Seven words from the cross – 1st word from the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do!” (Lk 23:34)

a) Reflection on God’s Word:

“There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said: ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do!’” (Lk 23:32-34)

“When they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him…”

Death by crucifixion was the most cruel and disgraceful punishment possible. When they had arrived at the site, Simon of Cyrene was ordered to place the cross he had carried on the ground. Jesus was quickly thrown backward, with His shoulders against the wood. The soldier – executioner – felt for the depression at the front of the wrist and drove a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through it and deep into the wood. The nail cut through the skin and went through the place where the nerve runs which controls much of the function and sensation from the hand. The pain caused by piercing the wrist in this place is excruciating. The veins were torn through and the wound was bleeding profusely. The following blows from the hammer nailed the hand to the wood of the cross. The other hand and both feet were nailed to the cross in this way. In these terrible pains, summoning all His strength, Jesus uttered the words: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Jesus prays for those who are crucifying Him! Who are they? The soldiers? Their governors whom they must obey? The Church hierarchy who resolved that Jesus had to die? These all, indeed, but besides them all those, too, who sin. So my sin, too, nailed Jesus to the cross. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. (Mt 15:19)

The sin is like a cover over mankind, veiling all nations, and penetrates every human heart. All the world and all mankind is like a concentration camp surrounded by barbed wire, and the murderer and tyrant – Satan – keeps people in darkness. His servants continually inject seductive lies like narcotic drugs into human souls, so that these souls may not see the truth and be delivered. They remain in blindness and therefore do not know what is sin and what is God’s love.

“Father, forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” To this petition from the prayer Our Father Jesus adds: “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Mt 6:15)

The whole problem with our forgiveness lies in the fact that we need to be aware of our great debt in relation to God. Then we will easily forgive our neighbours!


b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min):

I realize the terrible torture of crucifixion: the piercing of Jesus’ hands and feet; I hear the hammer hitting the iron nails. We all repeat: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do!” (Lk 23:34)


c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min):

We all say together: “Father”, and one of us adds each time aloud on behalf of both himself and others: “Forgive me my trespasses”. I recall at least one of my sins.


d) Prayer of the heart (5 min):

We call: “Aaaa…baa”. Consciously before God I forgive all who offended or hurt me. (Abba is an Aramaic term for Father expressing warm affection and filial confidence.)


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Word of Life

“For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

Rom 7:22-23 (25/8/2019 – 8/9/2019)