A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John 19:16a,19

Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

Behold, the long-awaited Messiah, hanging on the wood of the cross between two thieves. The two hands which blessed humanity are pierced. The two feet which trod our earth to proclaim the Good News are now suspended between earth and heaven. The eyes full of love, whose gaze healed the sick and forgave our sins, now gaze only heavenward.

Lord Jesus,
you were crucified for our sins.
You pray to God the Father and you intercede for humanity.
Each hammer blow echoes like a beat of your immolated heart.

How beautiful upon the mount of Calvary
are the feet of the One who proclaims
the Good News of salvation.
Your love, Jesus, has filled the universe.

Your pierced hands
are our refuge in distress.
They embrace us
whenever the abyss of sin threatens us,
and in your wounds
we find healing and forgiveness.

O Jesus,
we pray to you for all those young people
who are overcome by hopelessness,
for young people who are the victims of drugs,
of sects and of perversions.

Free them from their enslavement.
May they lift up their gaze and accept Love.
May they find happiness in you;
save them, our Saviour.
Amen.

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