Catholic Men’s Lenten Gospel Pilgrimage – Holy Week – Friday – The Passion of Our Lord – John 18:1-19:42
Anticipated from the Fall in Eden and coming into glorious reality on Good Friday, God’s Divine Mercy is released in Christ’s Passion (Latin, passionem, meaning, “suffering”, “enduring”). Because Christ is a Divine Person, His suffering is infinite in worth, far surpassing the accumulated cost of all mankind’s sins from the beginning until the end of time. Christ’s sacrificial choice to do the Father’s will establishes the New Covenant in which men who repent, are baptized and commit themselves to Him are saved and will enjoy eternal life with God in Heaven.
The Incarnation is Christ’s deliberate pilgrimage to the Cross. The Passion narrative confirms Christ’s complete control and power: Christ anticipates His Passion and goes to Jerusalem to meet it; Christ does not avoid capture as He so easily did multiple times (Luke 4:30, John 7:45); Christ knows Judas has betrayed Him but does not retreat; Christ utterance of the Holy Name (“I AM”; John 18:5) knocks several hundred soldiers and guards to the ground; though He never loses a verbal debate with His enemies, Christ does not debate the Jewish leadership or Pilate; though He has the power to quell raging storms and raise the dead, He does not resist beating, mocking scourging or the Crucifixion; He declares victory from the Cross (“My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” is a shorthand reference to the total victory of Psalm 22); before dying, Christ declares, “It is accomplished” (John 19:30).
Christ’s accomplishment is astounding: He drinks the 4th Cup of His Passover (began at the Last Supper), establishing the Eucharist; His Kingdom is established; His Catholic Church is established and will convert and save billions of people, His enemies fate is cast (Satan is defeated, death is defeated, the Jewish leadership/Temple sacrificial system will fall in 70 A.D.; The Roman Empire is converted 312 A.D.). What Christ accomplishes in His Passion surpasses every human endeavor.
1) Be astounded how Christ’s establishment of the Eucharist is beyond what any man could conceive or achieve: converts the 1200 year old Passover ritual meal by becoming the Lamb of God in the Eucharist, conceives of the idea to feed mankind across millennia with His glorified Body and Blood; becomes really present in every parish Tabernacle; allows men to be in actual union with God by the Eucharist.
2) On this Good Friday, review the Catechism’s teaching on Christ’s Passion (CCC 599-630) and pray for Christ to help you grow in faith and gratitude for the Eucharist.
3) Peter, who walked with Christ for three years, spectacularly failed Christ; it is not surprising that every man denies Christ in some way each day. Reflect on Peter’s denial (CCC 1429, 1851) and pray for Christ to help you, like Peter, have deep sorrow for your denials of Him and to be forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.