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Jesus in the Mysteries of the Rosary

  1. Sorrowful Mysteries
    1. Death on the Cross
      1. Death of Jesus

4th) "And Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'" (Lk 23:24). Fortunately for us, the atmosphere that prevailed on the Cross was much better than the one experienced below, for "the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him" (Mt 27:41). Our sickly penchant for mocking God and his Church is astonishing.

The crucified Christ (without getting angry, without complaining, without threatening) is the "unbreakable hope". It is not a play on words: man's hope in God is based on God's hope in man (God does not tire of us!). Despite the continuous insults, despises, and provocations, Jesus persevered on the Cross, praying for us for several hours (between 3 and 5) (Read more: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do").


5th) "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Lk 23:42). Here appears the "other" great privileged person of the Way of the Cross: Dismas. The first great "privileged" person - Simon of Cyrene - probably had the honor of carrying Jesus and his Cross. We have assumed that Simon listened - at least at times - to what Jesus said to his Father during that uphill climb...

In the case of Dismas, it is not an assumption: he saw the contrast between the insults/provocations of the "environment" and the suppliant goodness of Jesus Christ. Dismas also fell in love with Jesus and converted. That is to say, Dismas recognized Christ's innocence, confessed his own guilt, and asked Jesus for help (a way of asking for forgiveness).

The result could not have been better: "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (Lk 23:43). Dismas was canonized before he died, and canonized by Christ (only He can canonize someone before they die). This is Jesus; this is God! Good hope for all of us! (Read more: The kingship of Jesus at the moment of his Crucifixion).

Perhaps Dismas' faith was not perfect at the beginning: we do not know to what extent the "good thief" grasped the Divinity of Christ. He asked to enter a "Kingdom" (that of Jesus) and received (that same evening) entrance to a "Paradise" (that of the Holy Trinity)... In any case, Dismas saw the death of Christ and everything that accompanied it: nature itself trembled (was "resonating") at the Death of its Lord (cf., for example, Mt 27:51-53). If Dismas had not grasped it before, at that moment he must have completed his faith in the Divinity of Jesus.


6th) " And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?' which is translated, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" (Mk 15:34). Here we have the greatest mystery: Jesus feels the distance from God; Jesus Christ has become the "God far from God" (we have already discussed this in point 5th, "The Agony in the Garden").

Truly, "for our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin" (2 Cor 5:21), and that entails serious inconveniences: the worst of them is falling "far from God", that is, "being lost in death without finding God, sunk in the abyss of sadness, poverty and darkness, in the pit, without being able to get out of there by our own strength" (H.U. von Balthasar). Even to that "place" Jesus Christ has gone to extend his hand to us, crossing not only the doors of the "first death" (natural death), but even those of the "second death" (moral/spiritual death, far from God, where the light and warmth of the sun's rays are no longer perceived).


7th) "Woman, here is your son" (Jn 19:26). Jesus endured great suffering, not only to atone for our sins (which he could have done with much less), but above all in view of the fruits that would derive from such offering. Now one of those fruits appears: divine filiation. If we are children of Mary, we are brothers of Jesus and, therefore, children of God. This will be confirmed in the Resurrection (Read more: Our Lady of Sorrows).

Things were like this because God wanted it to be so. The relatives of the condemned were not allowed to approach the cross in any way. But God's salvific will is irresistible and, at some point, the Mother (accompanied, at least, by John) was allowed to approach the Crucified One. There Christ - with the little voice he had left - seized the opportunity. Mary, already prepared for that moment, accepted (without more, without asking "why" or anything like that). "Then he said to the disciple, 'Here is your mother'" (Jn 19:27). Our Mother, Jesus!


8th) " Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" (Lk 23:46). Jesus is the "Way" (Jn 14:6). The Son of God, on the Calvary, did three things that any of us can always do, in any situation, no matter how difficult the circumstances may be: 1. Fulfill the duty of the moment (for Him it was to let Himself be nailed to the cross; for me: what am I being asked to do now?); 2. Pray (and forgive); 3. Leave things in the hands of the Father. We can always do all of this. This is our way! (Read more: "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM").


9th) "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" (Jn 19:33-34). Just a few minutes ago, Mary had accepted to be our Mother. It's regrettable to acknowledge that the first "gift" that we offered to men was to burst open the Heart of her Son. It hurt her much more than Him (who had already given up His spirit). Nevertheless, she did not get angry with us... Mary is very much like Jesus! (Read more: "You yourself a sword will pierce").

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