A collection of various works taken from online resources in fidelity to the teaching of the Magisterium and by the authority of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church.

My God, My God! Why Have You Forsaken Me?

1. Isaiah 50:4-7, the First Reading
  • the idea that the Messiah could arrive and subsequently be killed was radically counter-intuitive to most of first-century Jews.
  • based on Jesus of Nazareth’s own teachings about himself, was that the radically counter-intuitive impossibility was actually prophesied
  • Traditionally the passage has been understood as the writing of Isaiah the prophet of Jerusalem.
  • common conviction of the followers of Jesus of Nazareth is that these texts speak of Him
  • (“knowing that I shall not be put to shame”).  This confidence in the midst of suffering is important for interpreting the Gospel for this Sunday.

2. The Responsorial Psalm
  • (for example, of the “promised land”), but these literal statements receive a figurative fulfillment in the New Testament (the “promised land” = heaven).
  • no instance where any of these things were true literally of David or any other Old Testament figure.  They are emotive overstatements of the psalmist’s suffering.  Yet, they receive a literal fulfillment in Christ.
  • Todah means “thanks” or “praise,” and the Todah is the “sacrifice of thanksgiving” legislated by Moses
  • It was a kind of animal sacrifice not offered in reparation for sin, but out of thanksgiving for some saving act that the LORD had done for the worshipper.
  • The Todah was a festive sacrifice offered as part of a lived cycle of experiences in which you (1) began in a situation of distress, (2) cried out to God, (3) made a vow to offer the Todah if God would save you, (4) God saved you, (5) you paid your vow by offering the Todah sacrifice in the temple, (6) you had a festive party as you and your family and friends ate the meat of the sacrifice and all the bread that was required (see Leviticus 7:11ff), and (7) you gave public testimony to all assembled in the Temple concerning how God saved you
  • Our Lord’s sufferings were extreme, and difficult for us to comprehend, but the cry of dereliction is not proof that he lost the beatific vision or experienced radical separation from the Father.
  • when Jesus cites “My God, My God ...” from the cross in today’s Gospel, he is really making a reference to all of Psalm 22, inviting the bystanders to interpret what is happening to him in light of this psalm.
  • The “assembly” spoken of here is the qahal in Hebrew, the ekklesia in Greek, the Church in English.
3.  The Second Reading
  • often thought to be a early Christian hymn or creed that St. Paul is quoting—gives an outline of the whole Gospel.
  • Jesus empties himself of the glory of his divinity in order to descend to the status of creature, of “slave.”
  • Crucifixion was the form of execution mandated for slaves; citizens could not be crucified.  Having taken on human nature, he submits to the death of slaves
  • a God who would so empty himself out of love is greater, more lovable, more worthy of worship, than a God who will not give of himself.
  • the ancient ritual of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), on which, according to the Mishnah, the High Priest would exit the Holy of Holies after making atonement for Israel and pronounce the priestly blessing of Numbers 6 upon the gathered worshipers.  This was the one day a year (apparently) when the Divine Name YHWH was pronounced audibly, and each time the assembly heard the name pronounced, they dropped to the ground in prostration.
  • human is not exalted at the expense of the divine; rather, human and divine are exalted together.
4.  Our Gospel Reading
  • phrase “blood of the covenant” is very rare in the OT.  The allusion here seems to be directly to Exodus 24:8 and the solemnization of the divine covenant with Israel through Moses on Sinai.
  • Jesus re-makes the covenant over “better blood,” his own blood.
  • Jesus is re-establishing, re-forming the people of God around twelve new patriarchs, establishing the “Israel of God” (Gal 6:16).
  • young man who flees naked is probably a reference to John Mark himself, the author.
  • John Mark’s mother owned the house of the Upper Room
  • To “come with the clouds of heaven” is a divine prerogative
  • Jesus identifies himself as “The Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
  • Simon of Cyrene is noted in the Passion narrative because his sons, Alexander and Rufus, later converted to Christianity and became important members of the first generation of the Church.
  • bystanders think he is calling for Elijah is that they do not understand Aramaic (Syriac), the spoken language of Judea in the time of Our Lord.  They hear “ehl-wee-le-ma” and it sounds like “ehl-ee-ya-ma”; and “ehl-ee-ya” is “Elijah” in Greek, for in Greek the “j” has the value of “y.”  So the Greek-speaking bystanders can only make out what they think are the phonetics of “Elijah” in Jesus' quotation
  • It is significant that at the Last Supper he said he would not drink again of the fruit of the vine until he drank it in the Kingdom; and then he prays in the Garden for the “cup” to pass from him.  There is reason to believe this drinking of the “fruit of the vine” at the cross is in fact ushering in the kingdom, as paradoxical as that may seem.
  • The coming of the kingdom is linked to the cross. The whole crucifixion can be seen as an inverted enthronement ceremony, in which the king is “washed” (in his own blood through scourging), crowned, vested in robes, led in procession to the high point of the city, and “enthroned” on the cross.
  • Jesus knew that the triumph prophesied at the end of Psalm 22 would be fulfilled.  That is why our Catholic faith is not a faith of pessimism and despair but of hope and joy
SOURCE:  http://www.thesacredpage.com/2015/03/my-god-my-god-why-have-you-forsaken-me.htmlhttp://www.thesacredpage.com/2015/03/my-god-my-god-why-have-you-forsaken-me.html

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"To condescend to the humblest duties, and to devote oneself to the lowliest service is an exercise of humility: for thus one is able to heal the disease of pride and human glory."

- Decretal on Penance (D. II., cap. Si quis semel)