Jesus – the Man who loved, the Man who healed, the Man who fed, the Man who gave hope to those suffering from despair – was mocked, beaten, tortured and killed, dying the shameful death of a criminal. Imagine being present at the crucifixion and being able to see all that is taking place. Jesus’ mother, Mary, cannot stop her tears, nor can Mary Magdalene or the other women who are watching from afar. The soldiers are laughing and making fun of Jesus as He suffocates and chokes on His own blood. The apostles . . . where are the apostles, but John? All those who said they loved Him are hiding in fear. All those who welcomed Him into their town as a king just one week before are spitting on Him and shaking their fists at Him. They want him dead. And during it all, Jesus is winning their salvation. Just then, Jesus says: “Father, forgive them . . .”
Jesus will help you forgive whoever it is in your life that needs your forgiveness. Sometimes, the downfall in trying to forgive is that you try to do it all on your own. Remember that the very fact that you are willing to forgive is in fact a grace from God. So ask Him to stoke that spark of willingness to forgive into a flame and let this flame set your heart on fire with love.
When they reached the place called The Skull, there they crucified him and the two criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” Then they cast lots to share out his clothing. – Luke 23: 33 – 34