Thought of the Day March 13, 2019 Father, forgive them.

By 9:34 AM

We begin today a new series of reflections that are appropriate for Lent: The Seven Last Words of Jesus

Even though they are titled the seven last words of Jesus, they are actually the seven last phrases or statements made by Jesus from the cross.  Different Gospel narratives contain one or more of these phrases. In them Jesus is preaching and teaching, modeling and guiding us from the most important pulpit of his life, the cross.

1 Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. (Lk 23:34)

Pope John Paul II: “At the height of his Passion, Christ does not forget man, especially those who are directly responsible for his suffering. Jesus knows that more than anything else man needs love; he needs the mercy which at this moment is being poured out on the world.”

Pope Francis: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34). Now, heroically, Jesus emerges from the fear of death. For if we live freely in love, everything is life. Forgiveness renews, heals, transforms and comforts! It creates a new people. It ends wars.

The last words that a man or woman pronounces before dying come directly from the heart. These are the words that are remembered by the family and friends. They are not going to be bane or unimportant. These are the words that normally are inscribed on the tombstone. Jesus’ last words from the cross are meant to be remembered and to have impact in our lives.

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