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Sunday, April 9, 2017

My Lord says ... Matthew 27:11-54


*SUNDAY GOSPEL

11Jesus stood before the governor, Pontius Pilate, asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”  Jesus answered,  “You say so.”  12The chief priests and the elders of the people  accused Him, but He made no answer.  13Pilate said to Him, “Do you hear all the charges they bring against you?”  14But He did not answer even one question, so that the governor wondered greatly.

15At Passover, it was customary for the governor to release any prisoner the people asked for.  16Now, there was a well-known prisoner called Barabbas.  17When the people had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Whom do you want me to set free: Barabbas or Jesus called the Messiah?”  18for he knew that Jesus had been handed over to him out of envy.  19While Pilate was sitting in court, his wife sent him this message, “Have nothing to do with that holy man.  Because of Him, I had a dream last night that disturbed me greatly.”

20But the chief priests and elders of the people stirred up the crowds, to ask for the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus.  21When the governor asked them again, “Which of the two do you want me to set free?” they answered, “Barabbas!”  22Pilate said to them,  “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”  They all said,  “Crucify Him!” 23Pilate asked, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they shouted louder, “Crucify Him!”

24Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, and that there could be a riot.  He asked for water, washed his hands before the people, and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.  Do what you want!”  25And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”  26Then Pilate set Barabbas free, but had Jesus scourged, and handed over to be crucified. 

27Then the Roman soldiers took Jesus into the palace of the governor and the whole troop gathered around Him.  28They stripped Him and dressed Him in a purple cloak.  29 Then, weaving a crown of thorns, they forced it onto His head, and place a reed in His right hand.  They knelt before Jesus and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  30They spat on Him, took the reed from His hand and kept struck Him on the head with it.

31When they had finished mocking Him, they pulled off the purple cloak, and dressed Him in His own clothes, and led Him out to crucify Him.  32On the way they met a man from Cyrene called Simon, and forced him to carry the cross of Jesus.  33When they reached the place called Golgotha, which means the Skull, 34they offered Him wine mixed with gall.  He tasted it, but would not drink it.  35There they crucified Him, and divided His clothes among themselves, casting lots to decide what each one should take.  36Then they sat down to guard Him.  37The statement of His offense was displayed above His head, and it read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”  38They also crucified two thieves with Him, one on His right hand and one on His left.

39The people passing by shook their heads and insulted Him, saying,  40“Aha!” You, who destroy the temple and in three days rebuild it, save yourself – if You are God’s Son – and come down from the cross!”  41In the same way the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law mocked Him.  42They said, “The man who saved others cannot save Himself.  Let the king of Israel come down from His cross and we will believe in Him.  43He trusted in God; let God rescue Him if God wants to, for He Himself said, “I am the Son of God.” 44Even the thieves who were crucified with Him insulted Him.  

45From midday, darkness fell over all the land until mid-afternoon.  46At about three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice,  
 
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

47As soon as they heard this, some of the bystanders said,  “He is calling for Elijah.”  48And one of them ran,  took a sponge and soaked it in vinegar and putting it on reed, gave it to Him to drink.  49Others said, “Leave Him alone, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.”  Then Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and gave up His spirit. 

51At that very moment, the curtain of the temple Sanctuary was in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, rocks were split,  52tombs were opened, and many holy people who had died were raised to life.  53They came out of the tombs, after the Resurrection of Jesus, entered the Holy City, and appeared to many.   54The captain and the soldiers who were guarding Jesus, having seen the earthquake and everything else that had happened, were terribly afraid, and said, “Truly, this was God’s Son.”  



“She turned her back on me”
My friend was really crying out her heart to me when we met one time.  She told me this devastating statement, “She turned her back on me.”  After all those years of providing for her only daughter’s education and giving her all the support she needed in order to be able to go and find a job abroad, she didn’t care anymore what happens to her afterward.  She made a lot of sacrifices for her just to help her achieve her goal. She borrowed the money from a lender even at a high interest rate. Her daughter promised her that she would pay her back once she becomes stable in her job and would petition her to live with her also.  There was so much happiness in her  and her daughter when her application was approved.

While in abroad,  there was a constant communication either through phone or emails. Then a year had passed, seldom has she called her anymore.  She got hospitalized and her finances got tight due to business losses.  She even tried to ask the help of her cousin to contact her daughter, but to no avail.  Until one day,  she got a call from her daughter that she got married and couldn’t afford anymore to give her the money she owed her.  The saddest part was when she said that her daughter would stop communicating with her because  her husband doesn’t like it.   


She asked, "What have I done to deserve this?" Emotionally and financially devastated, she was left with empty promises and has to shoulder the financial burden by herself.   She said there was a glory in her heart that she was able to provide everything for her only daughter.  But there will be more glory for her, if her daughter will be able to realize what she had done to her.  Only God can be the judge, no one knows, but only in His own time....

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" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."


Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a 



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