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Today’s Reading: Mark 15:33-47

33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole landuntil the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Elo-i, Elo-i, lama sabach-thani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus i breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” 40 There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome, 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him; and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

Today’s Commentary:

Elo-i, Elo-i: Jesus quotes the opening line of Ps 22 in Aramaic (CCC 603, 2605).
Psalm 22 forecasts both the Messiah’s suffering and his eventual deliverance. The full context of Ps 22, in light of its hopeful outcome, rules out the possibility that Jesus succumbed to despair (Lk 23:46).

the curtain: Two veils hung in the Jerusalem Temple to symbolize God’s inaccessibility to sinners (Heb 9:8). One was visible, as it separated the outer courts from the sanctuary proper, and the other was invisible to all but the priests, as it hung inside the sanctuary in front of its most sacred chamber, the Holy of Holies (Ex 26:31-34; Heb 9:3, 7). Although the evangelist does not specify which of the two veils was torn, the lesson to be learned is clear: access to the Father is now open through Jesus, who as high priest has entered on our behalf (Eph 2:18; Heb 10:19-22). Moreover, as the curtain ripped from top to bottom, the barrier between the face of God and his people was removed, and the termination of the Old Covenant was prophetically announced. was torn: Mark uses the same Greek expression at 1:10 to describe God “tearing” theheavens at the Baptism of Jesus. If a connection is being made between these two events, as seems likely, it may have been the outer veil draped in front the sanctuary that was rent in two, since history testifies that it was embroidered with images of the heavens and the cosmos (Josephus, Jewish War 5, 212- 14)

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