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For 2 April 2021, Good Friday, based on John 19:16-30

So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’ Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, ‘Do not write, “The King of the Jews”, but, “This man said, I am King of the Jews.” ’ Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written.’ When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.’ This was to fulfil what the scripture says,
‘They divided my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots.’
And that is what the soldiers did.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thomas McCarthy was born in 1953, and took the habit of the Order of Preachers in 1971. After post-graduate studies in Rome, after his priestly ordination, he taught theology (patristics and dogmatic theology) in the House of Studies of the Irish Province of the Order, as well as at Milltown Park in Dublin. From 1996 to 2002 he served as Secretary General of the Order, residing in Santa Sabina in Rome and serving first with Timothy Radcliffe and then Carlos Azpiroz Costa. After a sabbatical year, Thomas worked with Dominican Publications from 2003 to 2016, editing Religious Life Review. He served then as prior in the Irish Dominican priory in Rome, San Clemente, and now resides in the priory in his home city, Galway, where he assists in the chaplaincy work at the University. Thomas has directed choirs in different places and has worked since 1986 with RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, as commentator and translator for Papal events (notably at Christmas and Easter) and for broadcasts from different European cities of Eucharist on major occasions.

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