Christ’s seven last words
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

In case you will miss the broadcast of the seven last words of Christ, given our present condition, I am repeating them here with some commentaries.

The seven last words of Christ have a special and unique importance, and are always relevant to all of us, since they represent the ultimate desire of Christ for us, summarizing everything he did and said that were meant for our redemption.

They have the power to instantly bring us back to the most fundamental reality about our life from whatever man-made Lalaland we have gone. Or they can correct our tone-deaf religiosity.

These are words that simply drip with pure and completely gratuitous love, a love meant also for us to learn and live. They speak of God’s mercy for us, his assurance and guarantee of our salvation, the comfort we can have by providing us with the care of Our Lady, Our Mother, the cost involved in saving us, etc.

The first one, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” (Lk 23,34) is a show of magnanimity, of unmitigated goodness. Not only is he asking for forgiveness for those who crucified him, who in the end are all of us. He looks for an excuse for all of us. We can already see how much he loves us.

This supreme goodness is reiterated in the second one, “Today, you will be with me in paradise,” (Lk 23,43) addressed to the good thief who asked for a favor, never mind what he had been accused of. This word simply validates what is said of God, that even if he can get angry due to our sin, he is always ready and quick to forgive.

The third one, “Woman, behold thy son…Behold thy mother,” (Jn 19,26-27) is a very endearing one where even in the middle of extreme pain, Christ gave us whatever would provide with some comfort in this vale of tears of ours. He gives us his own mother to be our own mother too, a mother who will always be a mother to us all throughout time.

Mary will not only be a temporal and earthly mother to us, whose motherhood is subject to time. She will be a mother to us even beyond time. And her motherhood will not be confined only to our earthly needs, but also and most especially to our spiritual needs.

The fourth one, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mt 27,46) speaks to us of the depth of suffering Christ had to undergo. He feels that God has abandoned him, and that therefore all the pain as the consequence of all the evil of this world is what he is experiencing.

Try to imagine a situation where all is dark, painful, and evil, without a dot of goodness! If we suffer in some way, just remind yourselves of this word of Christ. For sure, somehow we would feel lightened.

The fifth one, “I thirst,” (Jn 19,28) to be sure isn’t an expression of physical thirst, but rather of his thirst for souls, his ardent desire to fulfill his mission to save mankind.

The sixth one, “It is finished,” (Jn 19,30) simply expresses that he has fulfilled his mission, whatever it cost him. This should remind us we should finish what we have begun, though we know it’s God who started everything and it will also be him who will complete and perfect everything.

The last one, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” (Lk 23,46) shows the proper way of ending things, especially when we see our life ending.

It would be good if each of us makes his own personal considerations from Christ’s seven last words!

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