John 19:1-30 Christ endured abuse at the hands of Roman soldiers who mocked him by dressing him as a king after having scourged him. Pilate still sought to release him, but the Jewish authorities prevailed upon him, and he capitulated by handing down a sentence of death by crucifixion. Christ died an excruciating Death on the Cross. Noticeable is the non-sensationalist description of the Passion in John, omitting many details of Christ’s suffering. The blame for Christ’s Crucifixion lies not only on Pilate, the Romans, the Jews, or even the chief priests and other religious leaders of the Jews; rather, it is on the sinners in every age whom Christ came to redeem. Christians have a great share of culpability because we profess to know Christ and yet continue to sin against God. (CCC 598, 2605)
Ch 19:9 Where are you from?: The sense of this question is, “Who are you?”
Jesus gave no answer: Christ often did not attempt to explain himself to those who were not open to hearing the truth. His silence here fulfilled another prophecy from the Suffering Servant passages of Isaiah:
“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
Yet he opened not his mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
And like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
So he opened not his mouth” (Is 53:7)
Ch 19:14 It was the day of Preparation...sixth hour: Before Passover, Jewish households would sacrifice a lamb to be consumed at the Passover meal. The “sixth hour” is noon. John was identifying Christ with the Sacrificial lamb of the Passover. This detail of time seems to indicate that Christ and his Apostles celebrated the Passover at the Last Supper two days earlier than indicated on the common calendar. Some theorize that he celebrated the Passover following the calendar used by a Jewish sect called the Essenes. (CCC 613-614, 1339)
Ch 19:15 We have no king but Caesar: This is an alarming statement by the chief priests, who appeared to recognize for the first time the legitimacy of the Roman emperor’s rule, even ignoring the kingship of God.
Ch 19:17 Bearing his own cross: John’s is the only gospel not to mention Simon of Cyrene, who was pressed into duty to help carry the Cross of Christ. The Cross may have consisted only of the crossbeam section, which would be nailed to a large wooden vertical beam at the crucifixion site.
Ch 19:19-22 The fact that the inscription was written in Greek and Latin, the two major languages of the known world of that time, as well as Hebrew, is a sign that the kingship of Christ is to be proclaimed to all of humanity as represented by the Greeks, Romans, and Jews. His spiritual kingship is especially revealed from the throne of the Cross when he redeemed the world.
What I have written, I have written: The “title” was a board that specified the crime for which the condemned man was being executed. The prisoner would wear it around his neck as he carried his cross and then it would be nailed above his head once he was hung on the cross. Pilate had handed down the sentence based on the accusation that Christ was the King of the Jews and would not change the official sentence at that time. (CCC 440)
Ch 19:25-27 Woman: Just as at the Wedding Feast at Cana, Christ referred to his Mother as “woman.” It is reminiscent of Eve, the “woman” of the Garden of Eden. Mary’s obedience to God reversed the sin committed by Eve, which is why the Church regards Mary as the NEW EVE.
Behold, your mother: In entrusting the care of his Mother to the beloved disciple and entrusting the disciple to his Mother, Christ established Mary as the Mother of the Church and, therefore, the spiritual Mother of every Christian believer; the disciple “whom Jesus loved” is often said to represent the ENTIRE BODY OF THE CHURCH. In the Hail Mary, we ask our Blessed Mother, “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death,” beseeching her to remain with us in the last moments of our lives just as she remained at the foot of the Cross of Christ. (CCC 495, 501, 726, 963-964, 2677-2679)
Ch 19:28 I thirst: Christ experienced human thirst, but his comment here has another meaning: he thirsted to do his Father’s will, to “drink the chalice which the Father has given me” (Jn 18:11). It also expresses his thirst for the salvation of souls, as he had expressed to the Samaritan woman (cf. Jn 4:7). (CCC 544, 607, 2561)
Ch 19:29 Hyssop, a plant used for liturgical sprinkling, was used in the original Passover to put the blood of the sacrificial lamb on the doorposts and mantels of the Jewish homes.
Ch 19:30 It is finished: Having completed the “cup” he was to drink and fulfilling the Father’s plans, Christ died on the Cross. (CCC 607, 624, 730)
Ch 19:31-42 Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, both members of the Sanhedrin who were loyal friends of Christ, came forward to ask for the Body of Christ so he might have a proper burial. Their boldness, a true example of the virtue of fortitude, contrasts with the secrecy with which they had embraced the teachings of Christ for fear of reprimand from Jewish authorities. (CCC 641)
Ch 19:33 Soldiers would sometimes break the legs of the crucified to hasten death. (POP QUIZ!! What is the cause of death in a crucifixion? Give your answer in the Comment Section of the Facebook Group Post 😁)
Ch 19:34 At once there came out blood and water: The Blood and water represent Baptism and the Eucharist, which are the Sacraments of new life. Just as Eve was formed from the side of Adam, the Church is formed from the side of Christ. The water also represents the Holy Spirit poured out upon the world by Christ, the “living water” he mentioned to the Samaritan woman by the well (cf. Jn 4:10). (CCC 478, 694, 766, 1225, 2669)
Ch 19:36 The Mosaic Law required that the sacrificial lamb be spotless and have no broken bones (cf. Ex 12:5; Nm 9:11-12), which is a sign that Christ is the sacrificial Lamb of the New Passover, to be consumed as the Eucharist in the liturgy of the Church he has founded. (CCC 608)
Ch 19:37 The Passion, Crucifixion, and Death of Christ, offered for our redemption, are proof of God’s ineffable love for us and of the enormity of our sins that offend God and separate us from him. It is by looking upon Christ crucified, who has been pierced because of our sins, that we can be moved to conversion. (CCC 1432)
Ch 19:42 The burial of Christ had to be done quickly since it was almost time to begin the Sabbath and cease all work. They laid him in the tomb, intending to return after the Sabbath to perform the ritual anointing and perfuming of the body. (CCC 624, 641, 1166)
Ch 20:1-31 By appearing to his disciples, Christ revealed his glorified Body-recognizably his own human Body but one with entirely new abilities that transcended time, space, and material limitations. (CCC 640-645, 659)
Ch 20:1 First day of the week: Sunday is the day of Christ’s Resurrection. Because of that, the Church recognizes Sunday as the Lord’s Day and established its worship on that day by the celebration of the Eucharist. In the early Church, before Christians made a complete break from Judaism, they would worship in the Temple and synagogues on the Sabbath and then meet to celebrate the Eucharist in private homes on the following day, which was Sunday. As the first day, Sunday also brings to mind the first day of creation and thus signifies a new creation in Christ. (CCC 2174, 2190-2195)
Ch 20:2 The empty tomb is not in itself unimpeachable evidence of the Resurrection, but it is obviously an essential sign of the Resurrection. (CCC 640)
Ch 20:4 The other disciple (John) arrived to the tomb first, but allowed Peter to enter before him. This was in deference to Peter in his role as head of the Apostles, whom we recognize today as the first Pope. (CCC 5552-553)
Ch 20:11-18 Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Christ who was mentioned by John as having been one of the women at the foot of the Cross; Luke describes her as having been a woman possessed by demons whom Christ had healed (Oooooh like in The Chosen 🤓). Her sincere search for Christ after her discovery of the empty tomb was rewarded with an appearance by the risen Christ himself. Disciples of Christ are those who, despite human weaknesses, are healed by him and commit themselves to follow him, becoming witnesses of his merciful love. (CCC 640-641)
Ch 20:14 Due to his glorified state, Mary Magdalene did not immediately recognize Christ until he spoke to her. (CCC 645, 660)
Ch 20:17 Go to my brethren: To complete the Father’s plan, Christ had to give the Apostles their final instructions and ascend into Heaven so that the Holy Spirit could come upon them. Only by returning to the Father could Christ take us to the Father as well. With the Redemption accomplished, it was now possible to share in the life of Christ through sanctifying grace, thereby becoming children of God and heirs to eternal life.
My Father and your father: Christ and his faithful undoubtedly share the same Father. However, Christ is the Son of God by nature, and we are his sons and daughters by adoption, through Baptism and the grace of the Holy Spirit. (CCC 443, 654, 660, 2795)
Ch 20:19-20 Christ had a glorified Body with the arks of his Crucifixion in a glorified form as a sign of resounding victory. The bodies of the just will likewise be glorified at the Final Judgement. (CCC 645, 659, 690, 1042, 1060)
Ch 20:21-23 Immediately following the Resurrection, the ultimate sign of victory over sin and death, Christ instituted the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation by giving the Apostles and their successors the power to FORGIVE SINS IN HIS NAME. Breathing on the Apostles-sometimes referred to as “John’s Pentecost”-was a foreshadowing of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Thus, they received the Holy Spirit from Christ and were empowered to act in his name. For his Apostles, the first ordained priests, the power to forgive sins was a vital part of their role of sanctifying the people. In sending them forth into the world, he charged them with continuing his mission of spiritual healing through the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance. Belief in the forgiveness of sins is an essential statement of the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed, which are prayed in the Church’s liturgy. (CCC 730, 858, 976-980, 1287, 1485-1488)
Ch 20:24-29 Thomas’ stubborn doubt showed how even some of the disciples of Christ had difficulty believing he had risen from the dead.
My Lord and my God!: Thomas’ exclamation was an expression not only of recognition but also of adoration. Through the eyes of faith, Christians are able to recognize the living Christ in the Eucharist (From my own experience, I see Jesus’ face in the Eucharist every time I go to Eucharistic Adoration or at Mass. It’s very humbling). (CCC 448, 643-645, 659, 1381)
Ch 20:20-31 John here explained his intentions in writing the Gospel. As an eyewitness to the life of Christ, he wished to challenge his readers with a compelling narrative that would lead the reader to believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. His Gospel-and by extension the other Gospels-is not a complete history or biography of Christ since there are great many things that are not reported here, as John made abundantly clear. What is recorded is written in order to inspire faith in the reader more than to be a comprehensive factual biography. (CCC 105, 124-126, 442, 514)
Ch 21:1-15 When he appeared to Mary Magdalene in the previous chapter, and here now on the beach, Christ was not recognized immediately. Only after bringing in their miraculous catch did Peter and the Apostles on the fishing boat realize that it was Christ who had called to them from the shore. The episode has long been seen in Church tradition as having a rich symbolic meaning affirming the nature of the Church: the oat represents the Church and the sea is the world; the fish are those who enter the Church; the net represents the unity of the Church insofar as it does not break and thus can hold an unlimited number of members. Peter, who represents the papacy, was the teaching authority of the Church, and he led the Church in her work of confirming her members in the faith and in her efforts to extend the Kingdom of God throughout the world. (CCC 645, 659)
Ch 21:11 The number of fish here is significant. St. Jerome claimed that the Greeks of that time had catalogued 153 different species of fish (cf. Comm. in Ez., 14, 47). Given the symbolism expressed in John 21:1-15, the number would indicate that the Apostles were going to win converts to the Church from people of every nation on earth. (CCC 1276)
Ch 21:12 The invitation to breakfast by the risen Lord reminds us of the celebration of the Eucharist, which is Christ’s invitation to his heavenly banquet, and also of Christ’s affectionate spirit of service in concrete details. In the Mass, the celebrant says, “Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” (CCC 1166)
Ch 21:15-19 Christ called himself the Good Shepherd; now he entrusted the care of his flock to Peter. Peter’s love for Christ, which had just been affirmed three times, would be evidenced by his pastoral care for his flock, the People of God. (CCC 553, 880-887, 2548-1552)
Ch 21:15-17 Just as Peter had denied Christ three times while warming himself at a fire as Christ was being interrogated, (cf. Jn 18:27), around this charcoal fire he affirmed three times that he loved Christ. (CCC 1429)
Ch 21:18-19 You will stretch out...wish to go: Christ predicted that Peter’s apostolic work will encounter serious adversity and end in martyrdom. Tradition states that Peter was martyred by crucifixion around AD 67 in Rome and was crucified upside-down after he protested that he was not worthy to die the same death as Christ. (CCC 618)
Ch 21:20-23 John added this anecdote to dispel a circulating rumor that he was going to survive until Christ returns. The beloved disciple did indeed die, but outlived all the other Apostles, according to St. Irenaeus (cf. Adversus, haereses, 2, 22, 5; 3, 3, 4). According to tradition, John also was the only apostle who did not die a martyr’s death in the strict sense. The Fathers of the Church, however, still consider John a martyr because of the intense persecutions and tortures he received at the hands of the Romans, reportedly including his being thrown into a cauldron of burning oil in which he miraculously survived. (CCC 515, 878-879)
Ch 21:22 Follow me: Christ’s call of the disciples extends to ourselves as well. This call to discipleship involves the ordained, consecrated religious, and the laity according to their corresponding states. (CCC 878)
Ch 21:24-25 John confessed to being the “disciple whom Jesus loved” mentioned throughout his Gospel and again emphasizes it at the end of the previous chapter. John made it abundantly clear that there is much more to tell about the life of Christ than what is recorded in the Gospels (cf. Jn 20:30). (CCC 76, 80-83, 515)
Proverbs 6:20-22 These verses elaborate further on the importance of honor and obedience to parents. Obedience and gracious acceptance of parental guidance are the true measure of the respect owed to fathers and mothers. (CCC 2216)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)