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Jesus is nailed to the cross

Jesus, lifted up from the earth, draws all to himself

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

A reading from the Gospel according to John 19:18-22

There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

* * *

The crucified Jesus is at the centre; the royal title, high above the cross, discloses the depths of the mystery: Jesus is the King and the cross is his throne. Jesus’ kingship, recorded in three languages, is a message for all: for the simple and the wise, the poor and the powerful, those who trust in God’s law and those who trust in political power. The image of the Crucified One, which no human decree will ever be able to remove from the walls of our heart, will remain for ever the royal Word of Truth: the “Crucified Light which enlightens the blind”,[1] the “treasure which only prayer can unlock”,[2] the heart of the world.
Jesus’ does not reign with worldly might, he has “no legions”.[3] “Jesus reigns by drawing to himself”:[4] his magnet is the love of the Father who gives himself for us, in the Son, “to the infinite end”.[5] “Nothing is withdrawn from its burning heat!”[6]

Lord Jesus, crucified for our sake,
you are the proof
of the Father’s great love for mankind,
the image of that truth which alone is credible.
Draw us to yourself,
that we may learn to live
by “love of your love”.[7]

Come, Spirit of Truth,
help us always to choose “God and his will
over the interests of the world and its powers”,
and to discover, in the outward powerlessness of the Crucified Lord,
the ever new power of truth.[8]



Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati
pœnas mecum divide.

[1] Cf. Sermon 136, 4.

[2] Cf. Sermon 160, 3.

[3] BENEDICT XVI, Jesus of Nazareth. Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, San Francisco, 2011, p. 190.

[4] Cf. Jn 12:32.

[5] H.U VON BALTHASAR, You Crown the World with Goodness.

[6] Ps 18/19:7.

[7] Confessions, 2, 1, 1.

[8] BENEDICT XVI, op. cit., pp. 192ff.


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