Seeds of the Word - Father, forgive us, because we do know what we are doing

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Let us ask God’s forgiveness at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ

“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.’” (Luke 23:33-34)

Forgiveness is the first expression of love we find at the foot of the cross. With Jesus’ words, love becomes forgiveness. Forgiveness for fallen mankind that needs to be remade. Without forgiveness, we would be unable to understand ourselves in love. Without forgiveness, we lose the meaning of our life. Because without forgiveness, we get trapped in the turmoil of our own incomprehension. We have been created for love, and only in love the consequences of forgiveness can be experienced.

For this reason, if we want to understand ourselves, with our anxiety, with our uncertainty, with our weakness or with our sin, we must get close to Jesus Christ. For it is through these words that Christ — concerned about the salvation of all people, so that we can reach the knowledge of truth and love — asks his Father for something we have not learned how to ask for, something we have forgotten to ask for, something we refuse to ask for: forgiveness.

From the cross, we hear Jesus’ words full of love and mercy: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

These are words of supplication, because only Jesus can beg his Father for what is healthy for us, and for what we need.

These are words of authority, because everything requested by Jesus from his Father is granted. And what else would Jesus want but reconciliation between God and his people? The biggest contradiction to the divine plan is man turning his back to the project of his own salvation.

These are words of mercy. Mercy that summons all of us to communion, because only in communion it is possible to reorganize our lives again. It is because of forgiveness that we find unity. It is through forgiveness that we can achieve communion.

Jesus, hanging from the cross, does not want to die without leaving behind something we need to be able to live in communion: forgiveness. And this comes to us from on high. He obtains for us from the Most High a gift for our fallen humanity: forgiveness.

This Good Friday, as Jesus agonizes, fall on your knees at the foot of the cross, and ask God our Father to forgive you, as the salvific cross casts its shadow upon you:

Father, forgive me, because I do not know what I do when I withdraw myself from you, and when I forget you love me.

Forgive me, Father, because I do know what I do when I lie, when I offend others, when I satisfy my egoism, when I fill my heart with indignation and disrupt the love, the peace and the harmony that you want to exist always among us as a sign of your presence.

Father, forgive me for the many times I forget to give you thanks.

Father, forgive me for the many times I ignore your presence in those I love the most, the members of my family.

Father, forgive me for the many times I ignore your pain on the cross and seek my own pleasure and satisfaction.

Father, forgive me for the many a man in need who extends his hand, and stepping aside, I continue on my way.

Father, forgive me for the many times I condemn my neighbor, claiming that my blind justice comes from you.

Father, forgive me for the many times I refuse to ask for your forgiveness, avoiding the sacrament of reconciliation.

Father, forgive me for the many times I refuse to forgive.


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Read the Spanish version of this story.

Northwest Catholic - April 2017

Mauricio I. Pérez

Mauricio I. Pérez, a member of St. Monica Parish on Mercer Island, is a Catholic journalist. His website is