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Birth of Jesus. Childhood and hidden life
(6BC - 8AD)
After the prefaces of the evangelists Luke and John and the annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist (Jerusalem 6BC), the history of our salvation begins with the annunciation from the angel to Mary, who gives her consent to the incarnation of the Verb (Nazareth, March 5BC). Mary visits Elizabeth (Magnificat) (Judea, April 5BC) and a few months later John the Baptist is born (Benedictus) (Judea, June 5BC).
The evangelists tell the genealogies of Jesus.
An angel appears to Joseph in a dream; Joseph takes Mary to live with him at Nazareth. Because of the census, they travel to Bethlehem, where Jesus is born in the manger (Dec 5BC). The child receives the adoration of the shepherds and eight days later he is taken to Jerusalem for his circumcision.
The Holy Family return to Jerusalem for the presentation in the temple, where Simeon prophesies (Feb 4BC). Coming back to Bethlehem, they receive the visit of the Magi from the East and later, aware of the persecution of Herod, they escape to Egypt. Herod orders then the slaughter of the innocents (Jerusalem, Dec 4BC).
After Herod's death, the Holy Family returns from Egypt (Oct 2AD) and they finally settle in Nazareth. In a trip to Jerusalem, the child is lost and found in the temple (Mar 7AD). During the next years Jesus lives silently in Nazareth, with Mary and Joseph.
Beginning of the public life: Baptism, first Passover, first miracles, preaching
(Jun 26 - Nov 27)
The preaching of John the Baptist in the Jordan prepares the gospel (Jun 26). John reprehends the pharisees, preaches to the people and announces the coming of the Messiah.
Jesus comes from Galilee; he is baptized by John (Dec 26) and withdraws into the desert of Judea, where he fasts forty days and is tempted by Satan (Jan 27).
He returns later to the region of the Jordan, where he receives new testimonies from the Baptist and calls his first disciples.
He returns to Galilee and performs his first miracle in the wedding feast at Cana (Feb 27).
After a brief journey to Capernaum, Jesus goes to Jerusalem to attend the first Passover during his public life (Mar 27). There he expels the merchants from the temple and is questioned by the Jews. He reveals his condition of unique Son of God in the conversation with Nicodemus. Thereafter he stays several months preaching in the region of Judea, while John the Baptist announces that he must decrease so that Jesus grows (April-Nov 27).
First mission in Galilee
(Dec 27 - Mar 28)
In Samaria, while travelling from Judea to Galilee, Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar (Dec 27), and after then he stays two days preaching to the Samaritans.
Thereafter Jesus begins his first mission at Galilee (Jan 28).
In Cana, he heals the son of the official of Capernaum. In Nazareth he teaches in the synagogue and the people try to kill him; he settles down then at Capernaum. Near the Sea of Galilee, he calls the fishermen to fish for people (Jan 28). At Capernaum, Jesus astounds the people with his teachings and his numerous healings. Then he extends his mission to all Galilee. At the Sea of Galilee, after preaching from Peter's boat, he performs the miraculous fishing. Then follow more cures: (a leper, a paralytic) and the call to Matthew at Capernaum (Mar 28).
He is questioned because his disciples don't fast, but Jesus justifies them: "New wines in new wineskins".
Second Passover at Jerusalem and second mission at Galilee: the Sermon on the mount
(Mar 28 - May 28)
Jesus interrupts his first mission in Galilee to attend the second Passover in Jerusalem (Mar 28). There he heals a paralytic on the Sabbath day and the anger of the pharisees grows. He announces the resurrection and claims to be sent by the Father.
Returning to Galilee, he is accused because the disciples pick grain on Sabbath (Apr 28). The issue is aggravated when he cures the man with a withered hand on Sabbath and the pharisees try to kill him. Jesus then retires and begins his second missionary tour at Galilee, performing several cures and promoting the enthusiasm of the people (May 28).
After choosing the twelve disciples, on a mount near the sea of Galilee, he preaches the Sermon of the mount.
This epitome of the New Law, opens with the eight beatitudes; it compares the apostolic vocation with the salt and the light; points out the relationship between the old law and the new law; exhorts to the reconciliation with the enemy, praises the chastity of heart ("If your right eye causes you to sin...") , rejects the divorce and swearing; teaches how to do merciful deeds and how to pray (the Our Father); exhorts to forgive and to fast without ostentation. Against the worldly worries, he admonishes to look for the treasures of heaven and to learn from the lilies of the field and the birds of the sky. He prevents against judgement ("the speck in your neighbor's eye "), unadvised zeal ("Do not give what is holy to dogs") and bad prayer ("knock, and it will be opened"). He advises to enter through the narrow gate, teaches to distinguish the false prophets ("You will know them by their fruits") and the necessity of the works of faith. The sermon ends with the parable about the man that built the house on rock.
Returning to Capernaum, Jesus cures the centurion's servant ("Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof...."), who is praised for his faith (May 28).
Third mission in Galilee: the Lake Sermon
(Jun 28 - Sep 28)
Jesus begins a new missionary tour through Galilee. In Naim he raises the widow's son (Jun 28).
John the Baptist sends two disciples to ask Jesus; he then gives testimony about the Baptist. Dining in Capernaum (or Magdala) the forgiven sinful woman anoints his feet ("The one to whom little is forgiven, loves little"). There are many women that follow Jesus ; in face of the concern of his relatives, he teaches who are the true relatives of Christ (Ago 28).
Beside the sea of Galilee, he preaches to a multitude a series of Parables about the Kingdom, The sermon of the lake" (Sep 28), that begins with the parable of the sower. After answering why he speaks only in parables and explaining the meaning of the parable of the sower , he continues with several parables about the growth of the Kingdom: The lamp on the lampstand, the parable of the seed that grows alone, the parable of the wheat and the weed, the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the yeast. He explains the parable of the weed and concludes with the parables of the treasure and the pearl, and the net and the good and bad fishes.
Miracles and prodigies. The mission of the disciples
(Sep 28 - Apr 29)
Jesus retires away from the people, crosses the lake with his disciples and calms the winds and the waves (Sep 28). He disembarks in Gerasa and expels the demons of a possessed man; the demons enter into the swine and the villagers get afraid of Jesus. He returns then to Capernaum, where he heals the woman who had touched his clothes and raises the daughter of Jairus (Oct 28). He is rejected in Nazareth ("no one is prophet in his own country").
He sends the twelve disciples in their first missionary tour, two by two: "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few", while he starts another missionary tour through Galilee (Nov 28).
About this time Herod orders John's death, at the request from Herodias' daughter. Then the disciples return and meet with Jesus (Mar 29). They cross the lake looking for solitude, but they find a crowd in Bethsaida; Jesus continues teaching and healing, and in the evening he carries out the first miracle of the loaves, feeding 5000 men with five loaves and two fishes. The people, enthusiastic, want to make him king; Jesus sends the disciples back to the boat, and he escapes to the mountain to pray alone. At dusk, he meet the disciples walking upon the waters, while they fight against the strong wind. After Peter's frustrated intent of walking toward Jesus on the waters, Jesus arrives to the boat and the storms ceases. He continues healing in Genesareth and in Capernaum he exhorts the people to look for the real food; he self-proclaims as the bread of life, and the pharisees take offence when he says: "My flesh is true food and my blood true drink". Coming the third Passover, this time Jesus remains in Galilee. Again, Jesus reproaches the pharisees for hanging on human traditions: because "it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man" (Apr 29).
The long trip. The transfiguration
(May 29 - Aug 29)
Avoiding Herod's territories, Jesus undertakes a long missionary trip. In the region of Tyre and Sidon, he consents to the request of the cananite woman: ("Even the dogs eat the crumbs...") (May 29). At Decapolis, he cures a deaf man. Returning to Galilee, he cures many sick people and performs the second miracle of the loaves, feeding 4000 men. The pharisees ask him for a sign: Jesus answers predicting the sign of Jonah. Jesus prevents their disciples against the yeast of the pharisees. In Bethsaida, he cures a blind man (Jun 29) and they continue their way towards the north. Approaching Caesarea Philippi Peter confesses his faith in Christ, the Son of God and he receives the promise of the keys; Jesus then predicts his Passion and Peter is rebuked for refusing to accept it. Days later, it happens the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain, before Peter, James and John (Jul 29).
Coming down, Jesus cures a boy ("I believe; help my unbelief!"). Returning to Capernaum, he predicts his death and resurrection again, and he consents to pay the tax. He exhorts to the spiritual childhood and condemns those who put stumbling blocks (Ago 29). He explains the necessity of correcting and forgiving fraternally and ends with the parable of the merciless servant.
To the Feast of Tabernacles, in Jerusalem
(Sep 29 - Oct 29)
Jesus leaves Galilee, and begins a private journey to Jerusalem, to attend the Feast of Tabernacles. As the Samaritans refuse him hospitality, he must deviate his way through Perea, on the east side of the Jordan (Sept 29). During this trip, Jesus tells the requirements for following him, he sends out the seventy-two disciples and he rebukes the impenitent cities. At the time of the joyful return of the disciples, Jesus rejoices and blesses the Father for having revealed to the children. He invites to take his yoke ("my yoke is light...") and he proclaims blessed the eyes that see these things. Entering Judea, he relates the parable of the good Samaritan. He is received in Bethany, in the home of Mary and Martha, where he declares that "Mary has chosen the good part".
In Jerusalem, in the feast of the Tabernacles (Oct 29), he maintains several discussions with the Jews and he claims: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!". They asked him about the case of the adulterous woman, and he sentences: "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her". The disputes with the pharisees continue; Jesus claims to be the light of the world and ends the discussion with the astonishing sentence: "before Abraham existed, I am", that leads the Jews to anger and scandal.
Then he cures a man born blind on the Sabbath day and the pharisees examine the cured man and his parents. Jesus proclaims himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. He finishes this stay in Jerusalem with the parable of the persistent friend (Oct 29).
Last Judean Ministry
(Nov 29 - Dec 29)
Leaving Jerusalem to make a brief missionary journey through Judea (Nov 29), Jesus cures two blind men and casts out a daemon from a mute man. This causes the slanders from the pharisees, and Jesus defends himself ("How can Satan cast out Satan?") and speaks about the unforgivable sin against the Spirit. He notes who is to be truly blessed and why and he announces the sign of Jonah. After the discourse about the spiritual light it follows another severe recrimination against the scribes and pharisees ("you took away the key...") Jesus then teaches the disciples how to endure the persecutions. After then he speaks against the covetousness, teaching the parable of the foolish rich man. He exhorts to preparedness and faithfulness and expresses his eagerness of his baptism of fire. He requests attention to watch the signs of the times and he teaches the parable of the sterile fig. On the Sabbath day, the heals he woman who had a spirit of infirmity and he answers to the question whether are they few who are saved?.
Warned about the persecution of Herod (Dec 29), he states that a prophet must die in Jerusalem, and returns there for the feast of Dedication. Approaching the city, he weeps over Jerusalem
The Feast of Dedication. Last missionary trip
(Dec 29-Mar 30)
Jesus returns to Jerusalem to attend the Feast of Dedication (Dec 29); he disputes with the Jews and claims "I and the Father are one".
Thereafter he undertakes his last pastoral journey, preaching in Perea, at the places where John the Baptist baptized. He is invited to dinner at a pharisee's house ; on this occasion he cures a dropsy man and tells the parable of the last seat and the parable of the great supper. He continues his journey and exhorts the people to leave everything to follow him. The pharisees despise Jesus because he eats with sinners; hence he teaches the parables of the mercy: the parable of the lost sheep, the lost drachma and the parable of the prodigal son. About this time he also tells the parable of the dishonest manager , the parable about the rich man and Lazarus and the parable of the good servant.
Jesus leaves Perea and returns to Bethany (Jan 30), where he raises Lazarus from death. The Jews conspire to stop him, and Caiphas prophesies: "that one man should die for the people...". Jesus visits Ephraim ; there is much expectation in face of the next coming Passover, as the confrontation between Jesus and the pharisees has grown in violence. Jesus travels to Samaria, (Feb 30) where he cures the ten lepers, he warns about the Day of the Son of Man. He tells the parable of the widow and the judge and compares the pharisee and the tax collector. Travelling through Perea, he is asked about divorce: he states that marriage is indissoluble ("What God has joined together, let no man separate") It follows Jesus' blessing of the little children ("Let the children come to me") and the episode of the rich young man, which gives him an opportunity to prevent against the danger of riches and to promise the reward of self-denial. He tells the parable of the vineyard laborers ("the last will be first, and the first last"), and predicts again his death and resurrection; it follows then the request of the two Zebedee. Entering Jericho (Mar 30) he cures a blind man and then stays at Zacchaeus' house ("the Son of Man came to save that which was lost"). He teaches the parable of the mina coins In Bethany, Mary Magdalen anoints Jesus; this action is criticized by many people, but approved by Jesus. The Passover is few days ahead, and Jesus prepares his entry into Jerusalem (Mar 30).
Triumphal entry into Jerusalem: Beginning of the Passion Week
(Passover 30: from Palm Sunday to Wednesday)
On the Sunday before Passover (Palms Sunday) Jesus enters triumphantly into Jerusalem sitting on a donkey, among the acclamations of the crowds. For the second time, he drives out the merchants from the temple ; the priests ask him to rebuke the people, and Jesus answers: "if these were silent, the stones would cry out!". At dusk, he comes back to Bethany, to Lazarus' home.
Next day (Monday) he returns to Jerusalem ; during this excursion, he curses the barren fig tree and thereafter he again comes back to Bethany.
In the next morning (Tuesday) they find the withered fig. In the temple of Jerusalem he teaches and disputes with the priests. He tells the parable of the two sons and the parable of the wicked farmers. The pharisees and sadducees ask him about several questions: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar?, Will the dead resurrect?, Which is the First Commandment?. Before the hostility of the pharisees, Jesus pronounces his last and harsh recrimination against the pharisees: ("Hypocrites! whitened tombs!")
After the episode of the widow's mite and the petition of the Greeks to see Jesus, he again announces his Passion ("unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies...") and a voice is heard from the sky.
Afterwards Jesus pronounces the Eschatological Discourse, about the destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the world and Christ's return with glory. He keeps preaching in the temple, and tells the parable of the ten virgins, the parable of the talents and warns about the Final Judgement ("I was hungry, and you didn't give me food to eat...".
The chief priests plan to kill him; the next day (Wednesday) Judas consents to betray Jesus and they promise to give him thirty pieces of silver.
The Last Supper
(Passover 30: Thursday)
Jesus sends the disciples to prepare for Passover; he and the twelve meet in a guest room, at Jerusalem, to eat the Last Supper. (Thursday evening).
He begins by washing the apostles' feet, he predicts his betrayal and Judas goes out. The disciples contend about their supremacy, and Jesus exhorts them to humility. Then he institutes the Holy Eucharist. He gives them the New Commandment: "that you love one another, just like I have loved you", and he predicts Peter's denial.
It follows then the Farewell discourse: to enlighten the hearts of the disciples, he recalls the eternal mansions ("I am the way, the truth, and the life"), , the relief for the present life: "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you" and compares himself with the vine that sustains the branches ("He who remains in me bears much fruit"); he reminds them the commandment of love and predicts to them the hate of the world; he promises them the relief of the Counselor, the eternal joy ("no one will take your joy away") and ends exhorting to courage "In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world").
It follows the intercessory prayer, in which Jesus prays to the Father for himself, for the Apostles and for the Church.
The Passion of Jesus (Passover 30 - Thursday night and Friday)
Jesus and the apostles cross the city towards the garden of Gethsemane, outside Jerusalem (Thursday night). Peter, James and John witness the agony of Jesus, who prays to the Father and is comforted by an angel. Soon Judas arrives with the soldiers; Jesus is arrested and the disciples forsake him.
The ecclesiastical trial begins: at first he is led to Annas, who sends him to Caiphas (after midnight). It follows a first examination before Caiphas and the priests of the Sanhedrin, when Jesus confesses and is condemned. Peter denies him and Jesus is mocked and beat by the Jews. About dawn (Friday) the Sanedrin meets and ratifies Jesus' condemnation; he is sent to Pilatus. Meanwhile Judas repents, despairs and dies.
It begins then the civil trial , before Pilatus. After a first examination, he sends him to Herod Antipas. Jesus keeps silent, is mocked by Herod and sent back to Pilatus dressed in purple. Pilatus declares him innocent but, in order to please the jewish priests, he let the people choose between Jesus and Barabbas; the people prefers Barabbas' liberation. Jesus is flogged, crowned with thorns and exposed to the people: "Ecce homo!"; the Jews insist on requesting his death. Pilatus examines Jesus again brings him out to the Jews, and wash his hands; finally, he reluctantly sentences him to be crucified.
(Friday morning) On the way to the Golgotha carrying the cross, Jesus is helped by Simon of Cirene; he speaks to the mourning women. He is crucified, between the two robbers. The soldiers divide his clothing, the passing people blasphem and mock at him: "Save yourself, if you are the Son of God!". He pronounces the last Seven words: 1: "Father, forgive them...", 2: "Today you will be with me in paradise", 3: "Woman, behold your son...", 4: "... why have you forsaken me? ", 5: "I am thirsty...", 6: "It is finished", 7: "Father, into your hands...".. About noon, Jesus dies, the sun is darkened and the veil of the temple is torn in two.
After a soldier pierces his side, he is taken down from the cross and buried by Joseph of Arimatea (Friday afternoon).
On the Sabbath day, while the women prepare the ointments, the pharisee place a guard at the door of the tomb.
Resurrection, appearances and ascension
(Sunday of Glory - May 30)
The women bring ointments to sepulchre (Sunday, very early), but they find the grave empty. While Mary Magdalen runs to tell Peter, an angel appears to the other women and tells them that Jesus has risen. Peter and John hasten to the tomb and inspect it. Meanwhile, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalen that had been weeping outside (noli me tangere). The same day, he appears to other women, to Peter and to the disciples of Emmaus, who return to Jerusalem to bring the news. Finally, that afternoon, Jesus appears to the apostles in a close room, and eats with them.
Eight days later it happens a new appearance, and Thomas at last believes. In another appearance in the sea of Tiberias to seven pupils, he talks with Pedro and confirms his primacy. After another appearance on a mountain in Galilee, and forty days after his resurrection, Jesus parts from the disciples: on the Mount of Olivet (between Jerusalem and Bethany) he ascends into heaven.
It follows then the joyful return of the disciples and the beginning of the great mission.
John ends his gospel declaring: "Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name"
Hernán J. González
Buenos Aires, Argentina - March 2001
Last revision: 08/09/2001