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The first three Words are for others:
– The First Word, for his enemies.
– The Second, to a thief.
– The Third, to his Mother and disciple.
– The Fourth, for his spiritual needs, abandonment by God.
– The Fifth, for his physical needs, abandonment by men.
– The Sixth: All is finished.
– The Seventh: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”: Lk.23:34.
“Father”, is the first word of Jesus on the Cross, in his first prayer, and it will be the last word, in his last prayer… everything starts and ends with the Father for Jesus and that should be also our way of life, to do the will of God, yes, the reason of our life is to adore God by doing with joy his will.
The first issue in the mind of Jesus on the Cross is “his enemies”: “Forgive them!”… forgive the Jews who hated him and brought him to trial. Forgive the Romans who crucified him. Forgive every sinner… you and I!, because every time we sin, we reproduce in our flesh the Passion of Jesus (Heb.6:6): We spit on his face, we scourge him, we crown him with thorns, we nail him on the Cross… forgive them!
Seneca recounts that the crucified cursed every body, including their own mothers and fathers… Cicero recalls that they even had to cut the tongues of the crucified, to free from their horrible blasphemies and curses… Jesus just said with an excess of love, “forgive them!”.
God always wants to forgive us, but we have to accept his forgiveness trusting in him: Jesus wanted to forgive both Peter and Judas: Peter became a saint, Jesus even named him the first Pope of his Church, that’s how God forgives and forgets! Judas hanged himself, he could not trust in the infinite mercy of Jesus!… If you ever have an abortion, be sure Jesus wants to forgive you and forget, just confess your sin trusting in Jesus, and open your eyes, for sure God is going to give you an opportunity to redeem yourself.
Jesus wanted to bring with him to Paradise the two thieves, it was his business!… but he offered Paradise only to one (Luk.23:43)… if you don’t want to repent and trust in him, even the infinite power and love of God can do nothing, because when God created you free, he committed himself to respect your liberty.
“Forgiveness” is the first lesson of Jesus on the Cross for us: He who does not forgive and forget, creates a Hell in his friends lives: He creates the worse Hell in his own life.
He who does not forgive his wife or husband or children or parents, creates a Hell at home. We are all sinners, even the just one falls seven times a day, says Proverb 24:16: Your wife or husband is not perfect… the secret of a happy marriage is two persons who know how to forgive and forget… forgiveness is first fruit of love, if there is no forgiveness, love is gone.
“For they do not know what they are doing”: Jesus gives the Father an excuse for us, and it is a great truth: Every Sin is a catastrophe because every Sin against God is an infinite evil. Indeed, we do not know what we do when we Sin, when we crucify Jesus again in our flesh (Heb.6:6)… no more Sin in my life!
A final point: Jesus, who is God, prays to God… just a little mystery… it would have been the same if Jesus would have said “I forgive you”, but Jesus forgives praying to show us the greatness of prayer, the fine threat which moves the heart of God!… and it is so important, that five times out of the seven times, Jesus spoke praying on the Cross, and always to the Father.
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise”: Lk.23:43.
Your first issue on the Cross were your enemies, the second, a Thief, a Criminal… you forgave him, forgave and forgot, as God does!… not only you forgave him, but you offered him Paradise, and “today”!… we know the Good Thief and indeed he was a good one, he stole your heart on the Cross, or rather, you, Jesus, stole the heart of thief, praise the Lord!.
The parable of the Prodigal Son of Luk.15 was just that, a parable… but now on the Cross, the parable has become a glorious reality… just what you and I can expect in our lives!.
No matter how bad it may look our sin or our crime, Jesus is always ready to forgive and forget, it is his business!, to save souls… and no matter how many times we have sinned, Jesus always wants to steal our heart.
For sure, Jesus would have loved to go to Paradise accompanied by the two thieves, but he had to settle for one, because Jesus could not conquer the heart of the other one… not even God can force us, if we don’t want to trust in his infinity mercy and love… it is the sin against the Holy Spirit, the sin of not trusting in the infinite mercy of God …”Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men” (Mt.12:31).
“Today”: Yes, on the same Good Friday!… because in eternity there is neither time nor space. Today is the same as tomorrow, or as yesterday, or as a thousand years after today.
Thief did not have to confess all his sins to Jesus, Jesus forgave and forgot them all!… and at once!… and that’s the way for us, Jesus wants to forgive and forget all our sins, and bring us to Paradise.
“Jesus said to his mother:“Woman, this is your son”. Then he said to the disciple: “this is your mother”: Jn.19:26-27.
Jesus knew that Mary was not the mother of John. And Jesus was not telling a lie from the Cross when he proclaimed Mary the mother of the disciple… on the contrary, Jesus was talking about a glorious truth: From the Cross, Jesus was giving us his Mother, to be our Mother. We were all represented at Calvary in the “disciple”.
Jesus had given us up to the last drop of his blood his Mother to be our spiritual Mother in his Church, in the Mystical Body of Christ we have a Father, and we also have a Mother, praise the Lord. It will be monstrous a body with a father and no mother, and the Body of Christ is not monstrous but a most glorious one: The Father of Jesus is our Father, and the Mother of Jesus is our Mother, so we are brothers of Christ, of Father and of Mother! (not just bastard brothers, only brothers of Father).
And we have to do like the disciple:
To take her into our home! (Jn.19:27)… and that’s is easy: Just pray a Hail Mary, and that’s it. Because the Hail Mary is the most intimate and poetic praise made to Jesus: The most intimate, because what touches the most the heart of a man, is to tell him “blessed is your mother”, and in the Hail Mary we say to Jesus, “your mother is the most blessed among women”. And the most poetic, because we add, “and blessed be Jesus, the fruit of your womb”, and that’s poetry! (Lk.1:42).
And then, we add in the Hail Mary “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death”. Try Mother Mary!: If you have any problem at home or in your life, try Mother Mary!…you will see wonders in your life, If you are not a Christian, try Mother Mary!, you don’t have to believe on any thing, and it costs you nothing, so try Mary!
Jesus did not have any more brothers, so, he was commending his mother to his disciple. And in fact, “from that moment the disciple took her to his own home” (Jn.19:27)… it would have been unheard for a Jewish family to commend the mother to a friend after his death, if the mother had another child.
“Woman” that is how Jesus called his mother from the Cross. On the contrary, Jesus is calling his mother by the most glorious word at that moment, “woman”, reminding us that his mother is the woman of Gen.3:15, the one who will crush the head of the serpent, Satan, with the Blood of Christ. She is the “great sign” of Rev.12… But just in case, the Gospel names Mary five times by the word “mother”, and twice by the word “woman” in only those three verses, …. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home Jn.19:25-27.
We, the children of Mary, have to do like our Mother, because every child always looks like his mother: We have to crush the head of Satan with the Blood of Christ… it is a defeat for Satan, and a humiliating defeat, because when Jesus defeated Satan, it was God who defeated him; but now any Christian who is a nobody to Satan can defeat him just like our Mother, with the Blood of Christ. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel” Gen.3:15.
To see that his mother was seeing him like that, it was the most painful psychological sorrow of Jesus, and the heart of Mary suffered one thousand times every nail and insult given to her Son.
Mary is the Mother of Sorrows, because at the foot of the Cross she gave us birth in Christ, she is indeed our Mother… blessed are you, Mary, among women, and blessed is Jesus, the fruit of your womb.
“And about 3 o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice: “Eli, Eli, lema sabackthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”: Mt.27:46, Mk.15:34.
It is another prayer, now from Psalm 22:1. A Psalm of David. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? The fourth and central Word of Jesus on the Cross, the most painful one, the abandonment of God, the essence of Hell… Jesus had to pay for the Hell we deserved!… for the Hell of billions of people… and Jesus suffered it!, a billion of Hells at once!…
Jesus did not complain with the nails… but here the Gospels say, “Jesus cried out with a loud voice”… Jesus cries out twice with a loud voice:
The Gospels mention four times how many people go to Hell, and the four times they use the word “many” Mt.7:13-14 …”Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 21-27 …”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” 22:13 …Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” Lk.13:23-30 …Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. And Jesus on the Cross is suffering the horrors of Hell seeing that still “many” go the way of destruction… and it may be you or me, believe it or not… this is a fact, it doesn’t help if you like it or not…
The worst horrors of Hell Jesus must have suffered on the Cross, was when he was looking at “many Christians” going into Hell: Many Christians will say: Lord, didn’t we speak in your name, and cast out devils in your name, and heal the sick in your name? And Jesus will tell them, “I have never known you; away from me, you evil people (Mt.7:21-23 …”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Lk.13:26 …then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets”)… Jesus must feel horrified seeing his Blood waist in the dirt, and many Christians going into Hell!… it is real, you and I may be one of those “many” going into Hell… the worse punishment of Hell will be the forsaking of God, “depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire” of Mt.25:41 and the realization of each one condemned that it is all his own doing, that he had a million and one chances to go to Heaven, and he purposely refused them all!… each condemned is like Judas: Jesus could not do any more for him, but Judas rejected it all!
“I thirst”: Jn.19:28.
With his thirst and the offering of vinegar, the scripture was fulfilled, says Ps.22:15 …My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death and 69:22 …Let their table become a snare before them, And their well-being a trap).
But the message of this Word is more than just his physical need: Jesus thirsts of souls, he is dying to save souls… and souls, souls, souls, is his message… souls saved from sin and from Satan, who live in the glorious duty of doing the will of God, souls who burn in the fire of the love of God, souls who love their neighbor, because whatever they do to their neighbor they are doing it to Christ (Mt.25:31-46).
Jesus was thirsty of souls who love and live the glorious life of Christ on earth and who go to Heaven… and Jesus from the Cross sees so many souls slaved by the devil and their passions who are on the road of perdition, on the way to eternal Hell, and Jesus thirsts, burns of love, and eventually will dye with a ruptured heart thirsting for saved souls…
The message for us is “Evangelization”: We also have to thirst, to agonize helping people to be saved from Hell and to go to Heaven… we have to be co-redeemers with Christ, like our Mother… we have to be another Christ!.
We can evangelize in very different glorious ways:
Our crosses, our problems and difficulties are our best weapon to help the relatives and friends, and the enemies, to go to Heaven. We have to do like St Paul: “I rejoice in my sufferings, because I complete in my own flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for his Church”. (Col.1:24) And like St Peter says, “you should be glad to share in the sufferings of Christ”. (1P.4:13) Or like Jesus himself told us: “If you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me”. (Mt.16:24) Ten Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Lk.14:27)
“Sufferings” are the most glorious jewels for a Christian, our treasures to purify ourselves and to help others to go to Heaven… we should go after sufferings like the greedy goes after money… a sick old invalid mother at home is not a burden for the family, but the best treasure to help everybody to go Heaven!
“It is finished”, “it is accomplished”: Jn.19:30.
This is a look at the past: It is finished!… Jesus has accomplished the will of the Father, all of it!… the work of redemption is completely finished, all accomplished!.
But Jesus was no done yet… with his “death” he saved us from sin and Satan, and next, with his “resurrection” he gave us a new life in God…
And still more: This full work of redemption and resurrection has now to be applied for centuries to every human being: Each person has to die with Christ, and be buried with Christ, to resurrect with Christ to a new life in God… this is how Paul puts it: “You know that in baptism which unites us to Christ we are all baptized and plunged into his death. By this baptism in his death, we were buried with Christ, and as Christ was raised from among the death by the Glory of the Father, so we begin walking in a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom.6:3-5 …Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection).
To do the will of God, is the testament of Jesus in this Word for us: “my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work… for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (Jn.4:34; 6:38)… and all we have to do on earth is to de the will of God, as Jesus taught us to pray in the Our Father: “your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven” (Mt.6:10).
When little Jesus was playing ball in Nazareth, he was doing the will of God, and as such, it was as important as when he was preaching the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus was helping Joseph in his carpentry, he was doing the will of God, and it was as important to God as when he was at Calvary… the reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem was the will of God. The reason he spent 30 years with his parents doing routine human tasks, was the will of God. The primary and ultimate reason why Jesus died on a Cross was because it was the will of God…
If a Christian is in the kitchen doing the will of God, his actions are as important to God as when the Pope is preaching to millions… it is not what you do what is important, but to do the will of God. If the mechanic is taking care of a car doing the will of God, his actions are more important to God that those of a preacher talking to thousands, if the preacher is not doing the will of God, but his own will, for his own glory… Jesus spent 30 years of his life doing simple human tasks, and 3 years preaching the Gospel… each one of those 30 years was as important as each one of those 3 years preaching, because each year was doing the will of God, what God wanted him to do at that moment… and he took 30 years to show us the great importance of our daily tasks!
One hour of cooking the meals for the family, are a prayer as great as one hour of St. Francis in rapture, if both were doing the will of God… because we were created just to do the will of God, the only way to adore and praise him!… the great, horrible sin, of Adam and Eve, was “disobedience”, to do their own will, instead of the will of God. And the great job of Jesus in his life was “obedience”, to do the will of God at all times, and “for just as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:19).
One hour of working is one hour of prayer, if that hour is done in the will of God!
And how do we know what is the Will of God?:
God may let you know his will by his commandments, by the teachings of his Church, by your superiors in the Church or in the Nation or in your job or in your team… to obey is to love, even if you obey your husband who may not be too smart… if you obey you superior, you are always in the right track of the will of God, just like when Mary obeyed Joseph in his great idea of going to Egypt, where they didn’t know anybody, nor spoke the language… obedience is love, and, very often, the expression of the true will of God for us!.
“Jesus, cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”: Lk.23:46.
This is the second time Jesus cried out in a loud voice at Calvary: The first time, when he was feeling Hell in his flesh, in the Fourth Word, now, when he is going to Heaven… Jesus on the Cross wants to emphasize the reality of Heaven and Hell… they exist, believe it or not, because they are a fact!… and they are for you and for me, like it or not.
This life on earth, compared with eternity, is like a drop of water compared with the ocean… if Kennedy and Stalin and Einstein are in Heaven, they did everything right on earth; if any of them is in Hell, he was an idiot on earth, and he will be cursing himself for eternity… our life on earth is like a minute in the clock of eternity… but it is most important, because it is a test to earn eternity, either in Heaven or in Hell…
He who trust in the Lord, living on earth with joy and love and peace, on top of it, he will go to eternal Heaven. He who lives this live trusting in the nothingness of himself, he will be always worried, without love nor peace, and, on top of it, he will go to eternal Hell where he belongs… in fact, the message of every page of the Bible are three words: “Trust in God”, in the Old Testament, and “Faith in Christ”, in the New Testament, which is almost the same…
The purpose of every person is to adore God on earth, and to enjoy him for eternity… on earth we can and should enjoy God, but in faith… in Heaven we will adore and enjoy God in the vision of all his splendor and beauty… and for ever and ever, praise the Lord!. On earth we can not see God face to face, because our human body would explode and die by just watching the infinite beauty and glory of the splendor of God…
What is Heaven like?
God has prepared for those who love him what no eye has ever seen, and no ear has ever heard, and no human mind has ever even visualized (1Cor 2:9; Is 64:3)… John saw it through an open door, and the people were singing day and night without ceasing, “holy the Father, holy the Son, holy the Spirit, master the universe… I went on looking, and I heard the voices numbering millions of millions, crying out of a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor glory and praise”, and then I heard the voice of the whole universe, heaven, earth, sea and the place of the death, and every creature cried out, “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be praise, honor, glory and power for ever and ever” (Rev.4:8; 5:11-13).
How many will go to Heaven?
Again, millions of millions, what John saw, “I saw a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, race, people and tongue, standing before the throne and the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands”. (Rev.7:9) See you in Heaven, praise the Lord!
This last word of Jesus on the Cross was to the Father, like the first Word… and also a prayer!… the Father is the first and the last in the thought of Jesus… and a prayer to the Father should also be the Alfa and the Omega of everything we do on earth, the way Jesus told us to pray: Our Father who are in heaven…” (Mt.6:9-13)… and to do everything “to hallow the name of God”, because that’s the way that “the Kingdom of God comes to us”, and that’s the way “to do the will of God”… The Father gives us today our daily bread, Jesus in the Eucharist!, we just have to go and receive the gift… and he forgives us our trespasses the way we forgive others… and he leads us not into temptation, but delivers us from evil, from Sin, the root of all evil, the only real evil of a Christian… and of a pagan!… and the worse sin of them all is “not to trust in God, our Father”.
Saturday (Vigil): 4:40pm Rosary & Rec., 5:00pm Mass
Sunday: 7:30am, 9am & 6pm, Vietnamese 11:15am.
Monday: 9:15am Mass, Ador. & Rec.
Tuesday: 6:15pm Ador., 6.30pm Rosary & Rec., 7pm Mass
Wednesday: 9:15am Mass, Ador. & Rec.
Thursday: 9:15am Mass, Ador. & Rec.
Friday: 9:15am Mass, Ador. & Rec.
First Friday: Ador. 7am-7:30pm.
Masses at 9:15am & 7:30pm with Anointing of the Sick and 4pm in Vietnamese.
Ador. – Adoration.
Rec. – Reconciliation.
Office Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30am to 4 pm.
Office Location: Presbytery (Entry Via Beaconsfield St).
Priest: Rev Dariusz Basiaga SDS PP JP
Phone: (02) 9773 9065
Email: Parish Office
MAP & DIRECTIONS