Seven words from the cross

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Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do: To forgive is to put an end to resentment, anger, indignation for a wrong we might perceive someone has committed against us.From the Lord’s prayer: “..forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”

“Truly, I say to you today you will be with me in paradise”: Saint Dismas is the penitent thief on the cross. When the other thief tells Jesus “are you not the Messiah, save yourself and us.” The penitent thief replies “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?  And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”, and then “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” That penitent thief confesses his sins and they are forgiven and thus his salvation.

“Woman, behold your son” and “Behold your mother”: Jesus entrusts his mother into the care of the beloved disciple while hanging on a cross. While hanging on that cross suffering an agonizing death, Mary does not abandon him even though his suffering was also torturous to her. This is a relationship built on love. “Love one another as I have loved you”

 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” His disciples left him to hang on a cross. His agony is for the sins of man, and his emotion is fully human: yet his conversation is with God. Even though Christ feels fully abandoned as he descends into hell, he cries out “my God.” God does not abandon us.

 “I thirst”:Their insults have broken my heart,and I am in despair.If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me vinegar for my thirst.

When Jesus thirsts he is given vinegar, though he is the one who turns water into wine. His is the offering of “living water”, the water of eternal life. That is his offering to us.His is the thirst of a human body dehydrated. His thirst is also for our salvation and for our souls.

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”: Contrary to the logic of the day, Jesus does not view his condemnation in despair. His suffering does not separate him from God,but rather unites him with God. In life Jesus was never separated from God, and the same is true with his death on a cross. His tormentors gain no victory over him, Jesus conquers death itself.

“It is finished” Christ is triumphant, his plan is complete, and our salvation is assured. Death and sin are defeated and the veil that separates us from God has been torn

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