Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Tuesday: According to St. Mark

The Resurrection by Piero della Francesca, 15th century.

The Octave of Easter continues today, Easter Tuesday.  Each day this week is, of course, a solemnity or 1st Class Feast, as we continue to bask in the glory of the Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.  For more on this wonderful feast, you might note:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Easter

Fish Eaters: Eastertide

Here is a recording of the Alleluia verse for Easter Tuesday:

Today, I wished to take a look at the Resurrection account according to St. Mark, and his gospel.  He recounts, in chapter 16:
"Chapter 16:1 And when the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome had bought spices, to come and anoint Jesus. 2 So they came to the tomb very early on the day after the sabbath, at sunrise.  3 And they began to question among themselves, Who is to roll the stone away for us from the door of the tomb? 4 Then they looked up, and saw that the stone, great as it was, had been rolled away already. 5 And they went into the tomb, and saw there, on the right, a young man seated, wearing a white robe; and they were dismayed.  6 But he said to them, No need to be dismayed; you have come to look for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified; he has risen again, he is not here. Here is the place where they laid him. 7 Go and tell Peter and the rest of his disciples that he is going before you into Galilee. There you shall have sight of him, as he promised you. 8 So they came out and ran away from the tomb, trembling and awe-struck, and said nothing to anyone, out of fear.  9 But he had risen again, at dawn on the first day of the week, and shewed himself first of all to Mary Magdalen, the woman out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 She went and gave the news to those who had been of his company, where they mourned and wept; 11 and they, when they were told that he was alive and that she had seen him, could not believe it.  12 After that, he appeared in the form of a stranger to two of them as they were walking together, going out into the country;  13 these went back and gave the news to the rest, but they did not believe them either."

Surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia, et apparuit Simoni, alleluia!

Live well!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Eastertide & Easter Monday

File:Rafael - ressureicaocristo01.jpg
Resurrection of Christ, by Raphael, ca. 1500AD.

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, was really on the first day of Easter -- as this highest of Feasts has a 1st Class Octave -- eight days, all of which are 1st Class Feasts, or Solemnities.  This is the holiest and most celebratory week of the year -- each of these days is like another Easter!  As such, this blog will continue with the Easter day theme throughout the week.  Of course, the full Easter Season lasts fifty days, until Pentecost.

Here is the Alleluia verse from Easter Monday:

For more on Easter and Eastertide, you might consult:

Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Easter

Fish Eaters: Eastertide

It is worth noting something, too, of the idea of an Octave:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Octave

Check back later this week, as I continue to present various aspects of this glorious feast!

Surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia, et apparuit Simoni, alleluia!

Live well!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Triduum: Easter & Exultet

Noli me tangere, by Giotto
Surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia!  Et apparuit Simoni, alleluia!

It is Easter!  Christ has triumphed over death!

Here is the Alleluia for the Easter Vigil Mass:

The Exultet, of course, is the unique and preeminent announcement of this great Easter joy:
Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph! Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,ablaze with light from her eternal King,let all corners of the earth be glad,knowing an end to gloom and darkness.Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,arrayed with the lightning of his glory,let this holy building shake with joy,filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.

(Therefore, dearest friends, standing in the awesome glory of this holy light, invoke with me, I ask you, the mercy of God almighty, that he, who has been pleased to number me, though unworthy, among the Levites, may pour into me his light unshadowed, that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises).(V. The Lord be with you.R. And with your spirit.)V. Lift up your hearts.R. We lift them up to the Lord.V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.R. It is right and just.

It is truly right and just, with ardent love of mind and heartand with devoted service of our voice,to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten.Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father, and, pouring out his own dear Blood, wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.These, then, are the feasts of Passover, in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb, whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.This is the night, when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children, from slavery in Egypt and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.This is the night that with a pillar of fire banished the darkness of sin.

This is the night that even now, throughout the world, sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace and joining them to his holy ones.

This is the night, when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld. Our birth would have been no gain, had we not been redeemed.O wonder of your humble care for us!O love, O charity beyond all telling, to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!O truly blessed night, worthy alone to know the time and hour when Christ rose from the underworld!

This is the night of which it is written: The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness.

The sanctifying power of this night dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.On this, your night of grace, O holy Father, accept this candle, a solemn offering, the work of bees and of your servants’ hands, an evening sacrifice of praise, this gift from your most holy Church.But now we know the praises of this pillar, which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor, a fire into many flames divided, yet never dimmed by sharing of its light, for it is fed by melting wax, drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious.O truly blessed night, when things of heaven are wed to those of earth, and divine to the human.

Therefore, O Lord,we pray you that this candle, hallowed to the honor of your name, may persevere undimmed, to overcome the darkness of this night.Receive it as a pleasing fragrance, and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.May this flame be found still burning by the Morning Star: the one Morning Star who never sets, Christ your Son, who, coming back from death’s domain, has shed his peaceful light on humanity, and lives and reigns for ever and ever.  R. Amen.

The history of that prayer: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Exultet

The Introit of the Easter Sunday Mass sums up the joy of this day!

St. Matthew describes the moments of the Resurrection thus, in chapter 28:
"Chapter 28:1 On the night after the sabbath, at the hour when dawn broke on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen and the other Mary came near to contemplate the tomb.  2 And suddenly there was a great trembling of the earth, because an angel of the Lord came to the place, descending from heaven, and rolled away the stone and sat over it; 3 his face shone like lightning, and his garments were white as snow; 4 so that the guards trembled for fear of him, and were like dead men. 5 But the angel said openly to the women, You need not be afraid; I know well that you have come to look for Jesus of Nazareth, the man who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, as he told you. Come and see the place where the Lord was buried.7 You must go in haste, and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead; and now he is going on before you into Galilee, where you shall have sight of him. That is my message to you. 8 Whereupon they left the tomb, in fear and in great rejoicing, and ran to tell the news to his disciples.  9 And while they were on their way, all at once Jesus met them and said, All hail. With that, they came near to him, and clung to his feet, and worshipped him.  10 Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid; go and give word to my brethren to remove into Galilee; they shall see me there.

11 They had not finished their journey, when some of the guards reached the city, and told the chief priests of all that befell. 12 These gathered with the elders to take counsel, and offered a rich bribe to the soldiers;13 Let this, they said, be your tale, His disciples came by night and stole him away, while we were asleep.14 If this should come to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him, and see that no harm comes to you.15 The soldiers took the bribe, and did as they were instructed; and this is the tale which has gone abroad among the Jews, to this day. "

For more history and customs of this most glorious day of the Church year, visit these links:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Easter

Fish Eaters: Easter

There is so much more to say and ponder on this high feast -- so we shall do that over the Octave!  Easter only begins today!

Live well so as to rise with Him on the last day!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Triduum: Holy Saturday

The Entombment, by Fra Angelico

The silence of the tomb.  The piercing sorrow of loss.

Yet, the expectation and knowledge of triumph.  The fasts and disciplines of Lent are nearly at their end.

On this day, Christ descended to the Limbo of the Fathers: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Limbo

Holy Saturday is a peculiar mix -- grief of the events from the day prior, yet a real anticipation of the joy of Easter Sunday that permits liturgies of the Resurrection creep into this calendar day.

Some history of the day, a day that saw those liturgies move earlier and earlier, until the Latin Church restored them to the evening in the 20th century: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Holy Saturday

Some customs of the day: Fish Eaters: Holy Saturday

Now, we wait for the great triumph of the Resurrection.

Silence.  Anticipation.

Live well, so as to die well!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Triduum: Good Friday

File:Cristo crucificado.jpg
Christ Crucified by Diego Velazquez, ca. 1631AD.

Today is Good Friday -- good, because on this day, the work of our salvation was accomplished.  On this day, Our Saviour completed His Passion and Sacrificed Himself for the Redemption of Mankind.  It is a most solemn day -- marked with fasting and abstinence -- but a day of joy, as our salvation is at hand.  The Christian world has ever stopped commerce and worldly things on this day, in honor of that Sacrifice, and of Our Divine King, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

For more on the history and customs associated with this day, you might consult:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Good Friday

Fish Eaters: Good Friday

It is traditional, on this day, to read both the Passion according to St. John, which I present below, and to ponder the Stations of the Cross.

The Stations of the Cross have a rich history, and draw our minds to the physical location of the events of this day: Jerusalem.  For more in the history of the Via Crucis, you might note: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Way of the Cross & for customs and a version of the Way of the Cross: Fish Eaters: Stations of the Cross

Of course, the culmination of these events take place on the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  The Order of Friars Minor, the Franciscans, the Latin custodians of the Holy Sites, have a wonderful site presenting a virtual tour of this most holy place, which is well worth taking: http://www.holysepulchre.custodia.org/
as they do for all of the Stations of the Cross:
Way of the Cross in Jerusalem

It is today that, in the Pre-sanctified liturgy of Good Friday, the Passion of Jesus Christ according to St. John is presented.  It now follows, from Chapters 18 & 19:
"Chapter 18:1 All this Jesus said, and now, with his disciples, he went out across the Cedron valley. Here there was a garden, into which he and his disciples went. 2 Judas, his betrayer, knew the place well; Jesus and his disciples had often forgathered in it. 3 There, then, Judas came, accompanied by the guard, and officers sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 So Jesus, knowing well what was to befall him, went out to meet them; Who is it, he asked, you are looking for? 5 Jesus of Nazareth, they answered; and he told them, I am Jesus of Nazareth. And there was Judas, his betrayer, standing in their company. 6 When he said to them, I am Jesus of Nazareth, they all shrank back, and fell to the ground. 7 So, once more, Jesus asked them, Who is it you are looking for? and when they said, Jesus of Nazareth, 8 he answered, I have told you already that I am Jesus. If I am the man you are looking for, let these others go free. 9 Thus he would make good the words he had spoken to them, I have not lost any of those whom thou hast entrusted to me.  10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear; Malchus was the name of the servant. 11 Whereupon Jesus said to Peter, Put thy sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink that cup which my Father himself has appointed for me?

12 And now the guard, with their captain, and the Jewish officers arrested Jesus and pinioned him. 13 They led him off, in the first instance, to Annas, father-in-law of Caiphas, who held the high priesthood in that year.  14 (It was this Caiphas who had given it as his advice to the Jews, that it was best to put one man to death for the sake of the people.) 15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, with another disciple; this disciple was acquainted with the high priest, and went into the high priest’s court with Jesus,  16 while Peter stood at the door without. Afterwards the other disciple, who was the high priest’s acquaintance, went out and spoke to the door-keeper, and so brought Peter in. 17 This maid-servant who kept the door asked Peter, Art thou another of this man’s disciples? and he said, Not I.  18 It was cold, and the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, and stood there warming themselves; there Peter stood too, warming himself with the rest.

19 And now the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples, and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, I have spoken openly before the world; my teaching has been given in the synagogue and in the temple, where all the Jews forgather; nothing that I have said was said in secret. 21 Why dost thou question me? Ask those who listened to me what my words were; they know well enough what I said. 22 When he spoke thus, one of the officers, who was standing by, struck Jesus on the cheek; Is this, he said, how thou makest answer to the high priest? 23 If there was harm in what I said, Jesus answered, tell us what was harmful in it; if not, why dost thou strike me? 24 Annas, you must know, had sent him on, still bound, to the high priest Caiphas.

25 Meanwhile Simon Peter stood there, and warmed himself. So they asked him, Art thou, too, one of his disciples? And he denied it; Not I, he said. 26 Why, said one of the high priest’s servants, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, did I not see thee with him in the garden? 27 Whereupon Peter denied again; and immediately the cock crew.

28 And now they led Jesus away from the house of Caiphas to the governor’s palace. It was morning, and they would not enter the palace themselves; there was the paschal meal to be eaten, and they must not incur defilement. 29 And so Pilate went to meet them without; What charge, he asked, do you bring against this man? 30 They answered, We would not have given him up to thee, if he had not been a malefactor. 31 Take him yourselves, Pilate said to them, and judge him according to your own law. Whereupon the Jews said to him, We have no power to put any man to death. 32 (This was in fulfilment of the words Jesus had spoken when he prophesied what death he was to die.)  33 So Pilate went back into the palace, and summoned Jesus; Art thou the king of the Jews? he asked. 34 Dost thou say this of thy own accord, Jesus answered, or is it what others have told thee of me? 35 And Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? It is thy own nation, and its chief priests, who have given thee up to me. What offence hast thou committed? 36 My kingdom, said Jesus, does not belong to this world. If my kingdom were one which belonged to this world, my servants would be fighting, to prevent my falling into the hands of the Jews; but no, my kingdom does not take its origin here. 37 Thou art a king, then? Pilate asked. And Jesus answered, It is thy own lips that have called me a king. What I was born for, what I came into the world for, is to bear witness of the truth. Whoever belongs to the truth, listens to my voice. 38 Pilate said to him, What is truth? And with that he went back to the Jews again, and told them, I can find no fault in him. 39 You have a custom of demanding that I should release one prisoner at paschal time; would you have me release the king of the Jews? 40 Whereupon they all made a fresh outcry; Barabbas, they said, not this man. Barabbas was a robber.

Chapter 19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers put on his head a crown which they had woven out of thorns, and dressed him in a scarlet cloak; 3 they would come up to him and say, Hail, king of the Jews, and then strike him on the face. 4 And now Pilate went out again, and said, See, I am bringing him out to you, to shew that I cannot find any fault in him. 5 Then, as Jesus came out, still wearing the crown of thorns and the scarlet cloak, he said to them, See, here is the man. 6 When the chief priests and their officers saw him, they cried out, Crucify him, crucify him. Take him yourselves, said Pilate, and crucify him; I cannot find any fault in him. 7 The Jews answered, We have our own law, and by our law he ought to die, for pretending to be the Son of God. 8 When Pilate heard this said, he was more afraid than ever; 9 going back into the palace, he asked Jesus, Whence hast thou come? but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 What, said Pilate, hast thou no word for me? Dost thou not know that I have power to crucify thee, and power to release thee? 11 Jesus answered, Thou wouldst not have any power over me at all, if it had not been given thee from above. That is why the man who gave me up to thee is more guilty yet.  12 After this, Pilate was for releasing him, but the Jews went on crying out, Thou art no friend of Caesar, if thou dost release him; the man who pretends to be a king is Caesar’s rival. 13 When Pilate heard them speak thus, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgement seat, in a place which is called Lithostrotos; its Hebrew name is Gabbatha.  14 It was now about the sixth hour, on the eve of the paschal feast. See, he said to the Jews, here is your king.  15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. What, Pilate said to them, shall I crucify your king? We have no king, the chief priests answered, except Caesar. 16 Thereupon he gave Jesus up into their hands, to be crucified: and they, once he was in their hands, led him away.

17 So Jesus went out, carrying his own cross, to the place named after a skull; its Hebrew name is Golgotha.  18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side with Jesus in the midst. 19 And Pilate wrote out a proclamation, which he put on the cross; it ran, Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews. 20 This proclamation was read by many of the Jews, since the place where Jesus was crucified was close to the city; it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. 21 And the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate, Thou shouldst not write, The king of the Jews; thou shouldst write, This man said, I am the king of the Jews. 22 Pilate’s answer was, What I have written, I have written. 23 The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took up his garments, which they divided into four shares, one share for each soldier. They took up his cloak, too, which was without seam, woven from the top throughout; 24 so they said to one another, Better not to tear it; let us cast lots to decide whose it shall be. This was in fulfilment of the passage in scripture which says, They divide my spoils among them; cast lots for my clothing. So it was, then, that the soldiers occupied themselves; 25 and meanwhile his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen, had taken their stand beside the cross of Jesus.  26 And Jesus, seeing his mother there, and the disciple, too, whom he loved, standing by, said to his mother, Woman, this is thy son. 27 Then he said to the disciple, This is thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her into his own keeping.

28 And now Jesus knew well that all was achieved which the scripture demanded for its accomplishment; and he said, I am thirsty.  29 There was a jar there full of vinegar; so they filled a sponge with the vinegar and put it on a stick of hyssop, and brought it close to his mouth. 30 Jesus drank the vinegar, and said, It is achieved. Then he bowed his head, and yielded up his spirit.

31 The Jews would not let the bodies remain crucified on the sabbath, because that sabbath day was a solemn one; and since it was now the eve, they asked Pilate that the bodies might have their legs broken, and be taken away. 32 And so the soldiers came and broke the legs both of the one and of the other that were crucified with him; 33 but when they came to Jesus, and found him already dead, they did not break his legs,34 but one of the soldiers opened his side with a spear; and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 He who saw it has borne his witness; and his witness is worthy of trust. He tells what he knows to be the truth, that you, like him, may learn to believe. 36 This was so ordained to fulfil what is written, You shall not break a single bone of his.  37 And again, another passage in scripture says, They will look upon the man whom they have pierced.

38 After this Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but in secret, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him leave; so he came and took Jesus’ body away;  39 and with him was Nicodemus, the same who made his first visit to Jesus by night; he brought with him a mixture of myrrh and aloes, of about a hundred pounds’ weight. 40 They took Jesus’ body, then, and wrapped it in winding-cloths with the spices; that is how the Jews prepare a body for burial. 41 In the same quarter where he was crucified there was a garden, with a new tomb in it, one in which no man had ever yet been buried. 42 Here, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus, because of the Jewish feast on the morrow."

What can we do except, like David, mourn our own sins and resolve to repent!  This setting of Psalm 51 (50) by Gregorio Allegri seems more fitting:

Here is the text of that Psalm: http://www.newadvent.org/bible/psa050.htm

Now, the silence, sorrow, and anticipation.

Live well.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Triduum: Holy Thursday

File:Ăšltima Cena - Juan de Juanes.jpg
The Last Supper, by Juan de Juanes, ca. 1562AD.

On this day, Thursday of Holy Week, we begin the Sacred Triduum and the holiest time of the entire year.

It is customary for the Bishop of each diocese to bless the Sacred Chrism for the coming year at a Mass this morning, with the priests of his diocese.  Hence, it is an opportune moment to recall the character of Chrism: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Chrism

Of course, this evening is the time of the Mass of the Last Supper, and of the Maundy, or that mandate of washing of the feet.

The Gospel of St. John describes the event thus in Chapter 13:
"Chapter 13:1 Before the paschal feast began, Jesus already knew that the time had come for his passage from this world to the Father. He still loved those who were his own, whom he was leaving in the world, and he would give them the uttermost proof of his love. 2 Supper was over, and the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, son of Simon, the Iscariot, to betray him. 3 Jesus knew well that the Father had left everything in his hands; knew it was from God that he came, and to God that he went. 4 And now, rising from supper, he laid his garments aside, took a towel, and put it about him; 5 and then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the feet of his disciples, wiping them with the towel that girded him. 6 So, when he came to Simon Peter, Peter asked him, Lord, is it for thee to wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered him, It is not for thee to know, now, what I am doing; but thou wilt understand it afterwards. 8 Peter said to him, I will never let thee wash my feet; and Jesus answered him, If I do not wash thee, it means thou hast no companionship with me. 9 Then, Lord, said Peter, wash my hands and my head too, not only my feet. 10 But Jesus told him, A man who has bathed does not need to do more than wash the stains from his feet; he is clean all over. And you are clean now; only, not all of you.  11 He knew who his betrayer was; that is why he said, You are not all clean.  12 Then, when he had finished washing their feet and put on his garments, he sat down again, and said to them, Do you understand what it is I have done to you? 13 You hail me as the Master, and the Lord; and you are right, it is what I am. 14 Why then, if I have washed your feet, I who am the Master and the Lord, you in your turn ought to wash each other’s feet; 15 I have been setting you an example, which will teach you in your turn to do what I have done for you."

Our Lord would continue, and this evening we recall that Last Supper, and the institution of the Sacred Priesthood.

These sites all contain splendid insights and details on this most holy day:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Maundy Thursday

Fish Eaters: Maundy Thursday

Having finished his great discourse, Our Lord and His disciples departed to the Garden to pray.  The following timepiece is a wonderful aide for meditation on the events of this evening, night, and following morning:

Live well!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spy Wednesday & Luke's Passion

Spy Wednesday: Judas agrees to Betray Jesus -- notice the Black Demon behind Judas in this image.

On Wednesday of Holy Week -- Spy Wednesday -- it is traditional both the recall the betrayal of Christ by the Apostle Judas, and to read the account of the Passion according to St. Luke.

For more on the account and customs surrounding Spy Wednesday, and our recalling Judas agreeing to betray Our Divine Lord, you should consult:
Fish Eaters: Spy Wednesday

The Gospel of St. Matthew, in chapter 26, recalls the agreement of Judas to betray Our Lord: "26:14 And at that, one of the twelve, Judas who was called Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and asked them, What will you pay me for handing him over to you? Whereupon they laid down thirty pieces of silver. 16 And he, from that time onwards, looked about for an opportunity to betray him."  It is this that Spy Wednesday historically recalls, and which the image above pictures.

The Gospel of St. Luke is unique in both its particular details related to medicine, St. Luke being of that profession, and, of course, of its insight into the perspective our the Blessed Virgin Mary.  He describes the Passion of Christ in chapter 22 and 23 of his Gospel:
"Chapter 22:39 And now he went out, as his custom was, to mount Olivet, his disciples following him. 40 When he reached the place, he said to them, Pray that you may not enter into temptation. 41 Then he parted from them, going a stone’s throw off, and knelt down to pray; 42 Father, he said, if it pleases thee, take away this chalice from before me; only as thy will is, not as mine is. 43 And he had sight of an angel from heaven, encouraging him. And now he was in an agony, and prayed still more earnestly; 44 his sweat fell to the ground like thick drops of blood. 45 When he rose from his prayer, he went back to his disciples, and found that they were sleeping, overwrought with sorrow. 46 How can you sleep? he asked. Rise up and pray, so that you may not enter into temptation.

47 Even as he spoke, a multitude came near; their guide was the man called Judas, one of the twelve, who came close to Jesus, to kiss him. 48 Jesus said to him, Judas, wouldst thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss? 49 Then those who were about him, seeing what would come of it, asked, Lord, shall we strike out with our swords? 50 And one of them struck a servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51 Jesus answered, Let them have their way in this. And he touched his ear, and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and temple officers and elders who had come to find him, Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a robber? 53 I was close to you in the temple, day after day, and you never laid hands on me. But your time has come now, and darkness has its will.

54 So they apprehended him, and led him away to the house of the high priest; and Peter followed at a long distance. 55 They had lit a fire in the midst of the court, and were sitting round it; and there Peter sat among them. 56 One of the maidservants, as she saw him sitting there in the firelight, looked closely at him and said, This is one of those who were with him. 57 And he disowned him; Woman, he said, I have no knowledge of him. 58 After a short while, another of the company said, when he caught sight of him, Thou too art one of them; and Peter said, Man, I am not.  59 Then there was an interval of about an hour, before another man insisted, It is the truth that this fellow was in his company; why, he is a Galilean. 60 Man, said Peter, I do not understand what thou meanest; and all at once, while the words were on his lips, the cock crew. 61 And the Lord turned, and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered what the Lord had said to him, Before cock-crow, thou wilt thrice disown me. 62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

63 The men who held Jesus prisoner beat him and mocked him; 64 they blindfolded him and struck him on the face, and then questioned him, Come, prophesy; tell us who it is that smote thee.[6] 65 And they used many other blasphemous words against him. 66 When day came, all the elders of the people, chief priests and scribes, brought him before their council; If thou art the Christ, they said, tell us. 67 Why, he said, if I tell you, you will never believe me: 68 and if I ask you questions, I know you will not answer them, nor acquit me. 69 I will only tell you that a time is coming when the Son of Man will be seated in power at God’s right hand. 70 And they all said, Thou art, then, the Son of God? He told them, Your lips have said that I am.  71 And they said, What further need have we of witnesses? We have heard the words from his own mouth.

Chapter 23:1 Then the whole assembly of them rose up and brought him before Pilate, 2 and there fell to accusing him; We have discovered, they said, that this man is subverting the loyalty of our people, forbids the payment of tribute to Caesar, and calls himself Christ the king. 3 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the king of the Jews? He answered him, Thy own lips have said it. 4 Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, I cannot discover any fault in this man. 5 But they insisted, He rouses sedition among the people; he has gone round the whole of Judaea preaching, beginning in Galilee and ending here. 6 Pilate, upon the mention of Galilee, asked whether the man was a Galilean; 7 and learning that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, remitted his cause to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at this time. 8 Herod was overjoyed at seeing Jesus; for a long time he had been eager to have sight of him, because he had heard so much of him, and now he hoped to witness some miracle of his. 9 He asked him many questions, but could get no answer from him, 10 although the chief priests and scribes stood there, loudly accusing him. 11 So Herod and his attendants made a jest of him, arraying him in festal attire out of mockery, and sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate, who had hitherto been at enmity with one another, became friends.

13 And now Pilate summoned the chief priests, and the rulers, and the people, 14 and said to them, You have brought this man before me as one who seduces the people from their allegiance; I examined him in your presence, and could find no substance in any of the charges you bring against him; 15 nor could Herod, when I referred you to him. It is plain that he has done nothing which deserves death. 16 I will scourge him, and then he shall go free. 17 At the festival, he was obliged to grant them the liberty of one prisoner: 18 but the whole concourse raised the cry, Away with this man; we must have Barabbas released. 19 (Barabbas was a man who had been thrown into prison for raising a revolt in the city, and for murder.) 20 Once more Pilate spoke to them, offering to set Jesus at liberty; 21 but they continued to answer with shouts of, Crucify him, crucify him. 22 Then for the third time he said to them, Why, what wrong has he done? I can find no fault in him that deserves death; I will scourge him, and then he shall go free. 23 But they, with loud cries, insisted on their demand that he should be crucified; and their voices carried the day; 24 Pilate gave his assent that their request should be granted, 25 releasing the man of their choice who had been imprisoned for revolt and murder, while he handed Jesus over to their will.

26 As they led him off, they caught hold of a man called Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and loaded him with the cross, so that he should carry it after Jesus. 27 Jesus was followed by a great multitude of the people, and also of women, who beat their breasts and mourned over him; 28 but he turned to them, and said, It is not for me that you should weep, daughters of Jerusalem; you should weep for yourselves and your children. 29 Behold, a time is coming when men will say, It is well for the barren, for the wombs that never bore children, and the breasts that never suckled them. 30 It is then that they will begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us, and to the hills, Cover us. 31 If it goes so hard with the tree that is still green, what will become of the tree that is already dried up?  32 Two others, who were criminals, were led off with him to be put to death. 33 And when they reached the place which is named after a skull, they crucified him there; and also the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. 34 Jesus meanwhile was saying, Father, forgive them; they do not know what it is they are doing. And they divided his garments among themselves by lot.

35 The people stood by, watching; and the rulers joined them in pouring scorn on him; He saved others, they said; if he is the Christ, God’s chosen, let him save himself. 36 The soldiers, too, mocked him, when they came and offered him vinegar, 37 by saying, If thou art the king of the Jews, save thyself. 38 (A proclamation had been written up over him in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, This is the king of the Jews.) 39 And one of the two thieves who hung there fell to blaspheming against him; Save thyself, he said, and us too, if thou art the Christ. 40 But the other rebuked him; What, he said, hast thou no fear of God, when thou art undergoing the same sentence? 41 And we justly enough; we receive no more than the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing amiss. 42 Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said to him, I promise thee, this day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.

44 It was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in the midst: 46 and Jesus said, crying with a loud voice, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit; and yielded up his spirit as he said it. 47 And the centurion, when he saw what befell, gave glory to God; This, he said, was indeed a just man.  48 And the whole multitude of those who stood there watching it, when they saw the issue, went home beating their breasts.

49 All his acquaintances, with the women who had followed him from Galilee, watched while this happened, standing at a distance. 50 And now a man called Joseph came forward, one of the councillors, a good and upright man, 51 who had not taken part with the council and its doings; he was from Arimathea, a Jewish city, and was one of those who waited for the kingdom of God. 52 He it was who approached Pilate, and asked to have the body of Jesus. 53 This he took, and wrapped it in a winding-sheet, and laid it in a tomb fashioned out of the rock, in which no man had ever been buried. 54 It was the day of preparation; the next day was the sabbath. 55 And the women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and saw the tomb, and how his body was buried; 56 so they went back, and prepared spices and ointments, and while it was the sabbath they kept still, as the law commanded."

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