Search Results for: Lent 2018

Read all the blogs in the Sisters of Mercy’s Lenten Blog Series for 2018 focused on the Last Seven Words of Jesus.

The Seven Last Words of Jesus – Week 2: “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

February 21, 2018

By Sister Patricia Cook, RSM

Throughout this Lenten season, our blog will feature weekly reflections posted each Wednesday on the Seven Last Words of Jesus-the final words of Jesus on the cross. View the whole Lenten blog series.

View and print this reflection as a PDF.

Reflection

Back in the 1990s when my prison ministry brought me to a men’s maximum security prison as a chaplain, I served for 12 happy years, trying to make Mercy real in a cold and dreadful atmosphere. On Friday mornings, we met for Bible Study and Meditation. “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise”—this passage from Luke’s Gospel, recounting the second word of Jesus from the cross, quickly became a favorite of mine. No other scriptural reference related better to the longings and experience of the inmates.

There was Bernie, who asked me if I really believed that God could still be that merciful. And then there was Jake, who proclaimed loudly to the whole group that he would never trust this story if he had not seen it in his Bible with his own two eyes. No wonder I felt more like a real Sister of Mercy there, teaching, proclaiming the absolute, unconditional love of our merciful God.

Meditation

Tradition has nicknamed Dismas, the man beside Jesus on the cross, the “Good Thief”—the one who stole heaven, the one who heard a promise right from the lips of a dying Jesus.

Happily, the Bible is the “Living Word” of God, not a collection of ancient stories!   Read More »

The Seven Last Words of Jesus – Week 1: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

February 14, 2018

By Sister Sheila Carney

Throughout this Lenten season, our blog will feature weekly reflections posted each Wednesday on the Seven Last Words of Jesus-the final words of Jesus on the cross. View the whole Lenten blog series.

View and print this reflection as a PDF.

Meditation

"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."Many years ago I had the opportunity to attend the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Sisters of Mercy in Australia. The version of the Lord’s Prayer chosen for the liturgy was from the Aboriginal tradition. Instead of “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” they prayed, “Others have done wrong to us and we are sorry for them today.”

These words tell us how forgiveness works on us. When we are able to forgive, we not only put the past, with its hurts, behind us, but we also find compassion in the space where we had been holding on to our hurts. We extend loving forgiveness to another because “they know not what they do,” or because their regret touches our hearts, or because we don’t want to carry the burden of an unforgiving heart. Perhaps our readiness to forgive comes sooner than the readiness to ask for forgiveness, or the other way around. In either case, the words of Jesus on the cross—”Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”-and the words of the Lord’s prayer call us to stretch out our hands to those who have hurt us and help them across the threshold of mercy, that door we have pledged to hold ajar.   Read More »

Introduction: The Seven Last Words of Jesus

February 7, 2018

By Sister Karen Dunville

View and print this reflection as a PDF.

Jesus, Word of God, gave us words of wisdom filled with hope and spoken from his heart. His words provide the truth about the meaning of life, which is love. The often-quoted words of Jesus call us to pray and to act with love.

Lent is a season to go deeper into our minds and hearts to draw us closer to the realization of God’s presence in our lives. Jesus’ final words, spoken to us as his human life was ending, help us better understand God’s love for us. His last words show us human pain and suffering, and they promise that God’s love is the source of life.

Throughout this Lenten season, our Sisters of Mercy blog will feature weekly reflections posted each Wednesday on the seven last words of Jesus:

  • Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
  • Today you will be with me in paradise.
  • Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.
  • My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
  • I thirst.
  • It is finished.
  • Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

May each of us find inspiration to love God and to love others as we reflect on Jesus’ last words.