Dear Brother and Sister in Christ,
Welcome to Catholic Mass Readings in Biblemsg.com. We are on the April 07, 2023 in the Holy Week. Today’s Mass readings and reflection on Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42.
Catholic Mass Readings: Good Friday
Table of Contents
|First Reading||Isaiah 52:13-53:12|
|Second Reading||Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9|
|Gospel Reading||John 18:1-19:42|
Suffering and Triumph of the Servant of the Lord
13 See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
14 Even as many were amazed at him—
so marred were his features,
beyond that of mortals
his appearance, beyond that of human beings—
15 So shall he startle many nations,
kings shall stand speechless;
For those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.
1 Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,
no beauty to draw us to him.
3 He was spurned and avoided by men,
a man of suffering, knowing pain,
Like one from whom you turn your face,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.
4 Yet it was our pain that he bore,
our sufferings he endured.
We thought of him as stricken,
struck down by God and afflicted,
5 But he was pierced for our sins,
crushed for our iniquity.
He bore the punishment that makes us whole,
by his wounds we were healed.
6 We had all gone astray like sheep,
all following our own way;
But the Lord laid upon him
the guilt of us all.
7 Though harshly treated, he submitted
and did not open his mouth;
Like a lamb led to slaughter
or a sheep silent before shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 Seized and condemned, he was taken away.
Who would have thought any more of his destiny?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
struck for the sins of his people.
9 He was given a grave among the wicked,
a burial place with evildoers,
Though he had done no wrong,
nor was deceit found in his mouth.
10 But it was the Lord’s will to crush him with pain.
By making his life as a reparation offering,
he shall see his offspring, shall lengthen his days,
and the Lord’s will shall be accomplished through him.
11 Because of his anguish he shall see the light;
because of his knowledge he shall be content;
My servant, the just one, shall justify the many,
their iniquity he shall bear.
12 Therefore I will give him his portion among the many,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
Because he surrendered himself to death,
was counted among the transgressors,
Bore the sins of many,
and interceded for the transgressors.
Psalm 31:2 and 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17 and 25 (R. Luke 23:46b)
Response: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Jesus, Compassionate High Priest.14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. 16 So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
7 In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; 9 and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,
Jesus Arrested. 1 When he had said this, Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. 2 Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.” He said to them, “I AM.” Judas his betrayer was also with them. 6 When he said to them, “I AM,” they turned away and fell to the ground. 7 So he again asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill what he had said, “I have not lost any of those you gave me.” 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”
12 So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound him, 13 and brought him to Annas first. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.
Peter’s First Denial. 15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus. 16 But Peter stood at the gate outside. So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in. 17 Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, “You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm.
The Inquiry Before Annas. 19 The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. 21 Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Peter Denies Jesus Again. 25 Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm. And they said to him, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” 27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately the cock crowed.
The Trial Before Pilate. 28 Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was morning. And they themselves did not enter the praetorium, in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring [against] this man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 At this, Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.” The Jews answered him, “We do not have the right to execute anyone,” 32 in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled that he said indicating the kind of death he would die. 33 So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants [would] be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” 37 So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
When he had said this, he again went out to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover. Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this one but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. 2 And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, 3 and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly. 4 Once more Pilate went out and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, “Behold, the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” 8 Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, 9 and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus did not answer him. 10 So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered [him], “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” 12 Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
13 When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!” 15 They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus. So they took Jesus, 17 and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” 20 Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. 24 So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,” in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled [that says]:
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.”
This is what the soldiers did. 25 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
28 After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” 29 There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
The Blood and Water. 31 Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 34 but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may [come to] believe. 36 For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled:
“Not a bone of it will be broken.”
37 And again another passage says:
“They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”
The Burial of Jesus. 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. 39 Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. 41 Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. 42 So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.
Catholic Homily for Today
Focus: Jesus crucified on the Cross is the Epitome of Love. Cross, the Death-bed is the Spring of Life
1. If Maundy Thursday is the “Taste” of Love, Good Friday is the “Test” of love. Look at the cross, look at that Christ with wounds, with blood, without strength, falling and raising, bears the cross, hangs on it, and dies on it. Look at his suffering. What a pain! What a shame! What a disgrace! What a failure! What a defeat!
2. One who did many miracles, now hanging on the cross, as a despicable debacle! One who cured many wounds, now all bruised by wounds all over! One who defended the oppressed now stands defenceless and oppressed by the weight of the cross! One who relieved many of their burdens now reels under the burden of the cross! One who fed the hungry now is left to starve! One who quenched the thirsty, now abandoned to cry, “I thirst!”, One who saved many, now stands damned, One who graced many is exposed disgraced!
3. But also think – Why all this? What wrong? What crime? What did he do to deserve such a heinous death penalty? The answer is Nothing. He is The Son of God, the Holy One, the Just One, with no sin, no guilt, and no evil. He has always done good, and only good
4. If so, then why this pain of the cross? Only one reason: It is love (John 3.16): God loved us so much, and for this reason gives his only Son as the ransom for the remission of our sins. True love does everything, everywhere, and always for the loved one. True love faces everything, endures everything, and sacrifices everything, for the sake of the beloved
5. If not for that love why must he forsake all the glory and dignity of heaven and embrace our human misery? Yes. Only for love for us, he shares our difficulties, sheds tears for us, and wipes away the tears of so many. Only in love and for love, does he accept everything and lowers his head in patience and abandonment, accepting unjust condemnation
6. Even if received spits from those whom he gave a new dignity, Even if covered with wounds by those whom he healed of their wounds, Even if despised by those whom he has always treated with respect, Even if led on the path of Calvary, by those whom he has made walk on the way of salvation, Even if thrown down, by those whom he has lifted when fallen, Even if drained away of his strength, by those whom he has strengthened when weak, Even if abandoned as an orphan, by those whom he has transformed into heirs for grace, Even if hung on the cross like a criminal, the one who is the Most Holy, Even if subjected to death, the one who is the source and giver of life, by those who received life – even then, He does not react, does not attack, does not incriminate them
7. All in love, and for love. He carries all our burdens on himself, on our behalf, in the place of us, he becomes the victim, and he immolates himself. Like the grain of wheat, He allows himself to fall and die, so that In his death – we have life, In his poverty – we have enrichment, in his misery – we have glory, in his blood – we have cleansing, in his isolation – we have our return, in his crucifixion – we have our resurrection, in his disfiguration – we have our transfiguration, in his deterioration – we have our restoration, in his annihilation – we have our regeneration!
8. This is the beauty and the greatness of the cross. It is not so much the fact of the cross, not so much the cruelty of suffering, but the sign of it, the significance of it, the reasons for it, and the effects of it, that are more important. It is not so much “what is seen”, but “what is behind” and “what is ahead” that glorifies and exalts the cross. God’s love and mercy are behind the cross, and forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and salvation for eternity are ahead of the cross
9. Thus, in the cross, what is exalted is not the piece of the cross, which is actually a means of a heinous penalisation for criminals. What is glorified is not hapless suffering. What is eternalised is not the helpless defeat of a just man at the hands of injustice and corruption of values. The Cross is not a dead end of misery, but the threshold of glory. Cross is the greatest challenge and battle against human fragility and falsity
10. Cross is the clearest testimony of God’s love, which shoulders our burden so as to relieve us, which empties itself so as to fill us with God’s abundant grace, and which dies so as to give us new life. Cross is that Breath of love: It is in love, God breathed His own life into us, He continued to breathe His love upon us all throughout his life, and in love, He breathed his last. He loved us to the end of His breath. Cross shows the heights to which true love, and that is God’s love in Jesus can reach up to. Cross testifies to what depths, the deepest love of God can stoop into
11. Cross bearing the crucified, symbolises the conviction and commitment, courage and perseverance, love and sacrifice of Jesus to the end and without end. Cross is not a dark defeat, but a bright feat of immense love. Cross is not a sign of misery, but a reign of glory. Cross is not a mere ignominy or agony wreathed in suffering, but a symphony and epiphany of salvation, clothed in self-offering. Cross is the greatest testimony of God’s solidarity with the human predicament – God’s caring, sharing, and bearing to the extent of daring even death
12. Cross with the crucified, is an Ignition of inspiration and urge, instilling courage and energy, to numberless souls who offer their life to God and suffer for God and good. Cross is also an ever-flowing spring of comfort and hope to all those simple and innocent hearts who seem to undergo unjust and undue suffering, so as to accept, bear, and move ahead in surrender and renewed strength
13. Today then, what does the cross mean to us? What does it tell us and call us for? It is not enough that we venerate the cross, kiss it, wear it or keep the crosses everywhere. Cross means much more than that. Cross means taking a stand for Christ, for his values, for the Gospel. Cross means standing for a cause. But the cross cannot be isolated from the Crucifix. Therefore Cross calls for a relationship, passion, intimacy, loyalty, and commitment to the Crucifix. It is about defending a cause, representing a person, a question of perseverance and loyalty. Cross means facing the consequences, and enduring suffering for the sake of Christ and his values
14. In line with the holy bishop Fulton J. Sheen, the cross is a call to be vertical-oriented, heaven-oriented people. A cross is created when a horizontal bar is placed against a vertical bar. In other words, whenever our will is placed against the will of God, a cross is formed. Therefore, the cross constantly invokes us to put the will of God above and against self-will and self-interest
15. In the light of the affirmation of Saint Paul, “Christ the Crucified is an obstacle for the Jews and a folly for the Gentiles, but for us, the believers, Christ is the Power and the Wisdom of God”, the cross becomes a call to be a “contrast” “people. We live in a world that is too permissive, where every false thing is allowed, justified, and even promoted, in the guise of modernity, change, and fashion and reading the signs of the times. Let us pray that we may be dead to sin, and alive to grace! Today let us impress this love within us. Let’s focus on this fire of passion and burn with the same.
Hope you had a good experience reading the catholic reflection for the day. With another inspiring message we shall meet in the next post. Stay Tuned in Biblemsg.com Thank You.