The blood and water

Gospel reading: Jn 19:31-37
Since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.

An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: Not a bone of it will be broken. And again another passage says: They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

That the scripture passage might be fulfilled
Jesus has just suffered and died in order to fulfill the Scriptures. Now that he is dead, what happens to him brings the Scriptures to completion. Very important to John is the fulfillment of the prophecies by Jesus even at death.

At the crucifixion scene, the soldiers approach those crucified to hasten their death, for it is getting late. The soldiers are not willing to work overtime. The rule is to break the legs of the crucified. They do this to the two thieves. Jesus has died ahead of them. His legs are spared. For the author, this fulfills Ex 12:46. Suddenly, for no reason at all, a soldier thrusts his spear into the side of Jesus, and blood and water flows out. The author interprets this as fulfillment of Zec 12:10.

The verse speaks well of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It eloquently shows how Jesus loves humanity. Part of his journey to the Father is to empty himself of all things, including what is left of him and whatever can come out of his guts. His wounded side, close to his heart, serves to demonstrate his total love for humanity.

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Are we willing to open our sides, not only our minds, to allow our life-giving water and blood to quench other people’s thirst for love?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website: