ul><li>In verse 41, Jesus encourages Peter to pray to overcome temptations. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.42, Jesus goes back to his former place to pray. </li></ul><ul><li>He repeats his prayer in v.39. He is willing to do the will of God as he taught in the “Our Father.” </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>43 Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open. 44 He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. 45 Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, &quot;Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. 46 Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus returns again to his disciples, who are in deep sleep. </li></ul><ul><li>He does not disturb them. </li></ul><ul><li>He goes back to pray again. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.45, he returns again for the last time to his disciples. </li></ul><ul><li>He has finished praying. </li></ul><ul><li>This time, Jesus questions them again for they are still sleeping. </li></ul><ul><li>Now they should be awake because the hour of his betrayal has come. </li></ul><ul><li>They should not miss the action. </li></ul><ul><li>They should be able to witness the highpoint of his life of supreme sacrifice. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.46, Jesus now compels them to move. </li></ul><ul><li>Now is the action. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, &quot;The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.&quot; 49 Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, &quot;Hail, Rabbi!&quot; and he kissed him. 50 Jesus answered him, &quot;Friend, do what you have come for.&quot; Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. </li></ul><ul><li>The Betrayal and arrest </li></ul><ul><li>True enough, Judas arrives with a large crowd armed with weapons. </li></ul><ul><li>They are sent by the chief priests and elders, the highest officials of the land. </li></ul><ul><li>In vv.48-49, Judas informs of his “password.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He will betray Jesus with a kiss. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In v.50, Jesus allows him to complete his “mission.” </li></ul><ul><li>Now Jesus is in the hands of the crowd. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>51 And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, &quot;Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus’ companion, maybe a sympathizer, not necessarily an apostle, has a sword. </li></ul><ul><li>He is not disarmed. </li></ul><ul><li>Why is he allowed to carry the sword as he accompanies Jesus? </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe he is not a threat to the mob. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus’ companion becomes violent and he cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.52, Jesus rebukes him, warning him, “violence will be met with violence.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Don’t begin the spiral of violence.” </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>54 But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?&quot; 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, &quot;Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me. 56 But all this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.“ Then all the disciples left him and fled. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus sees the danger of being violent. </li></ul><ul><li>God’s plan may not be fulfilled. </li></ul><ul><li>His violent death may be aborted. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.55, Jesus also rebukes the crowd because of their violent posture, whereas before they were listening to him when he was teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.56, Jesus interprets these things as fulfilling the prophets. </li></ul><ul><li>The drama of salvation must go on as predicted by the prophets. </li></ul><ul><li>At this moment, the disciples veered away from him (for fear of their lives). </li></ul><ul><li>At this point, Jesus is all alone. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>57 Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 Peter was following him at a distance as far as the high priest's courtyard, and going inside he sat down with the servants to see the outcome. 59 The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, </li></ul><ul><li>The arresting officers bring him to Caiaphas, the high priest. </li></ul><ul><li>The high priest is the leader of the group of chief priests, who not only governs the Temple precincts and services, but also the temporal affairs of the nation (diplomacy and judiciary). </li></ul><ul><li>The group is called Sanhedrin. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.58, Peter follows at the distance (like Nicodemus in John). </li></ul><ul><li>In v.59, the chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin seek reasons / excuses to put Jesus to death. </li></ul><ul><li>For them it is OK to have false witnesses. </li></ul><ul><li>There was malice in the arrest of Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>They want to kill him by hook or by crook. </li></ul><ul><li>They simply want to waste the life of this man, whose teachings disturb them. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61 who stated, &quot;This man said, 'I can destroy the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.'&quot; 62 The high priest rose and addressed him, &quot;Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?&quot; 63 But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, &quot;I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.&quot; 64 Jesus said to him in reply, &quot;You have said so. But I tell you: From now on you will see 'the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power' and 'coming on the clouds of heaven.'&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Now, they find two false witnesses and they take them seriously. </li></ul><ul><li>They testify against him, using a fantastic accusation. </li></ul><ul><li>They misinterpret his statement, when he was cleaning up the Temple. </li></ul><ul><li>The Temple he was referring to was his body. </li></ul><ul><li>The trial of Jesus is a farce from the start. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus is not interested to answer. He is quiet. V.63. </li></ul><ul><li>Now the high priest asks him to declare under oath (to say the truth, otherwise he will be accused of perjury ): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That he is the Messiah, the Son of God. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jesus claims it is the high priest, who has said so. He does not deny. </li></ul><ul><li>He claims he is the Son of Man… (the title addressed only to the apocalyptic man, who will come to judge the world.) </li></ul><ul><li>They hear what they don’t want to hear. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, &quot;He has blasphemed! What further need have we of witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what is your opinion?&quot; They said in reply, &quot;He deserves to die!&quot; 67 Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him, 68 saying, &quot;Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is it that struck you?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The high priest accuses him of blasphemy. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus incriminates himself. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.67, begins the physical and psychological violence on Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>They play a sport out of him. (violation of human rights). </li></ul><ul><li>There were no human rights group yet during the time of Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>Nowadays, we have more sophisticated (complicated) justice system, which makes it difficult to convict the guilty and release the innocent. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, &quot;You too were with Jesus the Galilean.&quot; 70 But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, &quot;I do not know what you are talking about!&quot; 71 As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, &quot;This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.&quot; 72 Again he denied it with an oath, &quot;I do not know the man!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Peter’s Denials </li></ul><ul><li>The author goes back to Peter. </li></ul><ul><li>He is last mentioned in v.58. </li></ul><ul><li>The maid recognize him, but he denies he was with Jesus. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He does not know the man. (He misses his opportunity to make good of his promise in vv.33 and 35 at Last Supper). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Another girl recognizes him, but he denies it just the same. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Again, he gets worse. He denies it with an oath. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Peter is also under trial. </li></ul><ul><li>He does not know how to react. </li></ul><ul><li>He is not so different from Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>73 A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, &quot;Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.&quot; 74 At that he began to curse and to swear, &quot;I do not know the man.&quot; And immediately a cock crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: &quot;Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.&quot; He went out and began to weep bitterly. </li></ul><ul><li>For the third time, he is identified as having been with Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>Peter becomes worst. He curses, sticking to his denials. </li></ul><ul><li>At this, a cock crows. </li></ul><ul><li>Peter remembers what Jesus told him. </li></ul><ul><li>He has been foolish all the time. </li></ul><ul><li>He pretends to be strong, yet in trial, he is weak. </li></ul><ul><li>Self-preservation is more important than solidarity with Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>The consequence: Peter feels bad about himself. </li></ul><ul><li>He is a coward. </li></ul><ul><li>He is not the man he claims to be. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>27:1 When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2 They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. 3 Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, &quot;I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.&quot; They said, &quot;What is that to us? Look to it yourself.&quot; 5 Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself. </li></ul><ul><li>Next day, the leaders busy themselves with putting Jesus to death. </li></ul><ul><li>They bring Jesus to Pilate, the governor (procurator). </li></ul><ul><li>Judas regrets, but it’s too late </li></ul><ul><li>In v.3, Judas appears again, regretting what he has done. </li></ul><ul><li>He is not happy. </li></ul><ul><li>He returns the 30 pieces of silver to the leaders. </li></ul><ul><li>But it does not reverse the decision of the leaders. </li></ul><ul><li>His realization that he betrayed an innocent man does not do any good to Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>The leaders do not help him. </li></ul><ul><li>They just used him. </li></ul><ul><li>They are not interested in their money back and releasing Jesus, but pursuing the death of Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.5, Judas loses everything (Jesus, money, leaders) including his life. </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>6 The chief priests gathered up the money, but said, &quot;It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood.&quot; 7 After consultation, they used it to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood. 9 Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet, &quot;And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of a man with a price on his head, a price set by some of the Israelites, 10 and they paid it out for the potter's field just as the Lord had commanded me.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The Blood Money </li></ul><ul><li>Here in vv.6-7, the leaders decide to use the money for the burial site for foreigners. </li></ul><ul><li>They don’t want to keep it in the Temple treasury. It is blood money. </li></ul><ul><li>It became blood money through their own fault. </li></ul><ul><li>Their decision incidentally fulfills a prophecy from Jeremiah. </li></ul><ul><li>This is problematic in Matthew because his claim does not appear in the book of Jeremiah. </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, &quot;Are you the king of the Jews?&quot; Jesus said, &quot;You say so.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>13 Then Pilate said to him, &quot;Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?&quot; 14 But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed. </li></ul><ul><li>Before Governor Pilate </li></ul><ul><li>Now the scene is with Pilate. </li></ul><ul><li>Pilate has a different question: Are you the king of the Jews? </li></ul><ul><li>It is more of a political question. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus’ way of answering is the same. “You say so.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pilate asks if Jesus is aware of the many (false) testimonies against him. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus is quiet. </li></ul><ul><li>He does not entertain him. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>15 Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished. 16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called (Jesus) Barabbas. 17 So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, &quot;Which one do you want me to release to you, (Jesus) Barabbas, or Jesus called Messiah?&quot; 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over. 19 While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, &quot;Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Pilate does not intend to kill Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>He suggests to release him taking advantage of the occasion (Passover). </li></ul><ul><li>He hopes people would choose to release him, instead of Barabbas. </li></ul><ul><li>He knows the reasons why they want to kill him. (envy, v.18) </li></ul><ul><li>V.19 adds more reason that Jesus should be released. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pilate’s wife had a bad dream because of him. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>20 The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus. 21 The governor said to them in reply, &quot;Which of the two do you want me to release to you?&quot; They answered, &quot;Barabbas!&quot; 22 Pilate said to them, &quot;Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?&quot; They all said, &quot;Let him be crucified!&quot; 23 But he said, &quot;Why? What evil has he done?&quot; They only shouted the louder, &quot;Let him be crucified!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The leaders persuade people to release Barabbas instead of Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>People clamor to crucify Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>Crucifixion was used by the Romans as a form of capital punishment for convicted criminals as a deterrent to those who are planning to do crimes. </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>24 When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, &quot;I am innocent of this man's blood. Look to it yourselves.&quot; 25 And the whole people said in reply, &quot;His blood be upon us and upon our children.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Pilate gives in to the noisy cry of the people. </li></ul><ul><li>He is afraid of rioting. </li></ul><ul><li>Rioting is a senseless reaction of a crowd or mob, which does violence to people and destruction to properties. </li></ul><ul><li>Pilate washes his hands from responsibility over Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>He fails to release Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>He is overwhelmed by the unruly crowd. </li></ul><ul><li>He does not have trained riot policemen. </li></ul><ul><li>The people take the responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>What they say would be misused by Hitler 2 thousand years later. </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>26 Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged, he handed him over to be crucified. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around him. 28 They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about him. 29 Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, &quot;Hail, King of the Jews!&quot; 30 They spat upon him and took the reed and kept striking him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus is scourged (introduction to crucifixion). </li></ul><ul><li>The soldiers take him to the praetorium (residence of the Roman governor). </li></ul><ul><li>Cohort is composed of 600 soldiers. An overkill to an unarmed civilian. V.27 </li></ul><ul><li>What did they do to prevent the riot? </li></ul><ul><li>Military cloak is the royal purple worn by kings. V.28 </li></ul><ul><li>Crown of thorns resembles the “radiant” crown worn by Hellenistic kings. </li></ul><ul><li>The soldiers put this crown to make fun of him, not so much to hurt him. </li></ul><ul><li>The reed resembles the scepter (v.30) </li></ul><ul><li>When soldiers take over your life, anything can happen. You are helpless. </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>32 As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull), 34 they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall. But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink. </li></ul><ul><li>Simon of Cyrene (Cyrenaica was a Roman province of north Africa) comes from the crowd. </li></ul><ul><li>He is forced to help him carry the cross. </li></ul><ul><li>Golgotha is their destination, the place of crucifixion. </li></ul><ul><li>The drink offered to Jesus serves to anaesthesize him so that he will not feel so much pain. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus refuses to take it after tasting it. </li></ul><ul><li>He did not know what it was. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus prefers to feel the pain through and through. </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>35 After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots; 36 then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And they placed over his head the written charge against him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. 38 Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left. 39 Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, &quot;You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, (and) come down from the cross!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>There is no elaborate description how he was crucified. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.35, the focus is shifted to the activities of the soldiers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dividing of garments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Placing of the placard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crucifixion also of two revolutionaries (probably Zealots), not thieves </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The attention is also on the activities of the passers by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They revile him </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They shake their heads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They dare him to save himself. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They make him eat his words in these moments of agony. </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>41 Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said, 42 &quot;He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel! Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'&quot; 44 The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way. </li></ul><ul><li>The chief priests and others join the soldiers and passers by in mocking Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>They say more. </li></ul><ul><li>They also lower themselves down. </li></ul><ul><li>Also the revolutionaries join the chorus. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus is all alone with no one to comfort him. </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>45 From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, &quot;Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?&quot; which means, &quot;My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?&quot; 47 Some of the bystanders who heard it said, &quot;This one is calling for Elijah.&quot; 48 Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. 49 But the rest said, &quot;Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.&quot; 50 But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus opens his mouth only at 3 PM. </li></ul><ul><li>In Aramaic, his dialect, he expresses his utter loneliness, crying out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” </li></ul><ul><li>It sounded like he was calling Elijah. V.47 </li></ul><ul><li>They give him wine to drink. It is not said whether he takes it. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.49, they wait if Elijah would come down to save him. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.50, Jesus breathes his last. </li></ul><ul><li>He cries out aloud and gives up his spirit. </li></ul><ul><li>That’s the end of his earthly life. </li></ul>
  39. 39. <ul><li>51 And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, 52 tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, &quot;Truly, this was the Son of God!&quot; 55 There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. </li></ul><ul><li>In v.51, the attention is shifted to the Temple. </li></ul><ul><li>The sanctuary veil is torn into two. </li></ul><ul><li>This is probably the inner veil of the sanctuary. There are two veils (the other one is the outer, before the entrance of the Holy of Holies). </li></ul><ul><li>There are other happenings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth quaking, rocks splitting, dead coming back to life, coming to Jerusalem. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The happenings force the centurion and his men to acknowledge he is the Son of God. V.54 </li></ul><ul><li>V.55 indicates women disciples have been following Jesus at a distance. </li></ul><ul><li>These women also have left everything and followed him. </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. 59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it (in) clean linen 60 and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. 61 But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb. </li></ul><ul><li>Towards the end of the day, Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus, approaches Pilate for his body. </li></ul><ul><li>Pilate allows him to take the body down and wrapped it with clean linen and put it in a tomb, with a huge stone rolled across. </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Magdalene and other Mary remain near the tomb. Why? </li></ul>
  41. 41. <ul><li>62 The next day, the one following the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, &quot;Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, 'After three days I will be raised up.' 64 Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, 'He has been raised from the dead.' This last imposture would be worse than the first.&quot; 65 Pilate said to them, &quot;The guard is yours; go secure it as best you can.&quot; 66 So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard. </li></ul><ul><li>For us it is the same day, Friday evening, but for the Jews, it is the Sabbath. </li></ul><ul><li>The day starts at sundown. </li></ul><ul><li>The chief priests and the Pharisees are still worried what would happen next. </li></ul><ul><li>They ask Pilate to guard his tomb, to prevent his disciples from stealing his body, thus claiming he is raised from the dead. </li></ul><ul><li>Pilate grants their request. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Jesus Christ The Characters of the Passion Narrative Chief priests and elders of Israel Soldiers ( cohorts ) Crowds (people) Disciples/apostles Women disciples Joseph of Arimathea Simon of Cyrene Caiaphas Pilate Judas Iscariot Peter Pharisees and scribes Where do you find yourself in this drama of accusation, mock trial, sentence and execution?
  43. 43. Reflections on the gospel reading <ul><li>It is clear at the outset that religious authorities (the ruling class at that time) do not like Jesus of Nazareth. </li></ul><ul><li>His identity and his teachings disturb them. </li></ul><ul><li>They use the pagan Romans to execute Jesus for their comfort. </li></ul><ul><li>The story is called the passion narrative. It is so coined to portray the harsh experience of Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>It demonstrates how Jesus is falsely accused, unjustly tried and the trial was motivated with envy or anger or a deep insecurity. </li></ul><ul><li>With this kind of people (chief priests, Pharisees and scribes), no one can be spared even the God-Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>Their insecurity is totally destructive. </li></ul><ul><li>They can do it to Jesus, how much more to others? </li></ul>
  44. 44. Tying the 3 readings <ul><li>The first reading is about the song of the suffering servant. </li></ul><ul><li>The second reading is a deep reflection on the emptying of Christ-God and his utter humility to become a man-servant. </li></ul><ul><li>The gospel reading portrays the terrible sufferings of Jesus inflicted by the higher ups, just because they don’t like him. </li></ul>
  45. 45. How to develop your homily / sharing <ul><li>The homilist or sharer must emphasize the cause of sufferings of all human beings. </li></ul><ul><li>We cause the sufferings of others if we refuse to see their ‘light’. (the sin of the chief priests and high priest) </li></ul><ul><li>We cause the sufferings of others if we allow ourselves to be used to demolish others in exchange for money (the sin of Judas Iscariot) </li></ul><ul><li>We cause the sufferings of others, if we allow ourselves to be bribed by the rich and powerful to do dirty jobs against the hapless innocent. (the sin of the crowds) </li></ul>
  46. 46. <ul><li>We cause the sufferings of others, by not making a strong stand against injustice, but allowing ourselves to be overcome by events (mobs) and wash our hands of responsibility. (the sin of Pilate) </li></ul><ul><li>We cause the sufferings of our friends, if we don’t recognize our special relationship with them in times of need. (the sin of Peter) </li></ul><ul><li>We cause the sufferings of others by senselessly making fun of people who are defenseless. (the sin of the soldiers) </li></ul><ul><li>We cause the sufferings of others by justifying it in the name of religion. (the sin of the Pharisees and scribes) </li></ul>
  47. 47. <ul><li>The homilist or sharer can develop also the meaning of suffering. </li></ul><ul><li>Our sufferings can be more meaningful if we connect them with Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>No suffering is ever justifiable. We do not choose how we suffer, otherwise it is not suffering. </li></ul><ul><li>If we are suffering unjustly, let it be. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the only way to understand the sufferings of Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>After a time of fighting / doing (as when Jesus was still teaching, arguing and proving his enemies wrong), expect time for suffering. </li></ul><ul><li>We, Christians, should be able to submit ourselves to suffering. </li></ul>
  48. 48. <ul><li>The eucharist is the sacrament of suffering. </li></ul><ul><li>We find connection with Christ when we suffer with him. </li></ul><ul><li>The eucharist strengthens us in our sufferings. </li></ul><ul><li>In the eucharist, if we truly believe in His presence, we find consolation in our sufferings. </li></ul><ul><li>The eucharist helps us realize that the way of the cross is the only way to salvation. </li></ul><ul><li>Without acceptance of suffering like the suffering servant, we cannot be in total communion with Jesus in the eucharist. </li></ul>
  49. 49. Our Context of Sin and Grace <ul><li>Short patience </li></ul><ul><li>Low tolerant level </li></ul><ul><li>Vindictive </li></ul><ul><li>Vengeance </li></ul><ul><li>Runs away from pain, coward </li></ul><ul><li>Inability to suffer </li></ul><ul><li>No solidarity </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to suffer quietly </li></ul><ul><li>Kenosis, emptying </li></ul><ul><li>Humility </li></ul><ul><li>Solidarity </li></ul>The End!

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