A Scriptural Rosary for Good Friday

The rosary is, as Pope John Paul II said, a way of contemplating the mysteries in the life of Christ in “the school of Mary”—the one who knows him best. Accompanied by her, we can be present in the events of his life and see them with new eyes. Although the traditional rosary has fifteen mysteries, to which John Paul II added the five Luminous Mysteries, there is no need to limit ourselves to these. Christian tradition considers every event in Christ’s life a “mystery.” “From the swaddling clothes of his birth to the vinegar of his Passion and the shroud of his Resurrection, everything in Jesus’ life was a sign of his mystery. His deeds, miracles and words all revealed that “in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.’” (CCC 515).

Below are five mysteries for contemplating Christ’s passion that I’ll call the “mysteries of Abandonment.” The traditional Sorrowful Mysteries focus primarily on Christ’s physical suffering, but the Gospels also say quite a bit—though in an oblique way—about his interior suffering. One of the keywords of the passion account in the Gospels is “hand over” or “betray” (Greek paradidōmi). Jesus’ whole passion was a process of being repeatedly handed over: Judas handed him over to the Jewish leaders (Mark 14:10), who handed him over to Pilate (Mark 15:1), who handed him over to be crucified (Mark 15:10). This theme evokes Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering servant, who “handed himself over” (paradidōmi) to death in atonement for the sins of the people (Isa 53:12 LXX). But the greatest mystery is that it is the Father himself who “did not spare his own Son but handed him over (paradidōmi) for us all” (Rom 8:32). The human handing over of Jesus out of sin, betrayal and hardness of heart becomes the instrument of the Father’s handing over of his Son in love for the redemption of the world! And, finally, as he laid down his life Jesus “handed over (paradidōmi) his spirit” (John 19:30)—so that those whom he redeemed might share his own divine life.

These mysteries center on the anguish that Jesus, as man, experienced in being successively handed over, climaxing in his human experience of feeling forsaken even by the Father.

The First Mystery of Abandonment: Judas’ Betrayal

Our Father…

As they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” (Matt 26:21)

Hail Mary…

And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” (Matt 26:22)

Hail Mary…

He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me.” (Matt 26:23)

Hail Mary…

“The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!” (Matt 26:24)

Hail Mary…

“It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” (Matt 26:22)

Hail Mary…

Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?” He said to him, “You have said so.” (Matt 26:25)

Hail Mary…

Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. (Ps 41:9)

Hail Mary…

But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up. (Ps 41:10)

Hail Mary…

By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me. (Ps 41:11)

Hail Mary…

But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever. (Ps 41:12)

Hail Mary…

The Second Mystery of Abandonment: The Apostles’ Desertion and Peter’s Denial

Our Father…

They all forsook him, and fled. (Mark 14:50)

Hail Mary…

Peter followed at a distance. (Luke 22:54)

Hail Mary…

When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. (Luke 22:55)

Hail Mary…

Then a maid… said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” (Luke 22:56)-57

Hail Mary…

Someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” (Luke 22:58)

Hail Mary…

Still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying.” (Luke 22:59)-60

Hail Mary…

And immediately, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. (Luke 22:60)

Hail Mary…

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. (Luke 22:61)

Hail Mary…

Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” (Luke 22:61)

Hail Mary…

And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:62)

Hail Mary…

The Third Mystery of Abandonment: The Condemnation of the Sanhedrin

Our Father…

The chief priests and the whole council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. (Mark 14:55)

Hail Mary…

Many bore false witness against him, and their witness did not agree. (Mark 14:56)

Hail Mary…

More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. (Ps 69:4)

Hail Mary…

The high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” (Mark 14:60)

Hail Mary…

But he was silent and made no answer.

Hail Mary…

Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” (Mark 14:61)

Hail Mary…

And Jesus said, “I am.” (Mark 14:62)

Hail Mary…

“And you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62)

Hail Mary…

The high priest tore his garments, and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy.” (Mark 14:63)

Hail Mary…

And they all condemned him as deserving death. (Mark 14:64)

Hail Mary…

The Fourth Mystery of Abandonment: The Condemnation of Pilate

Our Father…

They bound Jesus and led him away and handed him over to Pilate. (Mark 15:1)

Hail Mary…

Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” (John 18:29)

Hail Mary…

They answered him, “If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over to you.” (John 18:30)

Hail Mary…

Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?” … And they said, “Barabbas.” (Matt 27:17)

Hail Mary…

Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?” (Mark 15:12)

Hail Mary…

And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” (Mark 15:13)

Hail Mary…

And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” (Mark 15:14)

Hail Mary…

But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” (Mark 15:14)

Hail Mary…

Pilate took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” (Matt 27:24)

Hail Mary…

And having scourged Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. (Mark 15:15)

Hail Mary…

The Fifth Mystery of Abandonment: The Father’s Absence

Our Father…

When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. (Mark 15:33)

Hail Mary…

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)

Hail Mary…

Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? (Ps 22:1)

Hail Mary…

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. (Ps 22:2)

Hail Mary…

All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads. (Ps 22:7)

Hail Mary…

For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet. (Ps 22:16)

Hail Mary…

I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me. (Ps 22:17)

Hail Mary…

They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. (Ps 22:18)

Hail Mary…

But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! (Ps 22:19)

Hail Mary…

I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: (Ps 22:22)

Hail Mary…

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “A Scriptural Rosary for Good Friday

  1. Peter Williamson

    Thanks, Mary, this is terrific, not just for Good Friday, but for any Friday we wish to remember the Lord’s Passion.

    There is no doubt that Christ’s interior suffering greatly exceeded his physical suffering. This will be a great way to reflect on that.

  2. Pingback: Resources for Holy Week 2011 (Sunday, April 17-Sunday, April 24) « The Divine Lamp

  3. I agree heartily with Peter’s comment, Mary.
    Thank you for sharing these!

  4. Pingback: Mysteries The Rosary

  5. I just did a Google search for a Good Friday scriptural rosary and found this. So awesome! I will definitely be using this.

  6. Played the soundtrack to the Passion of the Christ in the back round. Really brought to life Jesus suffering.

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