Friday, March 29, 2013

The Seven Last Words

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

Jesus, You spoke these words through Your pain, through the agony of the scourging, the horror of the crowning of thorns, and the anguish of the crucifixion. You continued to love even those who were torturing You. You begged the Father to forgive them even though they never asked for Your forgiveness. How much more will You have mercy on those who come to You with repentant hearts! Dear Jesus, forgive us for all the sins that we have committed, sins that helped to crucify You, and give us the grace to forgive those who have wronged us, even if they never ask for it. 

Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise. 

Jesus, You spoke these wonderful words to the good thief who had just asked You to remember Him when You came into Your kingdom. He believed in You. You gave him the promise of a lifetime, of an eternity. Dear Jesus, You are in Your kingdom; give us the grace to live with You in that kingdom now, and bring us home to live with You in Heaven forever. 

Woman, behold you son. Behold your mother. 

Jesus, You spoke these words to Mary and John, who were standing at the foot of Your cross. With them, You gave Mary to all of us as our mother, and You gave all of us to Mary as her children. As our mother, Mary prays for us constantly, distributes all the graces that flow from Your hands, and brings our every need before You. Dear Jesus, give us the grace to grow close to our Mother Mary and to allow her to lead us to You. 

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? 

Jesus, You spoke these words to Your Father. With them, You acknowledged that You were experiencing the anguish of feeling abandonment. You suffered that for us. We can be certain that You always know exactly how we suffer when we feel like God is not active in our lives, when we feel like He doesn't care. Dear Jesus, give us the grace to remember that God never actually abandons us, no matter how we feel. 

I thirst. 

Jesus, You spoke these words from the cross. You probably were very thirsty physically, but You were even more thirsty for the salvation of souls. You died that all people might be saved, might know You, might enter into Your kingdom, might be with You forever in Heaven. Dear Jesus, give us the grace to thirst like You do for the salvation of souls and to cooperate with You in our prayers, sacrifices, and loving works that Your thirst and ours may be satisfied. 

It is finished. 

Jesus, You spoke these words when Your life on earth was done. You had suffered as much as anyone could ever suffer, and You did it all for us. Now that part of Your mission is finished. You will suffer no more. You will go into the arms of death, but You will not stay there. Dear Jesus, give us the grace to courageously say these words at the end of our lives and go to meet death, knowing that death is not the end and that we will really be meeting You. 

Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit. 

Jesus, You spoke these words to Your Father as You died. You gave Yourself completely to Him just as You always had in life. You trusted Him totally. You surrendered entirely. Dear Jesus, give us the grace to give ourselves entirely to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now in our lives, at the moment of our death, and forever in Heaven. 


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