Tuesday, March 26, 2013
March 26, 2013
Now they were also leading out two others, criminals, to be executed with him. When they reached the place called The Skull, there they crucified him and the two criminals, one on his right, the other 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.
Betrayed, beaten, whipped, nailed to a cross, Jesus blesses and saves the world. See and hear this bleeding man bless our broken, bitter world. This is the most important thing.
He uses his final gasps not to curse the awful cruelty that destroys the innocent but to bless and love.
His words are one more luminous sign of the heart of the Father, one more expression of the divine passion to love and save us from ourselves.
Jesus forgives those who torture and kill him. He forgives the world its brutal rejection of the way of peace, the road of compassion that he walked from the Father’s heart into our own.
Forgive it all, Father. Hold it not against them. Release them from the guilt and consequences of their actions, Holy One, for you have no heart to destroy them. You want them to bask in the light of your presence and be lifted into the love you are.
You want them to receive your love and know that you cherish each soul as a beloved and favored child. You want to open their hearts that they may know you as the Loving Source from which they come, the home to which they go and the graceful power that lifts them in every joy, every love, every grace and beauty that decorates their days.
At the beginning of your ministry, Jesus, you said that you came to proclaim liberation to the captive. You are still carrying out this ministry with your final breaths.
Your whole life down to your final words of forgiveness is the great pleading of God to open our hearts and welcome the Love who liberates us from our wounds and fear, our bitterness and cruelty, our hopelessness and despair.
You plead with us to your final breath: Open your heart and welcome the heart of God. His love will save you from yourself.
Pr. David L. Miller