and John 19
The gospel is so rich today. The following reflections come
from “chewing” this powerful story.
“They came looking for him with lanterns and
torches and weapons.”
Such an irony. Looking
for the Light of the Word and the Prince of Peace with torches and
weapons. Oh, Lord, be Light in the midst of my darkness. Please
bring peace to my heart.
“Whom are you looking for?”
The first words of Jesus in this Gospel are, “What are you looking
for?” There is no other more important question. Oh, Lord, free my
restless heart to seek you and you alone, in all my desiring and in all my
“Shall I not drink the cup the Father gave
As he washed his disciples’ feet, and gave
them his body and blood as a sacrament of self-sacrificing love, he gave
us an example of how to love, how to say “yes” to our vocations. Oh, Lord,
I love your example, your way. Please free me to drink the cup the
Father offers me, that I might love as you have loved me.
“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
My life has many, more embarrassing,
denials. The pain of Jesus’ suffering is related to my personal sin,
my own unique ways of denying him. Oh, Lord, I’m so sorry for
choosing whatever I choose to avoid being your disciple. Please
forgive me, and heal me.
"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.' Then he handed him
over to them to be crucified."
I can hear my own
autonomy and stubborn independence. I am imagining all the things I
do, positions I take, patterns I continue which shout, "I have no
allegiance, but to myself!" Dear Lord, you were handed over for my
offenses and omissions. Thank you. Through the surrender of
your suffering, death, resurrection and gift of your Spirit, open my heart
that you might more and more become the Lord of my life.
"So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross
himself, he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew,
Golgotha. There they crucified him."
Whatever "cross" I
bear, you have already carried. You have stumbled and fallen to the
ground under its weight. For me. That I might not, from this
day forward, feel I am carrying my cross alone. Thank you.
"After this, aware that everything was now
finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I
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. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And
bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. I imagine that at this
moment you completely take on the "thirst" of the world.
Everything. From our crude and banal desires, to our deepest
longings, to our hunger and thirst for justice. You finally taste
what your Father has prepared for you to drink. Then, all that you
came to do, to be, is accomplished. For me. Then, you can
humbly bow your head and give over your Spirit. Thank you.
"Blood and water flowed from his
Today I desire to be immersed in the life-giving
love that flows from your side. It is your death that I have been
baptized into. Baptized to be with you, like you. A servant, who
does not resist suffering in order to love more completely.
"He died and was buried in a tomb on
You died on the day the lambs
were sacrificed in the temple, to prepare for the Passover meal. You
really died and were buried. That I might pass from sin to freedom, from
death to life, without fear. Oh, Lamb of God, you take away the sins
of the world. Take away my sins and give me peace. Thank