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GOSPEL COMMENTARIES


 

 

 

THE ARREST (GOOD FRIDAY A)

Death is an awful thing and  full of terror. . . but not to those who have learned the true wisdom from above. He who is not conscious of eternal realities, with reason, shudders.  But he who is aware of eternal realities rejoices and is glad because he leaves a perishable life and goes to a better and brighter life. 

Christ was going to a place known to the traitor, lessening His enemies' labor and freeing them from their troubles. . .to show that He was going into this willingly. He also taught His disciples to be free from fear, so they no longer resisted but went with Christ to the garden.

It seems Christ always stayed outdoors at night. "Judas knew the place." They often went there. Christ was always with His disciples, conversing on necessary matters  which others were not permitted to hear. He went to the mountains, gardens. . .places free from disturbance so that their attention might not be distracted from listening.

Judas came with a band of men and officers from the chief priest and Pharisees with lanterns, torches and weapons. They were the same people who had been trying to arrest Him but to no avail. But, this time, He voluntarily surrendered Himself.

The cohort went at night, as all workers of evil do.  And He met them. They did not recognize Him. . .not because it was dark. Even Judas did not recognize Him. No one can recognize Christ unless it pleases Him to reveal Himself. So He repeated: "Whom do you seek? " Then He gave Himself up to them. And, even as Peter fought back, they touched none of the disciples. The cohort could only do what Christ allowed them to do.

Peter had been taught by Christ not to defend himself.  But there he did not defend himself but his Master. And Peter was not yet perfect . . . a man with a sword defending a God.

Christ reminded Peter of God's will that He suffer. God's will is easy to accept when it is nice; it is difficult to accept when it is unpleasant.

Then there was John who did not mention his name. He was going to narrate an achievement of his so he humbly omitted his name.  But he was obliged to mention his name to show that he was there and that his testimony was complete. And, not to praise himself for being able to enter while Peter could not, he gave the excuse, "He was known to the High Priest."

Having been arrested, the High Priest now questioned Christ, not to find out the truth but to trap Him.

St. John Chrysostom: "On the Gospel of John"

 

 

 

 

 

(02-02-04)

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