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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Freedom and Power


All around the world, and throughout the span of human history, governments have always grown into oppressive bureaucracies, transforming first into oligarchies until they finally become aristocracies, meandering one way or another through meritocracy, autocracy and plutocracy along the way.

This is the natural entrenchment of political power, a pattern so prevalent it feel like it is encoded in our collective DNA.

Governments adopt standards and conventions, they pass laws that pretend to organize civic power in ways that appear to be impersonal, indifferent and without expressed favoritism for parties, or persons. All the while allowing real power to moves in hidden channels, to flow between select individuals and secret societies that are only concerned with the progress of their agenda, the accumulation and concentration of wealth and power, access to markets, the distribution of food and clean water.

Power builds in this way until such a time comes that the powerful feel secure enough in their position to wield their power nakedly, without concern for the repercussions they might face from the people.

Fear and suspicion, violence and alienation are the tools by which these governments oppress, suppress, depress and repress the masses.

A healthy society cannot be maintained in systems such as these, a healthy society cannot be maintained in systems that are hostile and antagonistic to the common people.

Nevertheless, sick and unhealthy societies can endure for generations, centuries, even millennia, becoming so normalized that the masses will even worship the unjust structures of power with religious zeal, casting alternate ideologies and efforts to liberate them as poisonous and destructive.

A government of the people by the people and for the people, cannot live up to its aspirations if the courts continue to treat corporations like people, when it comes to such matters as the right to free speech, but will not hold corporations and their boards of governance accountable for the crimes that the same corporations commit.

Our government purports to be a government of the people, committed to the proposition that everyone is created equal, endowed with rights that are inalienable, the foremost among them being; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our government cannot live up to these aspirations if the courts continue to treat the dollars given (in the form of campaign donations) to politicians and political parties, as constitutionally protected, and on the same level as the individual right to free speech.

Our government cannot live up to those aspirations if the courts continue to hold that the individual’s freedom of speech does not guarantee the right of the speaker to be heard, or that the right to vote does not guarantee that your vote will be counted.

Our government cannot live up to those aspirations so long as we continue to uphold un-democratic norms.

In order to live up to those aspirations we require a truly representative democracy, and the full enfranchisement of all citizens.

We are not free if our votes are disproportionately weighted, and if our representation in congress is not equally apportioned according to the population of those states.

We require a commitment from the people and its government that any person within the aegis of our power be protected by the rule of law whether they are a citizen or not, whether they are within our national boundaries or not.

Wherever our power is present, a commitment to our rule of law, our best ideals must be extended also.

The people, if they are to be free, must not merely be allowed to, but must be empowered to challenge the legal and economic structures that are operative in the social order.  

The citizenry will not be free unless it is educated well enough so that the average person understands the language and structure of the law, the forms and codes of its legal and political organizations.

This cannot be the province of specialists alone, it must be accessible by every citizen.

The citizenry will not be free unless it is free to associate, to form collectives, and to have they contribution they make to the fabric of society, to manufacturing and industry recognized and protected by the law.

Owners and workers must be equally represented before the bar of justice in regard to the rights they possess concerning the product of their labor.

Everyone who benefits from the public trust must contribute to it. Those who benefit from our roads and bridges, our ports and shipping centers, our educated workforce and the protection of our courts must pay for it.

We all benefit from it, those who benefit most, must pay the most, progressively.

If our society truly aspires to greatness the people must eliminate the secret, hallowed channels of power, and take their destiny into their own hands.

The people must be educated, empowered with access to information, and with the critical analytical skills to employ it to their advantage.

Equality and justice, our ability to apprehend truth itself depend on it.


Emergence 3.0 - Section Two, The Continuum; Part Twelve, The Empire; Chapter Six, The Million Worlds


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 090, Saturday
March 31st, 2018

Chapter Six: The Million Worlds

The children of the ancient race, the first people, they evolved into many different life forms, with varying cultures, and alternate ways of being.

The Empire collected them all, gathered them into a cohesive body, bound them to one another through ritual, by dogma, with doctrine, and the promise of eternal life.

The Empire was the threshold of the Continuum, it was the gatekeeper.

In truth there was little hope that any of the citizens of the Imperium would ever make it into the Collective.

The only candidate was the High Priest of the Imperial Cult. More often than not this post was actually occupied by a member of the Observer Corps.

The Imperial religion ranked each world, and promoted the belief that a person had to be reincarnated through billions of lifetimes until they were born on the world that was at the heart of the Empire. Progress through reincarnation was slow, eternally slow, and even when the soul of a citizen arrived was finally incarnated in the heart of the Empire, they still had to progress over thousands and perhaps millions of lifetimes in order to rise through the classes and the multiple stages of the chain of being.

Even when a person made it into the priestly class they had to rise through the stations over the course of hundreds of life times, until finally their soul was ready to ascend to the highest place, and upon their death be ready for translation into the Continuum.

This was the wheel of life. This was the Dogma of the Imperial Cult

Merging with the Continuum was the ultimate aspiration. It was all a lie, but it was also a very effective means of control, and it worked to keep the population of every planet in line.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Two, The Continuum; Part Twelve, The Empire; Chapter Five, The Missions


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 089, Friday
March 30th, 2018

Chapter Five: The Missions

Star system by star system, planet by planet, the Imperial missionaries recovered the lost peoples, and brought them all together.

The integrative process took hundreds to thousands of years, it was the great occupation of the Empire over the course of eons. The Empire came to refer to as the Missionary Epoch. They conceived of the work as a harvest, a harvest of people and cultures, of languages and art.

The Empire took its final form after those remnants of the ancient race, the race of beings that had given birth to all of them, were brought into the fold.

They formed a unified and coherent society, even though each planetary groupings had changed in significant ways. They had different languages, different cultures, different modes of work and living, of leisure and art. They had different forms of conflict, and different forms of conflict resolution. They were genetically different, but alike enough to be recognizable as kin.

The Imperial Missionaries offered them peace, and prosperity with inclusion in the Empire, it offered them an understanding of their past, redacted and altered to fit the imperial narrative, and it offered them eternal life in the Continuum.

It was a great time for the Observers, they were constantly bringing new information back to the Collective. It was an era of high drama, and conflict, and conversion.

Jim was in the vanguard of every discovery. He was the lead explorer, hunting down the most miniscule clues, tracing contrails of particles through the deepest-darkest places in the void between stars, unearthing long buried archives from long dead worlds to point him along the paths those ancient colonists had taken.

The missionary work gave the Empire purpose, and it began to decay when at last the work was finally over.

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Two, The Continuum; Part Twelve, The Empire; Chapter Four, The Magisterium


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 088, Thursday
March 29th, 2018

Chapter Four: The Magisterium

A priesthood emerged from the civilizations founded by the Ancients. It was the primary social structure in the advancement of the galactic Empire. It was the pinnacle of the social order. The emperor was the titular ruler, but he was governed by the priests.

As with all things, civil and social power concentrated closest to the center. Those worlds in greatest proximity to the HomeWorld of the Collective, to the Central Planet, they became the drivers of Imperial activity.

The core worlds of the Empire were also the oldest, they had been pulled together and unified at a point nearer in time, to the formation of the Collective and the birth of the Continuum.

As the Imperial structure cohered, the command and control function began to be governed by a hidden agenda of the Continuum, as guided by the Observer Corps.

Even though the Observers were sworn to a path of non-intervention, the Continuum could not resist using this vehicle as a means of controlling the Children of the ancients, drawing their resources to itself, and uncovering any threats to it that might be lurking in their science and technology.

The Continuum created the doctrine and dogma, all of the binding rituals that structured the spiritual devotions of the Empire. The Observers implemented it, and built up the ideology of faith and belief, of education and service that consolidated its power among the people.

Every living being was motivated by two principle psychic forces, the power of fear, and the power of hope. Pain, hunger, pleasure, satiation, those feelings only had significance insofar as the related to the basic divisions in the psyche, fear and hope.

The Continuum wielded this knowledge with brute force, and incredible precision in everything that it did through the agency of the Observers, and the vast complex of the Empire.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Two, The Continuum; Part Twelve, The Empire; Chapter Three, The Homecoming


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 087, Wednesday
March 28th, 2018

Chapter Three: The Homecoming

After millennia upon millennia all of the lost colonies were found, both the living, and the dead. Every last trace of their sojourn was tracked down, every record, every file, every artifact was recovered that could be recovered

Through the auspices of the Imperial schools, dead civilizations were recreated, so that their stories could be absorbed by the Collective.

Of the living, very few remembered anything of their origins, or the long dead, long cold star system from which their progenitors hailed.

Everything was shrouded in myth, and legend.  

The Empire found it relatively easy to bring these lost colonies into the Imperial fold. There was always some resistance, and resistance was always crushed; mercilessly, systematically. The Collective was fascinated by the drama that ensued. Their attention would be riveted on the process of integration.

It was easy to coax the returning people into the Imperial cult, into worshipping the Continuum, into believing in its promises of prosperity and eternal life. It was relatively simple to recast them, and forge them anew as members of the Empire.

Integration might take centuries. It was a long process. Generations would be born and die while the Imperial infrastructure was extended to those remote locations.

The process was welcomed by most of the citizens. Inclusion in the Empire was accompanied by a certain loss of heritage and identity, of freedom, but the technological gains were so great that the majority of the people accepted it without question.

They wanted it, they wanted the things that the Empire promised.

They wanted to believe in the hope for Eternal life. 

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Denial


There is nothing more troubling than rejection
No matter how fleeting or fragmentary the desire might have been

To be denied is to stare into a mirror where there is no reflection

No light casting image
No object of adoration

No subject of recognition
No resonance of love

Emergence 3.0 - Section Two, The Continuum; Part Twelve, The Empire; Chapter Two, The Search


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 086, Tuesday
March 27th, 2018

Chapter Two: The Search

In time, a curiosity arose within the Collective, that curiosity became too much for the Continuum to ignore. The Continuum also wanted to discover the end of every trail that had been blazed by the children of the Ancients.

A search began.

The Collective desired to discover what had happened to those ancient explorers, the adventurers who gave everything to the quest for knowledge, the colonists of asteroids and comets. They were the children of their own ancestors.

Space travel, changed people. It altered their DNA. They mutated as a means of compensating for their new environment. Colonizing planets did the same thing. It was the nature of life to adapt to new conditions; breathable gasses, heat, gravity, protein structures, conditions of light, and many other extrinsic factors played their part in altering the life form.

Many mutations occurred naturally, many other were developed intentionally, as long as the explorers retained their scientific skill, means and ability, they would use technology to augment the natural processes, allowing them to adapt that much more quickly.

Physical mutations had a great deal of effect on cognition, and every other mental faculty. These things were of the utmost importance to the Continuum.  

The Continuum launched probes into space to follow their trail, and find the records of their passing.

The probes were sensitive enough that it could follow a stream of particles in the void between stars, that was millions of years old. A trail that had gone cold could be reconstructed through the extrapolation of data, and statistical analysis.

The search uncovered the living remnants of thousands of colonies. The Empire mobilized to bring them into the fold. Many thousands of more were found cold and dead. Colonies spawned by colonies. These searches called for an in-person examination of the ruins of those civilizations.

Jim positioned himself as the Observer assigned to these missions.

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Two, The Continuum; Part Twelve, The Empire; Chapter One, The Lost


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 085, Monday
March 26th, 2018

Chapter One: The Lost

Ages before the technological advent of collective consciousness, before the invention of the Continuum, the first people were adventurers.

The first people came into being in the oceans of a hot planet, one long since forgotten, now cold and dead, Their planet of origin had orbited a massive red star, near to the center of a the galaxy that was now just a pulsing darkened ember

The first people emerged from water, crawled from the primordial ooze, stood on two feet, and learned to fly.

They escaped the gravity of their birth world. 

They explored their solar system, colonizing every planet, exo-planet and satellite.

They sent their genetic material to every planet they discovered in the habitable zones of every star they could see. They set their sights on those faraway places, determining to make homes of them, determining that there would be life on those worlds when their children’s, children’s, children arrived.  

They launched themselves into the galaxy on ships and planetoids, crossing the dark and empty chasms between the stars, never to return.

They were spacefarers. They were adventurers without limits to their hope and imagination. They undertook journeys that would take generations to complete.

Most of the missions failed, they understood the likelihood that they were facing doom, even as they launched.

This prospect did not daunt them.

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Homily – Mark 14:1 – 15:47 ©


The Gospel According to Mark – 2018.03.25


The Disappeared

Be mindful, read the words of Mark’s Gospel carefully.

They were written decades after Jesus was murdered. They were written in the years after the Romans came and laid waste to Jerusalem, destroying the temple, never to be rebuilt.

These words were written after Saint Paul wrote his letters, giving us the theology of Jesus the Christ.

They were written after all of the disciples were killed or dies.

They were not written by anyone who was an eye witness to the events they purport to relate.

They are a first summary of a growing, changing, evolving oral history.

Be mindful of this, the gospel is part narrative history and part apology, it is a fledgling mythology, and it needs to be read as such.
It tells us that Jesus was a man of the people. He had no fear of contact with the unclean, or the outcast, whether a leper or an unmarried woman, who in the view of the prevailing social norms were to be counted as on equal footing.

Note well, the woman who comes to anoint Jesus, is rebuked by the men in his company. Jesus in turn corrects them. The men who are his closest followers are still ignorant of what is about to transpire, but the women who follow him anonymously, they are fully aware, and they are prepared.

Jesus was in fact betrayed by one of his closest followers, a man in his company.

Jesus knew he would be arrested, but he went to the city anyway, he sent two of his disciples to prepare the way.

There was no subterfuge in Jesus, he made no efforts to hide his coming. He went even while knowing that one of his followers would betray him. He announced this to the rest of them.

They ate together, and the commemoration of this meal, became the basis for the Eucharist, the celebration of the presence of Jesus in the bread and the wine of the sacred meal.

Note well, Jesus is not present in the food that we eat, it is not his blood and his flesh that we consume. We commemorate Jesus when we share with one another, when we choose to be seated and dine with, even those we know will betray us, as Jesus did in the sharing of that last meal.

It is not the food that is holy, or the magic words and gesture that make them so, it is the gift of food and sustenance, and the time we sit at table together that transform them.

Again Jesus describes for the disciples everything that is about to happen, but they are ignorant and confused, and as close as they are to him they still do not understand.

Even after the meal is shared, the chief among the disciples boasts of his faithfulness.

Jesus calls out his ignorance and names him a liar, which he proved to be, and Jesus forgives him for it.

All of the men who followed Jesus, every one of the twelve disciples boasted of their faithful. One of them would actually sell him into bondage, and all of the rest would abandon him in the night.

Jesus did not resist when they came to apprehend him, though his men were prepared to fight.

He did not want a slaughter to ensue, when all he had to do was give up his own life.

In this he fulfilled the words that he had preached, no greater love does a man have than that he give up his life for his fellow men.

By giving up his own life he allowed the ministry that he had started to continue without him.

Jesus stayed true to this even while his followers abandoned him, all but the women who had attended him, they watched him and gave witness to his arrest and torture, to his crucifixion and death. They were faithful to their Rabbi until the end.


The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark

Key: N. Narrator. Jesus. O. Other single speaker. C. Crowd, or more than one speaker.

N. It was two days before the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by some trick and have him put to death. For they said,

C. It must not be during the festivities, or there will be a disturbance among the people.

N. Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper; he was at dinner when a woman came in with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the ointment on his head. Some who were there said to one another indignantly,

C. Why this waste of ointment? Ointment like this could have been sold for over three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor.

N. and they were angry with her. But Jesus said,

  Leave her alone. Why are you upsetting her? What she has done for me is one of the good works. You have the poor with you always, and you can be kind to them whenever you wish, but you will not always have me. She has done what was in her power to do: she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. I tell you solemnly, wherever throughout all the world the Good News is proclaimed, what she has done will be told also, in remembrance of her.

N. Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, approached the chief priests with an offer to hand Jesus over to them. They were delighted to hear it, and promised to give him money; and he looked for a way of betraying him when the opportunity should occur.
  On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to him,

C. Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?
  N. So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,

Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, ‘The Master says: “Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?”’ He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.

N. The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.
  When evening came he arrived with the Twelve. And while they were at table eating, Jesus said,
I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me, one of you eating with me.

N. They were distressed and asked him, one after another,

C. Not I, surely?

N. He said to them,

It is one of the Twelve, one who is dipping into the same dish with me. Yes, the Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!

N. And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them, saying:

Take it: this is my body.

N. Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them,

This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.

N. After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them,

You will all lose faith, for the scripture says: ‘I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’ However, after my resurrection I shall go before you to Galilee.

N. Peter said,

O. Even if all lose faith, I will not.

N. And Jesus said to him,

I tell you solemnly, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times.

N. But he repeated still more earnestly,

O. If I have to die with you, I will never disown you.

N. And they all said the same.
  They came to a small estate called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples,

Stay here while I pray.

N. Then he took Peter and James and John with him. And a sudden fear came over him, and great distress. And he said to them,

My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here, and keep awake.

N. And going on a little further he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, this hour might pass him by. He said:

Abba (Father)! Everything is possible for you. Take this cup away from me. But let it be as you, not I, would have it.

N. He came back and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter,

Simon, are you asleep? Had you not the strength to keep awake one hour? You should be awake, and praying not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

N. Again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came back and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy; and they could find no answer for him. He came back a third time and said to them,

You can sleep on now and take your rest. It is all over. The hour has come. Now the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let us go! My betrayer is close at hand already.

N. Even while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came up with a number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the traitor had arranged a signal with them. He had said, ‘The one I kiss he is the man. Take him in charge, and see he is well guarded when you lead him away.’ So when the traitor came, he went straight up to Jesus and said,

O. Rabbi!

N. and kissed him. The others seized him and took him in charge. Then one of the bystanders drew his sword and struck out at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear.
  Then Jesus spoke:

Am I a brigand, that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I was among you teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid hands on me. But this is to fulfil the scriptures.

N. And they all deserted him and ran away. A young man who followed him had nothing on but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the cloth in their hands and ran away naked.
  They led Jesus off to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes assembled there. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the high priest’s palace, and was sitting with the attendants warming himself at the fire.
  The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus on which they might pass the death sentence. But they could not find any. Several, indeed, brought false evidence against him, but their evidence was conflicting. Some stood up and submitted this false evidence against him,

C. We heard him say, ‘I am going to destroy this Temple made by human hands, and in three days build another, not made by human hands.’

N. But even on this point their evidence was conflicting. The high priest then stood up before the whole assembly and put this question to Jesus,

O. Have you no answer to that? What is this evidence these men are bringing against you?

N. But he was silent and made no answer at all. The high priest put a second question to him,

O. Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?

N. Jesus said,

I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.

N. The high priest tore his robes, and said:

O. What need of witnesses have we now? You heard the blasphemy. What is your finding?

N. And they all gave their verdict: he deserved to die.
  Some of them started spitting at him and, blindfolding him, began hitting him with their fists and shouting,

C. Play the prophet!

N. And the attendants rained blows on him.
  While Peter was down below in the courtyard, one of the high priest’s servant-girls came up. She saw Peter warming himself there, stared at him and said,

O. You too were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.

N. But he denied it, saying.

O. I do not know, I do not understand, what you are talking about.

N. And he went out into the forecourt. The servant-girl saw him and again started telling the bystanders,

O. This fellow is one of them.

N. But again he denied it. A little later the bystanders themselves said to Peter,

C. You are one of them for sure! Why, you are a Galilean.

N. But he started calling down curses on himself and swearing,

O. I do not know the man you speak of.

N. At that moment the cock crew for the second time, and Peter recalled how Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times.’ And he burst into tears.
  First thing in the morning, the chief priests together with the elders and scribes, in short the whole Sanhedrin, had their plan ready. They had Jesus bound and took him away and handed him over to Pilate.
  Pilate questioned him:

O. Are you the king of the Jews?

N. He answered,

It is you who say it.

N. And the chief priests brought many accusations against him. Pilate questioned him again:

O. Have you no reply at all? See how many accusations they are bringing against you!

N. But, to Pilate’s amazement, Jesus made no further reply.
  At festival time Pilate used to release a prisoner for them, anyone they asked for. Now a man called Barabbas was then in prison with the rioters who had committed murder during the uprising. When the crowd went up and began to ask Pilate the customary favour, Pilate answered them

O. Do you want me to release for you the king of the Jews?

N. For he realised it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over. The chief priests, however, had incited the crowd to demand that he should release Barabbas for them instead. Then Pilate spoke again:

O. But in that case, what am I to do with the man you call king of the Jews?

N. They shouted back,

C. Crucify him!

N. Pilate asked them,

O. Why? What harm has he done?

N. But they shouted all the louder,

C. Crucify him!

N. So Pilate, anxious to placate the crowd, released Barabbas for them and, having ordered Jesus to be scourged, handed him over to be crucified.
  The soldiers led him away to the inner part of the palace, that is, the Praetorium, and called the whole cohort together. They dressed him up in purple, twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on him. And they began saluting him,

C. Hail, king of the Jews!

N. They struck his head with a reed and spat on him; and they went down on their knees to do him homage. And when they had finished making fun of him, they took off the purple and dressed him in his own clothes.
  They enlisted a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means the place of the skull.
  They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he refused it. Then they crucified him, and shared out his clothing, casting lots to decide what each should get. It was the third hour when they crucified him. The inscription giving the charge against him read: ‘The King of the Jews.’ And they crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.
  The passers-by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said,

C. Aha! So you would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days! Then save yourself: come down from the cross!

N. The chief priests and the scribes mocked him among themselves in the same way. They said,

C. He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, for us to see it and believe.

N. Even those who were crucified with him taunted him.
  When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice,

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

N. which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood by heard this, they said

C. Listen, he is calling on Elijah.

N. Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink, saying:

O. Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him down.

N. But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.
  All kneel and pause for a moment.
  And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said,

O. In truth this man was a son of God.

N. There were some women watching from a distance. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary who was the mother of James the younger and Joset, and Salome. These used to follow him and look after him when he was in Galilee. And there were many other women there who had come up to Jerusalem with him.
  It was now evening, and since it was Preparation Day (that is, the vigil of the sabbath), there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent member of the Council, who himself lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God, and he boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate, astonished that he should have died so soon, summoned the centurion and enquired if he was already dead. Having been assured of this by the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph who bought a shroud, took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the shroud and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joset were watching and took note of where he was laid.


Palm Sunday – Holy Week