Monday, April 02, 2007

" And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. " (Luke 23: 34).

During Holy Week, the Church and liturgy are totally absorbed in Christ Passion. Let us concentrate our meditations on the last manifestation of Jesus' love, in particular on His last words before He expired on the Cross. He prayed: "Father, forgive them!", and His thoughts were not with His mother, friends, disciples or holy women. He did not think about Himself either. He is the Redeemer, and His heart is with those who need Him the most. In His last moments on the Cross, He prayed and interceded for His executioners and enemies! He prayed for them all! He did not blame them, but excused and acquitted them, although He was treated with utmost, inhuman cruelty. "Father forgive them, for they are your children, your creation". Let us meditate on Christ incomprehensible and unprecedented charity.
Once, fifty servants of king Ochozias scoffed at Elias, and the prophet brought fire from heaven to consume these culprits (4 Kings 1:10). Little boys from Bethel showered abuses at prophet Eliseus who cursed them and soon two bears came forth out of the forest and tore forty two boys to pieces! (4 Kings 2:24). Cham ridiculed his asleep father who was uncovered in his tent and for this Noah cursed him and his descendants (Genesis 9:25). On Golghota however, there is someone who is far, far above all patriarchs and prophets, but there is no guile in Him. Only forgiveness! Can we comprehend how great it is? What were the immediate fruits of Christ Redeeming love? The thief converted, centurion believed and the hearts of many witnesses of Christ Passion were touched by deep repentance. If we could for a moment become like Our forgiving Lord! How powerful that could be! At least let us not condemn others, let us try not see their faults, imperfections and sins! Jesus said:"They know not what they do". Why are we so quick in condemning others? We believe and expect forgiveness for our sins, sometimes very serious offenses. But to deserve this we need to be like Christ, and forgive those who offended and sinned against us: "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven" (Luke 6:37,37)