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Magnificat!

For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith!
For the Kingdom of God to come!

Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

The Last Supper. – The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE LAST SUPPER

I. Preparing for the Supper

II. The Legal Passover begins

III. The washing of the feet

IV. Jesus openly denounces the traitor to himself

V. Institution of the Eucharist and of the Catholic Priesthood

VI. Jesus denounces the traitor to Saint John and He dismisses him

VII. Last contention of the Apostles for precedence

DISCOURSE AFTER THE SUPPER

I. Union with Jesus through faith and prayer

II. Union with Jesus through love

III. Union with Jesus in the Holy Spirit

IV. Union with Jesus in peace and in joy

V. Necessary and intimate union with Jesus for all holy works. – The vine and the branches

THE TESTAMENT OF CONSOLATION

I. Consolation and joy in persecution

II. Consolation in the impending descent of the Holy Spirit

III. Consolation in the triumphs that will crown the struggle

IV. Consolation in the efficacy of prayer

SUPREME PRAYER OF JESUS TO HIS FATHER

I. Jesus prays for Himself

II. Jesus prays for His Disciples

III. Jesus prays for all the faithful

THE PASSION of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

I. From the Cenacle to Gethsemani

II. Gethsemani

III. The traitor

IV. The arrest

V. Jesus before Annas

VI. Jesus before Caiphas

VII. Peter denies Our Lord

VIII. Insults of the servants and attendants

GOOD FRIDAY

IX. Jesus before the Sanhedrin

X. Remorse and suicide of the traitor

XI. Jesus before Pilate

XII. Jesus before Herod

XIII. Barabbas

XIV. The scourging and the crown of thorns

XV. Ecce Homo

XVI. The sentence

XVII. The way to Calvary

XVIII. Jesus on the cross

XIX. Wonders following the death of Jesus, The holy women

XX. Christ’s side opened with the lance

XXI. The descent from the cross and the burial

The guards at the Tomb 

THE LAST SUPPER

I. Preparing for the Supper

Saint Matthew 26:17-19; Saint Mark 14:12-16; Saint Luke 22:7-13

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, Jesus sent two of His Disciples, Peter and John, saying to them, “You are the ones who will prepare the Passover for us. Go into the city. As you enter, you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him to the house where he will go; wherever he enters, you will say to the master of the house, ‘This is the message from the Master: My time is at hand; it is at your house that I will keep the Passover with My Disciples. Where is the guest chamber in which I may eat the Paschal Lamb with them?’

“Then he will show you a large cenacle adorned with carpets; there, prepare what we need.”

So they went into the city as Jesus told them. They found everything as He had said, and they prepared the Passover.

II. The Legal Passover begins

Saint Matthew 26:20; Saint Mark 14:17; Saint Luke 22:14-16

Towards evening, Jesus came to Jerusalem with the Twelve; and when the hour had come, He sat down with them. Then He said to them, “I have ardently desired to eat this Passover with you, before I suffer; for I tell you that I will eat of it no more until it has been fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

III. The washing of the feet

Saint John 13:1-20

Before the solemn day of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that the hour had come for Him to pass out of this world to His Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

The Passover supper had begun; and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot the resolution to betray Him.

Jesus, who knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that having come forth from God, He was going to God, Jesus rose from the table, laid aside His garments, and taking a towel, wrapped it around Himself. Then He poured water into the basin and began to wash the feet of His Disciples, drying them with the towel attached to His belt.

He came to Simon Peter.

“Lord!” exclaimed Peter, “You… wash my feet?”

“What I am doing, you do not understand now,” Jesus said to him, “but you will understand later.”

“No!” protested Peter, “You shall never wash my feet!”

“If I do not wash you, you shall have no part with Me.”

Simon then replied, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”

“He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet to be entirely clean,” replied Jesus. “And you are clean; but no, not all!”

He knew who was going to betray Him; that is why He added, “You are not all clean.”

Then, after He had washed their feet, He put on His garments and sat down again.

“Do you know what I have just done for you?” He said to them. “You call Me Master and Lord, and you say well: for so I am. If therefore I, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash the feet of one another. For I have given you an example, that in your turn you should do as I have done for you.

“Amen, amen, I say to you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is the Apostle greater than He who sent him. If you understand these things, put them into practice and you shall be blessed.

“It is not of all of you that I speak. I know the ones I have chosen. But these words of Scripture must be fulfilled: ‘He who eats bread with Me shall lift up his heel against Me.’

“I warn you now about these things before they come to pass, that after they have happened, you may believe that I am He.

“Amen, amen, I say to you: Whoever receives the one I send, receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives the One who sent Me.”

IV. Jesus openly denounces the traitor to himself

Saint Matthew 26:21-25, 29; Saint Mark 14:18-21, 25; Saint Luke 22:17-18, 22; Saint John 13:21-22

After saying these words, Jesus was troubled in spirit. And while His Disciples were at table and still eating the supper, He declared to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray Me. And he is eating with Me!”

The Disciples looked at one another, overcome with sadness, uncertain of whom He was speaking. And one by one they began to say to Jesus, “Is it I, Lord?”

Jesus answered, “It is one of the Twelve! Yes, one of you who dips his hand into the dish with Me will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes His way, as it was prophesied of Him. But woe to the man by whom He will be betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had never been born!”

Then Judas, the traitor, spoke in his turn and asked, “Is it I, Rabbi?”

“You have said it.”

Then Jesus took the cup, gave thanks and said, “Take this and share it among you. For I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes. But with you I shall drink it, ever new, in the Kingdom of My Father.”

V. Institution of the Eucharist and of the Catholic Priesthood

Saint Matthew 26:26-28; Saint Mark 14:22-24; Saint Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 11:23-25

They were still at supper when Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks, He blessed it, broke it, and gave it to His Disciples, saying:

“Take and eat; This is My Body, which is given up for you.”

In like manner, taking also the cup, after the supper, He gave thanks, blessed it and gave it to His Disciples, saying:

“All of you drink of this, for This is the cup of My Blood, the blood of the new covenant which shall be shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of Me, as often as you drink it.”

VI. Jesus denounces the traitor to Saint John and He dismisses him

Saint Luke 22:21-23; Saint John 13:23-32

Jesus then spoke these words:

“And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray Me is with Me at this table!”

Overwhelmed with trouble and sorrow, the Apostles were wondering which one of them would be capable of doing this.

Now at that moment, one of the Disciples, the one Jesus loved, was resting on the bosom of ­ Jesus. Simon Peter asked him by a sign, “Who is He speaking of?”

And that Disciple, leaning back upon the bosom of Jesus, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”

“It is the one to whom I shall give the bread that I dip,” Jesus answered.

He dipped the bread and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas had eaten that bread, Satan entered into him.

“What you do, do quickly!” Jesus said to him.

None of those at the table understood the meaning of these words. Because Judas held the purse, some thought that Jesus had said to him, “Buy the things we need for the day of the feast,” or that He had ordered him to give alms to the poor.

Immediately after having taken the bread, Judas went out. Now it was night.

Scarcely had he left when Jesus spoke again:

“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. And because God is glorified in Him, God will in turn glorify Him in Himself. And He will glorify Him soon.”

VII. Last contention of the Apostles for precedence

Saint Luke 22:24-30

Then a dispute arose among the Apostles as to which of them seemed to be the greatest.

But Jesus said to them, “The kings of the nations lord it over their subjects, and those who have power over others demand to be called benefactors. Let it not be so among you. But let him who is greatest among you be as the least, and let him who holds first place be as the servant.

“Indeed, which is greater: the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at the table? But I am in your midst as the one who serves.

“As for you, who have continued steadfastly with Me in My trials, I in turn am preparing a Kingdom for you, even as My Father has prepared it for Me. In My Kingdom you shall eat and drink at My table, and there you shall sit upon thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 

DISCOURSE AFTER THE SUPPER

Saint Luke 22:31-38; Saint John 13:33-38

“Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek Me, but I repeat to you now what I said to the Jews: ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’

“A new commandment I give you: that you love one another as I have loved you. Yes, have this same love for one another. And behold the sign by which all men will know that you are My Disciples: the pure and tender love you will have for one another.”

“Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “where are You going?”

Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow Me now; you shall follow Me later.”

“Why can I not follow You now?” asked Peter. “I will lay down my life for You! With You, Lord, I am ready to go to prison and to death!”

“You will lay down your life for Me? O Peter! Amen, amen, I say to you, before the cock has crowed twice, you will have denied Me three times!

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat! But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And once you have converted, uphold and strengthen your brethren.”

And Jesus said to all of them, “When I sent you without purse or bag or shoes, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they said.

Jesus went on: “Now, let him who has a bag take it, and likewise a purse; and let him who has no sword sell his tunic and buy one. For I say to you that the words of Scripture must yet be fulfilled in Me: ‘He was reckoned among the wicked.’ Now the prophecies concerning Me will soon be fulfilled.”

They answered, “Lord, here are two swords!”

“Enough!” He said.

THE FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS

Saint John 14:1-31; 15:1-17

I. Union with Jesus through faith and prayer

“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe likewise in Me.

“In My Father’s House there are many mansions. Were it not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you. Yes, I am going; but when I have prepared a place for you, I will come again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also may be. Besides, you know where I am going, and you know the way there.”

“Lord,” answered Thomas, “we do not know where You are going, so how could we know the way?”

Jesus said to them, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, surely you would have known My Father. But henceforth you shall know Him; and yes, you have already seen Him.”

“Lord,” exclaimed Philip, “show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

“What!” said Jesus, “I have been so long a time with you, and you do not know Me yet? Philip, who sees Me also sees My Father. How can you say to Me, ‘Show us the Father’?

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Not on My own authority do I speak the words I speak to you. And it is the Father dwelling in Me who accomplishes My works. Once again, do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? At least believe it because of the works themselves.

“Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me, he also shall do the works that I do; even greater than these he shall do, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask the Father in My Name I will accomplish, in order that the Father may be glorified in the Son. And if you ask Me anything in My Name, I will do it.”

II. Union with Jesus through love

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter who will always dwell with you. He is the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you shall know Him, because He will dwell with you, and be in you.

“No, I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.

“Yet a little while and the world will no longer see Me; but you will see Me, for I live and you also shall live. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and that you are in Me, and that I am in you.

“The one who accepts My commandments and observes them, he is the one who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father; and I too will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Jude, not the Iscariot, said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My teachings, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and establish Our abode in him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words. Now, the teachings that you have heard are not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”

III. Union with Jesus in the Holy Spirit

“These things I have spoken to you while yet dwelling with you. But the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things, and bring to your mind whatever I will have said to you.”

IV. Union with Jesus in peace and in joy

“My peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you! Not as the world gives it do I give it to you. Let not your heart be troubled, let it not be afraid!

“You have just heard Me say, ‘I am going, and I shall come back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would indeed rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

“I tell you this now, before it comes to pass, so that when it has come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you; for behold, the prince of this world is coming, although nothing in Me belongs to him.

“But that the world may know that I love the Father, and that I am carrying out the Father’s command, arise, let us go from here.”

V. Necessary and intimate union with Jesus for all holy works. – The vine and the branches

“I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch that bears no fruit in Me, He will take away; and the one that bears fruit He will cleanse, that it may bear still more fruit.

“As for you, you have already been pruned and purified by the words that I have spoken to you.

“Abide in Me, and I in you! As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

“I am the Vine, you are the branches.

“He who abides in Me, and I in him, that one bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

“He who does not abide in Me shall be cast outside as the branch and wither; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire and burned.

“If you abide in Me, and if My words abide in you, ask whatever you will and you shall obtain it.

“It is the glory of My Father that you bear much fruit and become My Disciples.

“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love!

“You will abide in My love if you keep My commandments, as I abide in My Father’s love by keeping His commandments.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

“Now, this is My commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.

“Greater love than this no one has, that he lay down his life for his friends. And it is you who are My friends if you do the things I command you. No longer do I call you My servants, for the servant does not know what his master does. I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father, I have made known to you.

“You have not chosen Me; I have chosen you and have appointed you so that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain. That is why, whatever you ask the Father in My Name, He will give you.

“Above all, My commandment to you is to love one another.”

THE TESTAMENT OF CONSOLATION

Saint John 15:18-27; 16:1-24

I. Consolation and joy in persecution

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own. But because you are not of the world, and because I have separated you from the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you also; if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. But it will be on My account that they will do all this to you, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me, hates My Father as well. If I had not done among them works such as no one else has done, they would have no sin; but now they have seen them, and have hated both Me and My Father. In this way the word written in their Law is fulfilled, ‘They have hated Me without cause.’

“When the Comforter comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness concerning Me. And you also will bear witness concerning Me, because you are with Me from the beginning.

“These things I have spoken to you that you may not be scandalized.

“They will expel you from the synagogues. Yes, the hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is doing a work pleasing to God. They will do these things to you because they know neither the Father nor Me.

“But I have told you these things so that the time having come, you may remember that I told you. However, I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. Now I am going to the One who sent Me, and not one of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.”

II. Consolation in the impending descent of the Holy Spirit

“Yet what I am telling you is the truth: it is expedient for you that I depart. For if I do not go, the Comforter will not come to you, whereas if I go, I will send Him to you.

“When He has come, He will convince the world that there has been sin, that there was justice, and that there will be judgment.

“That there has been sin, because they have not believed in Me.

“That there was justice, because I am going to the Father, and you will see Me no more.

“And that there will be judgment, because the prince of this world has already been judged.

“Many things yet I would have to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now. But when the Spirit of truth has come, He will teach you all the truth, for He will say nothing on His own authority; He will only reveal what He will hear, and He will declare to you what is to come. He it is who will glorify Me, because He will receive of what is Mine and declare it to you.

“All things that the Father has are Mine; that is why I have said to you that what He declares to you, He will receive of what is Mine.”

III. Consolation in the triumphs that will crown the struggle

“A little while and you shall see Me no longer; and still a little while and you shall see Me again, because I go to My Father.”

The Disciples asked one another, “What does He mean: ‘A little while and you shall see Me no longer; then, still a little while and you shall see Me again, because I go to My Father’? What is the meaning of these words: ‘a little while’? We do not know what He means.”

Knowing that they wanted to ask Him, Jesus went on, “You inquire among yourselves what these words mean: ‘A little while and you shall see Me no longer; and then, still a little while and you shall see Me again.’

“Amen, amen, I say to you, you shall weep and lament, and the world shall rejoice; and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall turn into joy.

“A woman is also sorrowful when she is about to give birth, because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she forgets her pain for the joy she has because a man is born into the world.

“And you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again; then your heart shall rejoice, and no one shall take your joy from you.

“On that day you shall no longer have to question Me.”

IV. Consolation in the efficacy of prayer

“Amen, amen, I say to you, what you shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it to you. Until now, you have not asked anything in My Name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

CONCLUSION OF THE DISCOURSE

Saint John 16:25-33

“I have said all these things to you in parables. The hour is coming when I will no longer teach you in parables, but will speak to you plainly of My Father. On that day you shall ask in My Name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you; for the Father also loves you because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.

“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; now I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.”

“Now You are speaking plainly and without parables!” exclaimed the Disciples. “Now we understand that You know all things, and that there is no need to question You. Therefore, we believe that You came forth from God.”

“You believe now?” Jesus then said. “Behold, the hour is coming, and even has already come, when you will scatter, each one going his own way, and will leave Me alone! But I am not alone, since the Father is with Me.

“I have said these things to you so that you may find your peace in Me. In the world you will be tormented by tribulation. But take courage, I have overcome the world.”

SUPREME PRAYER OF JESUS TO HIS FATHER

Saint John 17:1-26

I. Jesus prays for Himself

Jesus spoke in this way, then raising His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come!…

“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You, even as You have given Him power over all flesh, that He may give everlasting life to all those You have given Him.

“This is everlasting life, to know You, the only true God, and Him whom You have sent, Jesus Christ.

“I have glorified You on earth; I have finished the work that You have given Me to accomplish.

“And now, O Father, glorify Me in Yourself with the glory that I had in You before the world existed.”

II. Jesus prays for His Disciples

“I have manifested Your Name to the men You have separated from the world and given Me. They were Yours, and You have given them to Me; and they have kept Your word. Now they have learned that whatever You have given Me comes from You. I have told them the words You told Me, and they have received them. They have truly acknowledged that I came forth from You; they have believed that You sent Me.

“For them do I pray! Not for the world do I pray, but for those You have given Me, because they are Yours. For all I have is Yours, and all that is Yours is Mine: I am glorified in them.

“Soon I will have left the world; but they remain in the world, and I am returning to You.

“Holy Father, by Your Name keep those You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are.

“While I was with them, I kept them by Your Name. Those You have given Me I have kept, and not one of them has perished except the son of perdition, in whom Scripture has been fulfilled. But now I am returning to You.

“I speak all these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the fullness of My joy in themselves.

“I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

“I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from evil.

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

“Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth.

“Even as You have sent Me into the world, so I also have sent them into the world.

“And for them do I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

III. Jesus prays for all the faithful

“NOT for these only do I pray, but also for those who, through their word, will believe in Me.

“May they all be one! Even as You, Father, are in Me, as I am in You: may they thus be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me.

“I have associated them with the glory I received from You, that they may be one, even as We are One.

“I in them and You in Me! May they thus be perfected in unity, that the world may recognize that You have sent Me, and that You have loved them with the same love with which You have loved Me.

“Father, I will that where I am, those You have given Me may be with Me! I will that they behold the glory You have given Me, for You have loved Me before the formation of the world.

“Just Father, the world has not known You! But I have known You, and these have understood that You have sent Me. I have manifested Your Name to them; I will make it further known to them, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and that I also may be in them.”

THE PASSION of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

I. From the Cenacle to Gethsemani

Saint Matthew 26:30-35; Saint Mark 14:26-31; Saint Luke 22:39; Saint John 18:1

After saying these things, Jesus recited the hymn of thanksgiving; then He departed and went, according to His custom, beyond the torrent of Cedron towards the Mount of Olives.

Then He said to the Disciples who were following Him:

“This very night I will be a scandal to you, and all of you will fall away; for it is written, ‘I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee.”

Peter exclaimed, “Even though everyone would be scandalized because of You, I will never be scandalized!”

“This very night,” replied Jesus, “before the cock crows twice, you will have denied Me three times. Amen I say it to you.”

But Peter protested all the more vehemently, “Even if I should have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

And they all said the same thing.

II. Gethsemani

Saint Matthew 26:36-46; Saint Mark 14:32-42; Saint Luke 22:40-46; Saint John 18:1-2

Beyond the torrent of Cedron there was a villa with a garden called Gethsemani. Jesus entered it with His Disciples. Since He often went there to pray with them, the place was known to Judas, who betrayed Him.

Then Jesus said to His Disciples, “Sit down here, while I go a little farther to pray. And you pray also, that you may not enter into temptation.”

He took with Him only Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John; and He began to be filled with dread and aversion, sadness and anguish.

“My soul is sad, even unto death,” He said. “Wait here and watch with Me.”

And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and kneeling down with His face to the ground, He began to pray that if it were possible, the coming hour might pass from Him.

“Father,” He said, “if it is possible, and all things are possible to You, let this cup pass away from Me. Yet Your Will be done, and not Mine!”

He interrupted His prayer to go to His Disciples, and found them sleeping, overcome by sorrow.

“Simon, you are sleeping!” He said to Peter. “Could you not then watch one hour with Me?”

And speaking to the other two, He said, “What! You are sleeping! So you could not watch one hour with Me! Rise, watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation; for though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.”

Again He went away and resumed the same prayer, saying, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your Will be done!”

He came again to His Disciples and found them still sleeping; their eyes were heavy with sleep and they did not know what they were answering Him.

Having left them, He went back and prayed a third time, saying the same words again:

“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me! Yet not My Will, but Yours be done!”

He had fallen into an agony and His prayer became more and more pressing. A sweat came over Him like drops of blood, running down upon the ground. And an Angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him.

He returned to His Disciples a third time.

“Sleep on now,” He told them, “and take your rest! But enough, the hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! He who is to betray Me is near!”

III. The traitor

Saint Matthew 26:47-50; Saint Mark 14:43-45; Saint Luke 22:47-48; Saint John 18:3

While He was still speaking, Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, came into sight. He was accompanied by a band of soldiers. In addition, the High Priests, Pharisees, Chief Priests, Scribes and Elders of the people had sent their attendants with lanterns, torches and weapons. All around seethed a great crowd, armed with swords and clubs.

Now the traitor had given them this sign:

“The One I kiss, that is He! Lay hold of Him and take your precautions to lead Him away.”

Judas came forward, then went hurriedly up to Jesus and said to Him, “Hail, Master!”

And he kissed Him.

“Friend,” Jesus said to him, “for what purpose have you come? Judas! You betray the Son of Man with a kiss!”

IV. The arrest

Saint Matthew 26:50-56; Saint Mark 14:46-52; Saint Luke 22:49-53; Saint John 18:4-12

Knowing all that was to come upon Him, Jesus stepped forward and said to the attendants, “Whom do you seek?”

“Jesus of Nazareth!” they shouted.

He answered, “I am He!”

Standing with them was Judas, who betrayed Him.

As soon as Jesus said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell over backwards.

Jesus asked them again, “Whom do you seek?”

“Jesus of Nazareth!” they repeated.

“I have told you: I am He,” Jesus replied. “Since I am the One you seek, let these men go.”

Thus was fulfilled the word which He Himself had spoken: “Of those whom You have given Me, I have not lost one.”

The men of the cohort came forward at once, set hands on Jesus and held Him fast.

Sensing what was about to happen, those around Him cried out, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?”

And without waiting for the answer, Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it out of the scabbard, struck an attendant ofthe High Priest with it and cut off his right ear. The attendant’s name was Malchus.

“Let that man come here,” said Jesus.

And He touched his ear and healed him.

Jesus then said to Peter, “Put your sword back into the scabbard, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword. Must I not drink the cup that the Father has given Me? Or do you believe that I cannot entreat My Father, and He will immediately furnish Me with more than twelve legions of Angels? But how would the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that this is the way it must be?”

Then, turning to the throng, in whose midst were some of the Chief Priests, Temple Guards and Elders, He said to them, “You have come out to seize Me with swords and clubs as if I were a robber. Yet I sat daily with you in the Temple to teach, and you did not lay hands on Me. But now, this is your hour, this is the reign of the power of darkness.

“Now, all this was done to fulfill what is written in the Prophets.”

Then the men of the cohort, their Commander and the attendants of the Jews fell upon Jesus and bound Him.

At that moment His Disciples, all together, abandoned Him and fled. A certain young man who was there, wrapped only in ­ a linen cloth, wanted to follow Jesus. The attendants seized him but he escaped, leaving the cloth in their hands.

V. Jesus before Annas

Saint Matthew 26:57-58; Saint Mark 14:53-54; Saint Luke 22:54; Saint John 18:13-16, 19-24

They led Jesus to Annas first. He was the father-in-law of Caiphas, the High Priest of that year.

Simon Peter had followed Jesus at a distance, and so had another Disciple. Now, that other Disciple, who was known to the High Priest, had entered with Jesus into the palace courtyard. Peter had remained outside, standing at the gate. So the Disciple known to the High Priest went out, spoke to the portress and brought him in.

The High Priest questioned Jesus concerning His Disciples and concerning His Teaching.

“I have spoken publicly to the world,” answered Jesus. “I have always taught in the synagogues and in the Temple, where all the Jews gather, and I have said nothing in secret. Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard Me; they know what I have said.”

Hearing this reply, one of the attendants on duty slapped Jesus and shouted at Him, “Is that the way You speak to the High Priest?”

“If I have spoken evil,” said Jesus, “bear witness to the wrong; but if I have spoken well, why do you strike Me?”

Annas ordered that Jesus be led in His chains to Caiphas, the High Priest. He was the very one who had given the counsel to the Jews: “It is expedient that one man should die for the people.”

VI. Jesus before Caiphas

Saint Matthew 26:59-66; Saint Mark 14:53, 55-64

All the Priests, the Scribes and the Elders of the people had gathered together in the house of Caiphas.

Now the Chief Priests and the entire Council were seeking false witness against Jesus, that they might put Him to death, but they found none. Indeed, many had made false depositions, but their evidence was conflicting.

The last two who came forward bore witness in this way:

“We heard Him say, ‘I am able to destroy this Temple built by human hands, and after three days rebuild another, not built by human hands.’”

However, their assertions did not agree.

Then the High Priest, rising up in their midst, wanted to question Jesus himself.

“Have You no answer to the things that are laid to Your charge by these men?” he asked Him.

Jesus remained silent and answered nothing.

The High Priest then asked Him this question: “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One? Tell us! I adjure You by the living God!”

“You have said it, I am!” answered Jesus. “And I declare to you: One day you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power of God and coming upon the clouds of heaven.”

Then the High Priest tore his garments, crying out, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”

And they all answered, “He is liable to death!”

VII. Peter denies Our Lord

Saint Matthew 26:58, 69-75; Saint Mark 14:54, 66-72; Saint Luke 22:55-62; Saint John 18:17-18, 25-27

It was cold. The servants and attendants had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were huddled around it, some sitting, some standing, warming themselves. Peter was seated in their midst warming himself, waiting for the outcome of the case.

The maidservant of the High Priest, who was the portress, came in. Having noticed the Apostle who was warming himself, she came up to him and scrutinized him.

“Here is one who was with the Nazarene,” she said.

Then, looking him straight in the face, she said, “Yes, you were with Jesus of Galilee!”

Peter denied it before them all, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him! I do not know… I cannot understand what you are saying!”

Then he left the courtyard and went to the vestibule; but as he arrived there, another maid noticed him and cried out to the attendants, “This man certainly was with Jesus of Nazareth!”

A moment later a servant encountered him and said, “You, too, are one of them!”

At that moment the cock crowed.

Peter returned to the fire, standing and warming himself again.

“Were you not one of His Disciples?” the attendants asked him.

And a second time, he denied it with an oath: “No, I tell you, no! I do not know the man at all!”

About an hour later the bystanders said to him, “Surely you are one of that group, for you are from Galilee: your speech betrays you!”

One of the attendants of the High Priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, also accused him, saying, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?”

Again Peter denied it, and he began to curse with repeated oaths and protestations, “No,” he said again, “I do not know that man! I do not know what you mean!”

And the cock crowed a second time.

Jesus passed by at that very moment, and turning around, He looked upon Peter.

Then Peter remembered the words that the Lord had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”

He left, and once outside, he wept bitterly.

VIII. Insults of the servants and attendants

Saint Matthew 26:67-68; Saint Mark 14:65; Saint Luke 22:63-65

And Jesus was taken to the dungeon for convicts.

Then those who were charged with guarding Him made a game out of beating Him. They spat in His face, blindfolded Him and kept slapping Him, saying, “Prophesy, O Christ! Who is it that struck You?”

In a word, they subjected Him to all kinds of insults, reviling Him with loathsome blasphemies.

 

GOOD FRIDAY

IX. Jesus before the Sanhedrin

Saint Matthew 27:1; Saint Mark 15:1; Saint Luke 22:66-71

At daybreak, the members of the Sanhedrin — the High Priests, the Chief Priests without exception, the Scribes and the Elders of the people — full of hatred against Jesus, assembled in great haste with the intention of condemning Him to death. They summoned Him before their assembly and said to Him, “Tell us if You are the Christ!”

“If I tell you, you will not believe Me,” Jesus answered. “If I in turn question you, you will not answer Me, nor will you set Me free. Yet henceforth the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Power of God.”

And together they all said, “Are You, then, the Son of God?”

“You yourselves say that I am!” answered Jesus.

Then they cried out, “What further need do we have of witness? We have just heard it from His own mouth!”

X. Remorse and suicide of the traitor

Saint Matthew 27:3-10

When he saw that Jesus was condemned, Judas the traitor, driven by remorse, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the Chief Priests and the Elders.

“I have sinned in betraying the blood of the Just Man!” he said.

“What is that to us? See to it yourself!”

Thereupon, Judas flung the pieces of silver into the Temple, went away and hanged himself.

The Chief Priests picked up the pieces of silver.

“It is not lawful to put them into the Treasury,” they said, “because it is the price of blood.”

Later, after having consulted together about it, with this sum they bought the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason, that field has been called in their language Haceldama, that is, the Field of Blood, a name that has remained even to this day.

Thus were the words of the Prophet fulfilled: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him who was priced, upon whom the children of Israel set a price. And they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord showed me.”

XI. Jesus before Pilate

Saint Matthew 27:2, 11-14; Saint Mark 15:1-5; Saint Luke 23:1-4; Saint John 18:28-38

As soon as Jesus had declared that He was the Son of God, all the members of the Council rose together; and after having Him bound, they led Him away to deliver Him to Pontius Pilate the Governor.

It was still early morning. The Jews did not enter the praetorium, for fear that they might contract a legal defilement and not be able to eat the Passover.

Pilate therefore went outside to them on the threshold of his praetorium; he asked them, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”

They answered, “If He were not a criminal, we would not have handed Him over to you.”

“Take Him yourselves, then,” Pilate said, “and judge Him according to your Law.”

“It is no longer lawful for us to impose the death penalty on anyone,” retorted the Jews.

This was in fulfillment of what Jesus had said, predicting the manner of His death.

And the Jews began formulating their accusations, saying, “We have found this man disrupting our nation, forbidding the payment of taxes to Caesar, and attributing to Himself the title of Christ the King!”

Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus, who stood before him.

“Are You the King of the Jews?” he asked Him.

“Do you say this of yourself,” Jesus said to him, “or according to what others have told you of Me?”

“Am I a Jew?” replied Pilate. “Your own people and Your priests have brought You before my court. What have You done?”

“My kingship does not come from this world,” answered Jesus. “If My kingship came from this world, My men would surely have fought to keep Me from falling into the hands of the Jews. No, for the present, My Kingdom is not from here.”

“You are a King, then?” asked Pilate.

“You have said it, I am a King! I was born, I have come into the world, to bear witness to the Truth. Whoever is on the side of the Truth hears My voice.”

“What is Truth?” said the Governor.

And with that question, he returned outside to the Chief Priests and the crowd of Jews, and said to them, “I find no cause for condemnation in this man.”

Then the Chief Priests and the Elders multiplied their accusations; Jesus remained silent.

“Do You not hear how many testimonies they are accumulating against You?” exclaimed Pilate. “Have You no answer to make?”

But Jesus did not speak a single word to him, which caused the Governor great astonishment.

XII. Jesus before Herod

Saint Luke 23:5-12

Meanwhile, the Jews persisted forcefully, crying out, “He is stirring up the people with the doctrines He is spreading, from Galilee where He began, throughout all Judea, and even to this place!”

But Pilate, hearing the name of Galilee, asked whether the man was a Galilean. As soon as he learned that Jesus belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to that king, who was in Jerusalem at the time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was deeply gratified. For a long time he had been wishing to meet Him, because of all he had been told about Him, and because he was hoping to see Him perform some wonder.

He therefore began asking Him many questions.

Jesus gave him no answer.

Now, the Chief Priests and Scribes were standing by, tirelessly accusing Him.

Herod and his guards covered Jesus with contempt. He had Him arrayed in a white robe and mocked Him. Then he sent Him back to Pilate.

And from that day on, Herod and Pilate became friends, whereas previously they had been enemies.

XIII. Barabbas

Saint Matthew 27:15-23, 26; Saint Mark 15:6-15; Saint Luke 23:13-25; Saint John 18:39-40

Pilate summoned the Chief Priests, the rulers and the people, and he spoke these words to them:

“You have brought this Man before me as someone who is stirring up the people; yet, I have examined Him in your presence, and I have found in Him no grounds for condemnation on the charges you lay against Him. Herod, to whom I sent you, has found nothing either. Therefore, nothing deserving ofdeath has been established against Him. For that reason, I will have a chastisement inflicted upon Him and then release Him.”

Now, on the day of the feast, it was the custom for the Governor to grant them the release of a prisoner of their choice. A notorious criminal called Barabbas was in prison at the time. He was in chains with some rioters, for having killed a man during an uprising.

At that moment, the crowd came to the praetorium and began to ask for the favor that the Governor always granted.

Having the crowd come near, Pilate addressed them, saying, “You have a custom that I should release a prisoner to you at the Passover. Do you want me to release the King of the Jews?… Which one do you want: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

Indeed, he knew very well that the Chief Priests had handed Him over only out of envy.

In the meantime, his wife sent word to him while he was sitting on the judgment seat: “Have nothing to do with the case of that Just Man, for today I have suffered strangely in a dream concerning Him.”

But the High Priests, the Chief Priests and the Elders had stirred up the crowds and incited them to demand the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus.

So when the Governor renewed his question, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” the whole mob burst out unanimously, “Barabbas! Not this Man, but Barabbas! Away with this Man, and give us Barabbas!”

“But what am I to do with Jesus, this King of the Jews who is called Christ?” retorted Pilate.

They all cried louder than ever, “Let Him be crucified!”

“But what evil has He done?” insisted the Governor.

The Jews kept crying out the more, “Let Him be crucified!”

Pilate was determined to release Jesus. He spoke to them again. But the outcry grew more and more violent:

“Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

He said to them a third time, “What evil has He done? I find nothing deserving of death in Him; I will therefore chastise Him and then release Him.”

But they were relentless and demanded with loud cries that He should be crucified, and their shouts grew more and more threatening.

So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas, whom they were asking for, and who had been cast into prison for murder and sedition, and delivered Jesus to their mercy.

XIV. The scourging and the crown of thorns

Saint Matthew 27:26-30; Saint Mark 15:15-19; Saint John 19:1-3

But first Pilate took Jesus and had Him scourged. The soldiers then dragged Him away into the courtyard of the praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around Him. They stripped Him of His garments and covered Him with a scarlet cloak. Then they plaited a crown with thorns and thrust it onto His head. In His right hand they put a reed. And then, genuflecting before Him in mockery, they taunted Him, saying repeatedly, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

They struck Him and spat in His face, and taking the reed, they dealt Him blows on the head.

XV. Ecce Homo

Saint John 19:4-11

When the Roman soldiers had finished mocking Jesus, they led Him back into the praetorium.

Pilate came out again and said to the people, “Behold, I present Him to you once more, that you may know well that I find in Him no grounds for condemnation.”

And indeed Jesus came, wearing the crown of thorns and covered with the scarlet cloak.

“Behold the Man!” said Pilate.

As soon as they saw Him, the Chief Priests and the attendants cried out, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

“Take Him yourselves, then, and crucify Him!” shouted Pilate. “As for me, I find no guilt whatsoever in Him.”

“We have a Law,” replied the Jews, “and according to our Law He must die, because He claims to be the Son of God!”

When Pilate heard this statement, an even greater fear took hold of him. Going back into the praetorium, he said to Jesus, “Where do You come from?”

Jesus gave him no answer.

“You do not speak to me?” Pilate continued. “Do You not know that I have power to have You crucified, and that I also have power to release You?”

“You would have no power at all over Me had you not received it from Above,” answered Jesus. “And that is what aggravates the crime of the one who delivered Me to you.”

XVI. The sentence

Saint Matthew 27:24-25, 31; Saint Mark 15:20; Saint Luke 23:24; Saint John 19:12-16

More than ever, Pilate was looking for a way to release Jesus.

But the Jews redoubled their outcries, saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; for everyone who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar.”

Hearing these shouts, Pilate had Jesus brought outside, and sat down on his judgment seat, at a place called Lithostrotos (stone pavement) in Greek, and Gabbatha (terrace) in Hebrew. It was nearing the sixth hour (noon) of the day before the Passover.

Pilate said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

“Kill Him! Kill Him! Crucify Him!” they cried out.

“What?” replied Pilate. “Shall I crucify your King?”

The Chief Priests retorted, “We have no king but Caesar!”

Now Pilate, seeing that he was gaining nothing and that a riot was breaking out, had some water brought to him; and, washing his hands in sight of the crowd, he said, “I am innocent of the blood of this Just Man; you will answer for it!”

And all the people shouted out, “His blood be upon us and upon our children!”

So Pilate pronounced sentence that it be done according to the will of the Jews, and he abandoned Jesus to them to be crucified.

After mocking Him again, the soldiers tore off the scarlet cloak, gave Him back His garments and led Him outside the city to crucify Him.

XVII. The way to Calvary

Saint Matthew 27:32-34; Saint Mark 15:21-23; Saint Luke 23:26-33; Saint John 19:17

Jesus, burdened with His cross, started out towards the place called Calvary, or in Hebrew, Golgotha. Behind Him walked two criminals who were to be executed.

As the group was going out of the city, the soldiers met a certain passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming from his farm. They requisitioned him, set the cross upon his shoulders and forced him to bear it after Jesus.

An immense crowd followed, as well as women who were weeping and lamenting.

Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. Behold, the days shall come in which men will say, ‘Blessed are the barren! Blessed are the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will cry out to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Bury us!’ For if they do these things to the green wood, what shall be done to the dry?”

They came to Calvary; there He was given a cup of wine mixed with myrrh and gall. Jesus touched His lips to it, but He refused to drink.

XVIII. Jesus on the cross

Saint Matthew 27:35-50; Saint Mark 15:25-37; Saint Luke 23:33-46; Saint John 19:18-30

Then they crucified Him. It was still the third hour.

They crucified the two robbers with Him, one on His right hand, one on His left, and Jesus in the center.

Thus was the Scripture fulfilled: “And He was reckoned among the wicked.”

Pilate himself had written the inscription bearing the reason for the execution of Jesus and had it put at the top of the cross. It bore these words:

JESUS THE NAZARENE,
KING OF THE JEWS

Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city. It was written in three languages: in Hebrew, in Greek and in Latin. The Chief Priests of the Jews had gone to Pilate and demanded, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man claims to be the King of the Jews.’”

“What I have written, I have written!” Pilate had retorted.

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

After they had crucified Him, the soldiers took His garments and made four parts, one for each of them.

Since the tunic was without seam, woven in one piece from the top, they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but let us cast lots for it, to see whose it shall be.”

Thus was fulfilled what was spoken through the Prophet, “They divided My garments among them, and upon My vesture they cast lots.”

That is what the soldiers did; then sitting down they kept watch over Him. There was a great crowd of people all around, looking at Jesus and sneering at Him. The passersby were jeering at Him also; they said to Him, shaking their heads: “Ha! You, the One who destroys the Temple and in three days builds it up again, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

The Chief Priests, the Scribes and the Elders also heaped mockery upon Him.

They said to one another, “He saved others, and He cannot save Himself! If He is the Christ, the King of Israel, let Him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in Him! He put His trust in God; let God deliver Him now, if He loves Him! Did He not say, ‘I am the Son of God’?”

The soldiers did not spare Him their insults either; they came to the cross and offered Him vinegar, saying to Him, “If You are the King of the Jews, then save Yourself!”

Even the robbers who were crucified with Him taunted Him with sarcasm.

Soon, however, while one of them went on blaspheming, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us as well!” the other in answer rebuked him strongly with these words: “Have you no fear of God, seeing that you are undergoing the same torment? For us this is justice, for we are receiving the punishment our crimes deserve. But this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Then, speaking to Jesus, he said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom!”

Jesus answered him, “Amen I say to you, this very day you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Standing by the cross were His Mother and His Mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.

Jesus looked at His Mother and the Disciple He loved standing near Her, and He said to His Mother, “Woman, behold Your son!”

Then He said to the Disciple, “Behold your Mother!”

And from that time on, the Disciple took Her into his house.

It was in the sixth hour that Jesus was crucified; and from the sixth until the ninth (three o’clock), darkness covered the whole world. The sun had lost all its light.

About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a heartrending voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

“This Man is calling Elias!” said some of the bystanders.

Knowing that the words of the Prophets were now fulfilled, Jesus accomplished the last, saying, “I thirst!”

There was a vessel standing there full of vinegar. One of the guards ran to get a sponge, soaked it in vinegar, put it on a stalk of hyssop and held it up to Jesus’ lips.

The others said, “Wait! We will see whether Elias comes to save Him.”

“Wait, yourselves!” replied the one who was offering Him the vinegar. “This is precisely to see whether Elias will come and take Him down from the cross!”

Jesus received the vinegar and said, “It is consummated!”

Then He cried out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commend My soul!”

Having spoken these words, He bowed His head and expired.

XIX. Wonders following the death of Jesus, The holy women

Saint Matthew 27:51-56; Saint Mark 15:38-41; Saint Luke 23:45-49

Suddenly the curtain of the Temple was torn in the middle from top to bottom; the earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and many bodies of saints who had died, arose. Resurrected, they came out of their tombs, went into the Holy City and appeared to a great number of people after the resurrection of Jesus.

The Centurion who stood facing the cross, hearing Jesus’ mighty cry the moment He expired and seeing all that was happening, gave glory to God and exclaimed, “Truly, this Man was the Son of God!”

And those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, terrified at the sight of the earthquake and the other wonders, also said, “Yes, this was a Just Man! Truly He was the Son of God!”

And all the crowd that had come to see Jesus die, terrified at the sight of all these things, returned to Jerusalem beating their breast.

As for those who knew Jesus, they stood apart, observing from a distance what was happening. The women who had followed Him from Galilee also looked on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalen, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph, and Salome, who had accompanied and served Him when He was in Galilee. There were also many other women who had come with Him all the way to Jerusalem.

XX. Christ’s side opened with the lance

Saint John 19:31-37

It was the day before the Sabbath. In order that the bodies might not remain upon the cross the following day, which was the Solemn Sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate to command that the legs of the condemned men be broken, and that their bodies be taken away.

Some soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first thief, and of the other, who had been crucified with Him. When they came to Jesus, seeing that He was dead, they did not break His legs. One of them opened His side with the thrust of a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water.

The one who saw it bears witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, that you also may believe.

Thus did all these things come to pass that these words of Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not a bone of Him shall you break,” as well as these: “They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced.”

XXI. The descent from the cross and the burial

Saint Matthew 27:57-61; Saint Mark 15:42-47; Saint Luke 23:50-56; Saint John 19:38-42

Joseph, a rich inhabitant of Arimathea, a town of Judea, arrived as evening neared. He was a good and just man who also was waiting for the Kingdom of God; for he was a Disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews. A highly-esteemed Decurion, he had not been party to either their plot or their doings.

He had gone directly to Pilate and boldly asked him for the body of Jesus. Pilate, surprised that He had already died, had sent for the Centurion and asked him whether Jesus was really dead already. When the Centurion replied that He was, he had ordered that the body be given to Joseph.

Nicodemus, the one who from the beginning had gone to see Jesus by night, had also come, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds in weight.

Joseph, who had bought a fine linen cloth, took Jesus down from the cross; then together they covered Him with the linen cloth, wrapped Him in linen bands with the perfumes, and buried Him after the Jewish manner.

Near the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a tomb belonging to Joseph. This sepulcher, hewn out in the rock, was new and had not yet been used for anyone. Since the preparation day for the Solemn Sabbath was ending and this tomb was close at hand, they laid the body of Jesus in it. Finally, together they rolled a large stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away, as the stars were beginning to shine.

Sitting opposite the sepulcher, Mary Magdalen, Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, and the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee, gazed at the tomb and saw how the Lord’s body was placed there.

Then they left, with the intention of preparing the aromatics and perfumes; but, faithful to the Law, they rested during the entire Sabbath.

HOLY SATURDAY

Saint Matthew 27:62-66

The next day, which was the Sabbath, the Chief Priests and the Pharisees went together to see Pilate:

“Sir,” they said to him, “we have remembered how that deceiver said, when He was alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Give orders, therefore, that the sepulcher be guarded until the third day, lest His Disciples come and secretly remove Him, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ This last imposture would be even worse than the first.”

“You have a guard,” said Pilate. “Go and guard Him as you know how.”

They went, closed the sepulcher with great care, set seals upon the stone and mounted the guard.