His executioners expected Him to cry and curse like all those who had been crucified before Him. Instead, He cried out for the Father to forgive those who were executing and mocking Him (soldiers, Pilate, Herod, etc.).

Forgive who? Ė forgive the soldiers who mocked, scourged, and struck him

Why forgive? Because they know what they do? No, because they know NOT what they do. If they knew what they were doing (killing the Redeemer), they could not be saved. ďIt is not wisdom that saves; it is ignorance!Ē

If we knew: how terrible sin is and kept sinning...about the Incarnation and rejected Christ...about Christís sacrifice on the Cross and didnít take up our own...about mercy in the Sacrament of Penance and still refused it..about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and didnít receive...the Truth of the teachings of Christís Church and rejected them like other Pilates...Ēif we knew all of these things and still stayed away from Christ and His Church, we should be lost!Ē

  • "Most importantly, I think that we need to turn to God. We must make the decision that love and forgiveness are Godís way. And then, we must call upon Him to help us. That quick gut reaction, "letís get them back": I think that that is a base natural instinct. But the way of God is far above that. Godís way involves justice. Godís way involves forgiveness. Godís way involves love. It is more than the natural human reaction. It is the response of a human graced by God. We need him." -- "Forgiveness" - St. Jude Church Lenten Series - March 5, 2002 - Fr. Tom Shoemaker

  • There is a hard law . . . that when a deep injury is done to us, we never recover until we forgive. -- Alan Paton 

    We do not really know how to forgive until we know what it is to be forgiven. Therefore, we should be glad when we can be forgiven by our brothers. It is our forgiveness of one another that makes the love of Jesus manifest in our lives, for in forgiving we act towards one another as He acted toward us. --Thomas Merton

    It is freeing to become aware that we do not have to be victims of our past and can learn new ways of responding. But there is a step beyond this recognition . . . It is the step of forgiveness. Forgiveness is love practiced among people who love poorly. It sets us free without wanting anything in return. -- Henry Nouwen - quoted in Thoughts about Forgiveness


  • " Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against the natural instinct to pay back evil with evil. The measure of such a decision is the love of God who draws us to himself in spite of our sin. It has its perfect exemplar in the forgiveness of Christ, who on the Cross prayed: ďFather, forgive them; for they know not what they doĒ (Lk 23:34)."-- Pope John Paul II - Message for the World Day of Peace 2002
  • Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
    "These are words of Jesus in his last hour. This time they apply to me. If I knew that my last hour were upon me, what baggage would I like to set down? What heaviness of heart would I wish to let go of, so that my spirit might rise? Might I be relieved to put down that heavy weight now, if only I knew how to pry loose my fingers? Jesus let go of the need to blame, to have pain befall those who had hurt him...
    When we forgive, we are working with the creative energy of the Creator (Himself). This is why forgiveness does a good thing for the person who wronged us only if it does its first good work inside ourselves..." -- from Letter from Pastor - Some thoughts on Forgiveness - Official Holy Cross Church Web Site, Lafayette, Louisiana


  • We forgive when we discover that we really want to forgive, and we want to forgive when we want to heal ourselves from the hangover of a wounded past. When we actually do forgive, we are only doing what comes naturally to anyone who has felt the breath of forgiving love on his or her own heart...

    If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24) None of us is born loving and forgiving. We learn it from one another and the learning is slow and hard. -- Thoughts about Forgiveness

  • "It is by forgiving that one is forgiven." -- Mother Teresa
The Seven Last Words of Jesus

"Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise."

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