Daily Gospel Reflection

June 7, 2024

June 7, 2024


Take a New Angle

4 min


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Gospel

Jn 19: 31-37


Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of him shall be broken.” And again another scripture says, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.”

Readings are from Dynamic Catholic’s New Testament Bible: RSV Catholic Edition

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Transcript


Take a New Angle

I'm Matthew Kelly and welcome back to Radical and Relevant, where we are exploring the genius of Catholicism, the genius of Jesus, the genius of the gospels, and just how radical and relevant they are to our lives today.

Today's Gospel comes from John, chapter 19, verse 31 through 37. Since it was the day of preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath, for that Sabbath was a high day, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken, that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and the other who had been crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once, there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth. And you also may believe for these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Not a bone of Him shall be broken. And again, another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they have pierced."

What strikes you in today's reading? A couple of things strike me. One, it's the Sabbath. And even though they've witnessed everything they've witnessed, they're still very much tied into, okay, this rule of the Sabbath. We've got to get Jesus' body down off the cross before sundown. The second thing that strikes me is they don't outright say it, but you get the impression the other two criminals were still alive. They broke their legs because they were still alive. And the reason they broke their legs was because once they broke their legs, they couldn't raise themselves up to breathe anymore. The act of crucifixion, they'd be hanging down, but they would raise themselves up to breathe. And without the ability to leverage and push off their legs, they weren't able to do that.

And so these two criminals were seemingly still alive. And you wonder what were they thinking? What are they thinking there in the last moments of their lives? They've just witnessed this. And they've just witnessed everything to do with the last moments of Jesus' life. What were they thinking? And so, the lesson I take away from today is to be always looking for a new perspective to look at the reading. We hear these readings many times throughout the course of our lives, but there's an infinite number of ways to look at them. There's an infinite number of ways to experience them. And today, to experience them through the other men being crucified, the criminal on either side of Jesus.

Have a great day. Remember, don't just be yourself. Be the very best version of yourself today. With every choice, choose the very best version of yourself.

June 7, 2024

June 7, 2024