Friday, March 29, 2013

The Seven Last Words of Christ

The Seven Last Words of Christ

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

His executioners expected Him to cry and curse like all those who had been crucified before Him. Instead, He cried out for the Father to forgive those who were executing and mocking Him (soldiers, Pilate, Herod, etc.).

Forgive who? – forgive the soldiers who mocked, scourged, and struck him

Why forgive? Because they know what they do? No, because they know NOT what they do. If they knew what they were doing (killing the Redeemer), they could not be saved. “It is not wisdom that saves; it is ignorance!”

If we knew: how terrible sin is and kept sinning...about the Incarnation and rejected Christ...about Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and didn’t take up our own...about mercy in the Sacrament of Penance and still refused it..about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and didn’t receive...the Truth of the teachings of Christ’s Church and rejected them like other Pilates...”if we knew all of these things and still stayed away from Christ and His Church, we should be lost!”

2. "This day you shall be with me in Paradise"

The thief (Dismas) next to Christ realized he was next to the Redeemer: “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom”

Christ was losing his life and saving a soul

He wouldn’t speak to Herod, wouldn’t respond to those who jeered and mocked, but strained to say the words that will save him: “This day you will be with me in paradise”

"No one before (the thief on the right of Christ) was ever the object of such a promise, not even Moses, nor John, not even Magdelen nor Mary!"

“God is more anxious to save us than we are to save ourselves”...more than anything, God wants us to give Him our sins...Dismas does and he is promised paradise

3. "Woman, behold thy son"

He had already given away everything – his blood to the Church...his garments to the soldiers...paradise to the thief...soon his body to the grave and his soul to the Father

“to whom, then, could he give the two treasures which he loved above all others, Mary and John?” He gave them to one another.

'Thy son' is John, who represents us (the Church). "Woman!" is the 2nd Annunciation; "behold thy son" is the 2nd Nativity. We are born of Mary in the 2nd Nativity of the spirit; Christ is born in the 1st Nativity of the flesh.

It has been said that Jesus never denies His Mother anything. Do I ask my Mother to intercede to her Son for me, my friends and family...she who is the mother of Him who can do all things?

4. "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"

Darkness covered the earth when spoken...the protest of nature to the Crucifixion
Separated from the Father? No, otherwise how could he cry, “My God, my God...”
Pain and desolation of not being able to see the Father’s when it’s cloudy but sun is still there

While He is still in union with the Father, Christ brings atonement to all those who have abandoned God, doubt God's presence in their lives, or are indifferent towards God.

For all Christians who abandon God when they don’t feel His presence...they identify being good with feeling good...for a doubting world that asks, “why...why...?”

For indifference in the world...last 20 centuries of apathy is more torturing and crucifying than the pains of Calvary

Christ reaches out to all those who have been rejected, are lonely, isolated, hurt, etc...He knows what I'm experiencing whenever I've been abandoned, rejected, lonely, hurt or isolated. If he experienced this and rose from it, anyone in union with Him in these ways will rise with Him

5. "I thirst"

Not said to anyone there at Calvary, or even to God. He says to all mankind, "I thirst...for love!"

Suffering of God without man (5th word); suffering of man without God (4th word)
Creator cannot live without creatures; shepherd cannot love without sheep
Christ has done all he can do for us; “it is no wonder that he thirsts for love having poured forth all the waters of his everlasting love on our poor, parched

Christ thirsts for my love; do I give him only vinegar and gall when he asks for a drink? Do I quench Jesus’ thirst with my love or do I leave him parched with my hardness of heart? Do I thirst for Jesus? For love? For Heaven? Do I thirst for others like Jesus does?

6. "It is finished"

Redemption, the Father’s work, is now accomplished; we were bought and paid for
Christ won in a battle with five wounds (hands, feet, side), torn flesh, a cry (‘forgive them’ not ‘crush and kill them’), and dripping blood

Christ triumphantly says this, like an artist who puts the finishing touches on a masterpiece.

Work of acquiring divine life is finished, but not the distribution. Is our work finished? No. He has finished the foundation; we build on it. It depends on us becoming other Christs and to take up our cross and follow Him

His work of Redemption is finished, but not complete (see Col 1:24). As the Mystical Body of Christ, we complete Christ's work of Redemption (by taking up our own Cross).

Do I accept crosses in my life with faith?

7. "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"

Like the Prodigal Son who returns to his father's house...33 years ago, left the Father’s eternal mansion and went off to a foreign country of this world...spent himself and being spent...divine riches of power and wisdom spent on his last hour, he gives to “the last drop” of his precious blood

Now on the road back to the Father’s house...sees the face of the Father and lets out the word, “Father, into...”

Mary at the foot of the Cross with crucified body,,,Bethlehem has come back:
-thorn-crowned head was head at her breast (at Bethlehem)
-faded eyes who glanced at her from the manger
-feet with nail marks were once adored with gold, frankincense, and myrrh
-embrace at the foot of the cross = embrace at the side of the crib

At Bethlehem, Mary gave Jesus to man; at Calvary, sinful man gave him back to Mary

Do we entrust our lives to our Father in Heaven? Do we commend our spirits to God? Do we give Him everything we’ve got- heart, mind, soul, and strength? Do we have our eyes on Heaven...think about it regularly?

No comments: