Watch a teaching by Ken Boa on the meaning of the Cross and the Resurrection.
Music for Passiontide: The Seven Last Words of Christ
Download this free eBook from Dr. Ken Boa, and start every day by renewing your mind with eternal truths. Download for Free. The Seven Last Words of Christ. These are the last recorded statements of Jesus Christ before His death on the cross.
The Seven Last Words of Christ
Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing. Luke When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
Matthew Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. John —29 It is finished!
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How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him!
Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ From the Cross - Crossroads Initiative
For those of us in Catholic news, it has been sexual abuse all the time, it seems, with scandals recent and historic, at home and abroad — all of it revealing the enduring pain of so many victims and the shared shame of all Catholics. The custom of meditating upon the seven times Jesus speaks from the cross is older than that, and the preacher often takes up a particular theme, to be looked at in the light of the seven last phrases of Jesus from the cross.
For much of this past year we have been immersed in the legal, sociological, political, cultural, canonical, evangelical, ecclesial and spiritual aspects of the scandals.
For a Catholic, though, the most complete way to look at all of this — to look at anything, really, but especially the mystery of sin and iniquity — is to see how it looks at the foot of the cross. But in the sacred Scriptures, it means something different.
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This is how St. The cross seems foolish to Gentiles: How can God who has the power to save meet an ignominious death? How can one who is powerful be made so weak? And the cross is a scandal, a stumbling block, for Jews. They were awaiting the Christ of God, the anointed of God, and yet to die on a tree was to be accursed Deuteronomy And yet, on Good Friday above all, we look upon the Crucified One and understand that with the eyes of faith there lies wisdom, not foolishness, and there lies not a scandal, not a stumbling block on the path, but the One who is the Way, the Truth and — even while dying on the cross — the life.
A Christmas Invasion
In these meditations on the Seven Last Words, then, we look upon the scandals in the Church in the light of the words of Jesus, taking each word in turn. I propose that we might, at each word from the cross, look at the scandals from different perspectives — the victims, the priestly perpetrators, the bishops who were negligent or complicit, the Church herself, the good priests and laity who feel shame, the world, and the Lord himself.
What is in his mind and heart?
Perhaps we might imagine that he also had in mind Psalm The pain of the scandals has come from within the household of faith, not from outside, just as Jesus was betrayed and denied and abandoned by his own apostles. As Catholics we can lament and protest persecution. But betrayal from within is a different matter. And so the words of Psalm 55 seem fitting as we begin these meditations on the Seven Last Words:.