Thought of the Day March 21, 2021 "Father, forgive them."

By 3:21 PM

 "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing?" (Lk 23:34)

As we begin to enter into the last days of Lent, preparing ourselves for the celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection, I will be focusing on the Last Seven Words of Jesus from the cross.

Jesus’ first word from the cross is a word of mercy and love. It is a word of forgiveness. He became man in order to reconcile us to the Father. We have sinned, Paul says, and have fallen short of the life God seeks to share with us. We can forgive ourselves but that is not enough. Others can forgive us, but that is not enough. Every sin is an offense against the holiness of God. Only God can forgive our sins. 

Jesus addresses this prayer first to those who have been involved in putting himself, an innocent man, to death by crucifixion. Jesus addresses this prayer retrospectively to all who lived from the time of Adam and Eve until that moment. But his prayer goes beyond the past and present. He is asking God to forgive the sins of all those who fail to be obedient to God into the future. 

Jesus taught the necessity of forgiveness to his disciples many times in different ways. Now from the pulpit of the cross, Jesus puts into practice his own teaching. It is not do as I say, but do as I have done. There can be no greater witness than these words and actions of Jesus from the cross.  Do we make Jesus' prayer to the Father our prayer as well? Can we ask forgiveness for those who have done harm to us as well as forgive them ourselves? If we are a disciple of Jesus, we are called to imitate the Master.

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