Cleaved

One soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may [come to] believe. [Jn 19:34-35] [1]

You really died.  If people thought You were faking it and were just comatose there on the cross to be revived later by Your disciples, this thrust should settle the argument.  For blood and water to flow out, presumably the heart must have been pierced.  And You, Yourself, confirmed You had been pierced when, the Sunday after Easter, You appeared again to Your disciples and called Thomas to You and said:  Bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe. [Jn 20:27]  Little did that soldier know that his thrust would underpin the very faith of Your faithful down through the ages. We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. [Rom 8:28]

Cleave 1: “to sever or split” You cut Yourself off.  Mark and Matthew say You gave a loud cry and then breathed You last. [Mk 15:37; Mt 27:50] Cut off from Your Mother, Your Apostles, Your followers, even Your enemies.

Cleave 2:to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly” Luke puts the 31st Psalm in Your mouth: “Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, LORD, God of truth.” [Ps 31:6, Lk 23:46] commending Your Spirit to the hands of Your Father in faith and trust the Your Father, the Lord, the God of Truth, will redeem You who were born and came into the world “to testify to the truth.” [Jn 18:37]

Both: John has You seem to consume the 4th cup of the Passover: When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.[Jn 19:30]  For John, You are a conquering hero, orchestrating Your life to the end.  Scott Hahn points out “There’s no mistaking the fact that St. John, the beloved disciple, understood our Lord’s sacrifice as the culmination, the fulfillment of the Old Testament Passover. Here is the true priest, as well as the true victim.”  Here You offer all that He has to the Father.

It is amazing to me how all these pieces fit together: our Father, the God of Truth, You, the testifier to the Truth, and the Holy Spirit whose Psalm not only foretells this relationship, but testifies to its outcome, redemption…not only for You, but for all of us in, with and through You.

Woman, behold your Son.” [Jn 19:26] Finally, moments before You had said this to Mary of John.  Now it echoes in her mind as she beholds You, laid gently in her arms, her baby boy once more.  You had wiped his sweaty, dirty, brow before in Nazareth when he had finished a day’s labor.  But now that brow was lifeless, pierced, bloody from the thorns.  There is no sorrow like Your sorrow. He has joined “the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under….” and you, Rachael: “Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet: “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.” [Mt 2: 16-18]

You beckon me to listen: “Son, behold your Mother.”[Jn 19:27]

  • A part of Mary died with me, yes, but she will rise and become the Mother of the Church. 
  • But look to my people: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling! [Mt 23:37]  The Gospels mention two times I wept, once at Lazarus’ tomb and once for this city: As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.…They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation. [Lk 19: 41-42,44]…

It has begun: And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”[Mt 27:51-54]

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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