Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Twelfth Station ~ Jesus is Crucified




THE CROSS HAS BECOME a kind of pulpit from which Jesus taught us even to the end. And the first words of the crucified Jesus were: "Father forgive..." 

Forgiveness, the distinguishing characteristic or mark of the disciple is most difficult to achieve. I might imagine myself tucked into this crowd beneath the cross, perhaps next to Mary (for strengthening), and where the gaze of Jesus falls. But also in the crowd are those I have yet to forgive. Jesus asks nothing of me that he doesn't require of himself. That he expects us to forgive is likely why he has so many enemies.

Father John Krestiankin was a much-loved and holy priest-monk of the Pskovpecherski Monastery in Russia. On Forgiveness Sunday, the week before the start of Lent (1986) he offered this soul-touching sermon. We must remember that Father Krestiankin lived through decades of Soviet persecution - which is said to have been the most terrible persecution of the Church since the early centuries. 

"It is not possible to know divine joy - not possible to enjoy people without making suffering  people happy. Those who do only a little good in this life will receive only a little in the next. Savior; teach me to forgive from  my whole soul anyone who has offended me in any way. My Lord, I know I can't stay before you with all the hostilities I hide inside. The cancer is that we don't pay attention to this. My heart becomes hardened without love. Help me God, to forgive everyone the way you forgave the thief on the cross. We must forgive always not just today. My heart should be full of love and peace always. Of course, if we think like this, we will forgive even our enemies. 

Lord, let us not offend nor be offended. Let us be patient and pray for those who offend us. So friends, let us love each other. And let us not care whether our enemies love us or not. But we should love them. And our only care should be finding the way to love them. On this earth we can't only meet those who love us. It's not possible to be on earth without meeting hostilities. It's impossible for everyone to love us, but it's possible and an obligation for us to love everyone."

2 comments:

  1. Many times we think people are undeserving of our forgiveness. But we are our own enemy in this respect. We need to follow Jesus' example and let go of our anger, bitterness and hatreds to realize that truly offering forgiveness will free our souls from our own prisons. Soften my heart Jesus with your mercy and your grace so that I may forgive those who have wronged my, even if they don't ask for it.

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  2. To forgive someone is even simply to wish them well.

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