The First Word of Jesus on the Cross: A Reflection


"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Since the previous night, our Lord Jesus had suffered so much violence, insults and hatred from the Jews, their leaders and the Roman authorities.

His body was lacerated by the metal prongs at the end of the whips mercilessly lashed upon His sacred Body, creating wounds all over Him. His sacred Head was pierced by the long sharp thorns of the crown the soldiers pounded on it.

The Jews were jeering as the soldiers spat upon his Face. The cross they made Him carry was heavy, and opened the wounds created hours before. The burden on his severely weakened body caused him to fall three times on the way to His crucifixion.

And finally they hammered in the nails on his hands and feet, them hoisted the cross upright, jarring His Body attached to it.

Now, the Jews' wish was done: "Crucify Him!"

As the people and the soldiers beheld Him writhing in pain as he pushed His weakened frame on his naled feet to catch a breath, Jesus opened His mouth for the first time and said: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Forgive? After all the cruelty they have imposed upon Him?

Forgive? After all the insults, the mocking and the lashings?

Forgive? Is it that easy to forgive? When people do me any slight wrong, do I find it easy to forgive? What if someone were to do something like calling me names, or gossiping about me, do I find it easy to forgive?

In my life now, is there anyone I have refused to forgive?

When the Lord of heaven and earth is so ready to forgive, how can I, a mere creature, blatantly refuse to forgive one who has wronged me?

Prayer: Lord, make me realize how forgiving you are. Help me know my sins to You and my fellow human beings and learn to ask for forgiveness. And help me to be always forgiving of others.

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