Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Tuesday of Holy Week: Secundum Marcum
The Crucifixion by Simon Vouet (+1649AD)
On this Tuesday of Holy Week, it is traditional to hear the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to St. Mark.
St. Mark, the associate of St. Peter, and first Patriarch of Alexandria, writes a Gospel that is rather direct and Roman in its character. He recounts the events of the Passion of Christ as follows, in chapters 14 and 15 of his Gospel:
"Chapter 14:32 So they came to a plot of land called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples, Sit down here, while I go and pray. 33 But he took Peter and James and John with him. And now he grew dismayed and distressed: 34 My soul, he said to them, is ready to die with sorrow; do you abide here, and keep watch. 35 So he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass him by: 36 Abba, Father, he said, all things are possible to thee; take away this chalice from before me; only as thy will is, not as mine is. 37 Then he went back, and found them asleep; and he said to Peter, Simon, art thou sleeping? Hadst thou not strength to watch even for an hour? 38 Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing enough, but the flesh is weak. 39 Then he went away and prayed again, using the same words. 40 And when he returned, once more he found them asleep, so heavy their eyelids were; and they did not know what answer to make to him. 41 When he came the third time, he said to them, Sleep and take your rest hereafter. Enough; the time has come; behold, the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise up, let us go on our way; already, he that is to betray me is close at hand.
43 And thereupon, while he was yet speaking, Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, came near; with him was a great multitude carrying swords and clubs, who had been sent by the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 The traitor had appointed them a signal; It is none other, he said, than the man whom I shall greet with a kiss; hold him fast, and take him away under guard. 45 No sooner, then, had he come up than he went close to Jesus, saying, Hail, Master, and kissed him; 46 and with that they laid their hands on him, and held him fast. 47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword, and smote one of the high priest’s servants with it, cutting off his ear. 48 Then Jesus said to them aloud, You have come out to my arrest with swords and clubs, as if I were a robber; 49 and yet I used to teach in the temple close to you, day after day, and you never laid hands on me. But the scriptures must be fulfilled. 50 And now all his disciples abandoned him, and fled. 51 There was a young man there following him, who was wearing only a linen shirt on his bare body; and he, when they laid hold of him, 52 left the shirt in their hands, and ran away from them naked. 53 So they took Jesus into the presence of the high priest, and all the chief priests and elders and scribes were assembled about him.
54 Yet Peter followed at a long distance, right into the high priest’s palace, and there sat down with the servants by the fire, to warm himself. 55 The high priest and all the council tried to find an accusation against Jesus, such as would compass his death, but they could find none; 56 many accused him falsely, but their accusations did not agree. 57 There were some who stood up and falsely accused him thus: 58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made by men’s hands, and in three days I will build another, with no hand of man to help me. 59 But even so their accusations did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up, and asked Jesus, Hast thou no answer to the accusations these men bring against thee? 61 He was still silent, still did not answer; and the high priest questioned him again, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the blessed God? 62 Jesus said to him, I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God’s power, and coming with the clouds of heaven. 63 At this, the high priest tore his garments, and said, What further need have we of witnesses? 64 You have heard his blasphemy for yourselves; what is your finding? And they all pronounced against him a sentence of death. 65 Then some of them fell to spitting upon him, and covering his face while they buffeted him and bade him prophesy; the servants, too, caught him blows on the cheek.
66 Meanwhile, Peter was in the court without, and one of the maid-servants of the high priest came by; 67 she saw Peter warming himself, and said, looking closely at him, Thou too wast with Jesus the Nazarene. 68 Whereupon he denied it; I know nothing of it, I do not understand what thou meanest. Then he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. 69 Again the maid looked at him, and said to the bystanders, This is one of them. 70 And again he denied it. Then, a little while afterwards, the bystanders said to Peter, It is certain that thou art one of them; why, thou art a Galilean. 71 And he fell to calling down curses on himself and swearing, I do not know the man you speak of. 72 Then came the second cock-crow; and Peter remembered the word Jesus had said to him, Before the second cock-crow thou wilt thrice deny me. And all at once he burst out weeping.
Chapter 15:1 No sooner had day broken, than the chief priests made their plans, with the elders and scribes and the whole Council; they took Jesus away in bonds and gave him up to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? He answered him, Thy own lips have said it. 3 And now the chief priests brought many accusations against him, 4 and Pilate questioned him again, Dost thou make no answer? See what a weight of accusation they bring against thee. 5 But Jesus still would not answer him, so that Pilate was full of astonishment. 6 At the festival, he used to grant them the liberty of any one prisoner they chose; 7 and the man they called Barabbas was then in custody, with the rebels who had been guilty of murder during the rebellion. 8 So, when the multitude came up towards him, and began to ask for the customary favour, 9 Pilate answered them, Would you have me release the king of the Jews? 10 He knew well that the chief priests had only given him up out of malice. 11 But the chief priests incited the multitude to ask for the release of Barabbas instead. 12 Once more Pilate answered them, What would you have me do, then, with the king of the Jews? 13 And they made a fresh cry of, Crucify him. 14 Why, Pilate said to them, what wrong has he done? But they cried all the more, Crucify him. 15 And so Pilate, determined to humour the multitude, released Barabbas as they asked; Jesus he scourged, and gave him up to be crucified.
16 Then the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace, and gathered there the whole of their company. 17 They arrayed him in a scarlet cloak, and put round his head a crown which they had woven out of thorns, 18 and fell to greeting him with, Hail, king of the Jews. 19 And they beat him over the head with a rod, and spat upon him, and bowed their knees in worship of him. 20 At last they had done with mockery; stripping him of the scarlet cloak, they put his own garments on him, and led him away to be crucified. 21 As for his cross, they forced a passer-by who was coming in from the country to carry it, one Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22 And so they took him to a place called Golgotha, which means, The place of a skull. 23 Here they offered him a draught of wine mixed with myrrh, which he would not take; 24 and then crucified him, dividing his garments among them by casting lots, to decide which should fall to each.
25 It was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 A proclamation of his offence was written up over him, The king of the Jews; 27 and with him they crucified two thieves, one on the right and the other on his left, 28 so fulfilling the words of scripture, And he was counted among the wrong-doers. 29 The passers-by blasphemed against him, shaking their heads; Come now, they said, thou who wouldst destroy the temple and build it up in three days, 30 come down from that cross, and rescue thyself. 31 In the same way, the chief priests and scribes said mockingly to one another, He saved others, he cannot save himself. 32 Let Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross, here and now, so that we can see it and believe in him. And the men who were crucified with him uttered taunts against him.
33 When the sixth hour came, there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour; 34 and at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachthani? which means, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 Hearing this, some of those who stood by said, Why, he is calling upon Elias. 36 And thereupon one of them ran off to fill a sponge with vinegar, and fixed it on a rod, and offered to let him drink; Wait, he said, Let us see whether Elias is to come and save him. 37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry, and yielded up his spirit. 38 And the veil of the temple was torn this way and that, from the top to the bottom. 39 The centurion who stood in front of him, perceiving that he so yielded up his spirit with a cry, said, No doubt but this was the Son of God.
40 There were women there, who stood watching from far off; among them were Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 These used to follow him and minister to him when he was in Galilee, and there were many others who had come up with him to Jerusalem. 42 And now it was already evening; and because it was the day of preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 a rich councillor, named Joseph of Arimathea, one of those who waited for God’s kingdom, boldly went to Pilate, and asked to have the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate, astonished that he should have died so soon, called the centurion to him, to ask if he was dead already, 45 and when he heard the centurion’s report, gave Joseph the body. 46 Joseph took him down, and wrapped him in a winding-sheet which he had bought, and laid him in a tomb cut out of the rock, rolling a stone against the door of the tomb."