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Today’s Reading: Luke 23:26-43
26 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyre ne, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us’; and to the hills, Cover us.’ 31For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
32 Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Father, forgive them: Jesus shows mercy to his executioners (1 Pet 2:23), realizing they are sinning in ignorance (Acts 3:17; 1 Cor 2:8). Stephen likewise prayed for his enemies at death (Acts 7:60).
The Passion of Jesus parallels the entire movement of Ps 22, which narrates the rejection and final vindication of the righteous sufferer. The division of garments echoes Ps 22:18, the Crucifixion recalls Ps 22:16, and the mockery of the crowds evokes Ps 22:6-7. According to Mt 27:46 and Mk15:34, Jesus recited the opening line of Ps 22 on the Cross.