June 1, 2020

Gospel JN 19:25-34

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved,
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
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.
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.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately Blood and water flowed out.

Reflection

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved,
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Hanging from a cross, His hands and feet pierced by nails, His throat dry from loss of blood, holding onto life by a thread, Jesus’ thoughts were not for Himself but for the welfare of his beloved mother.

In His last moments of life Jesus defined what it means to be a Christian, a follower of Christ: Selflessness; thinking and acting of behalf of others before self.”

Ever humble, Jesus’ first thought was always for someone else.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
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.

Jesus had done all that was humanly possible to convey His Father’s command that we should “Love God and love our neighbor”. Having finished His work on earth, Jesus bowed His head and willingly gave up His life.

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.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately Blood and water flowed out.

The Covid 19 pandemic has kept us from gathering at Mass with our Christian communities and resulted in our “thirsting” for the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Yet, we continue to hear Jesus’ words at the Last Supper call to us, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew: 26: 27-28

As He sent the Holy Spirit to Mary and the Apostles in the Upper Room, Jesus also sustains us in our faith.

During our absence from the Eucharist, He has shown us the face of God in the thousands of people who, like Jesus, selflessly give of themselves, even to the point of death, for the sake of others.

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” C. S. Lewis