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The 7 Last Words: A Millennial Reflection

Angelo is an active church volunteer and is proud to have dedicated his life to serving God as a choir member, lector, and youth leader.

Statue of the Crucified Christ in the Manila Cathedral (Photo by the author)

Statue of the Crucified Christ in the Manila Cathedral (Photo by the author)

Dear brothers and sisters, in commemoration the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us reflect on those Seven Last Words that he uttered while hanging on the cross for the salvation of mankind.



1. " Father, Forgive Them, For They Do Not Know What They are Doing."

Bible Verse:

"Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots." - Luke 23:34


Reflection:

This reminds us that we are being blinded by sin, which turns us away from God, but He never turns away from us. It is because Jesus felt pity on those who mocked him because of his ministry, his teachings, and his miracles. And he never felt anger nor treated them as his enemies, it is because the love of God has prevailed in him even in suffering on the cross.

We must acknowledge that God is merciful even in times when we are committing sin, like when we steal from someone else, or when we punched somebody as a result of anger. We are still humans after all, and we are still growing in maturity as long as our conscience is stronger in controlling our sinful desires. Lastly, we should love our enemies or the people whom we have anger with, let us pray for them so that they would be able to change themselves for the better.


Prayer:

Dear Almighty Father, I acknowledge that I am a sinner, I was blinded by the effects of all my sins and I am now repenting these to You. I now ask You to forgive me, for I do not know what I am doing. I am prepared to offer myself back to You. Amen.



2. "Today, You Will Be With Me in Paradise."

Bible Verse:

"Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” And Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”" - Luke 23:42-43


Reflection:

The Repentant Thief, who's name is Dismas, bravely accepted his fate for he and the other thief who's name is Gestas, deserved to be condemned for their actions, but acknowledges that Jesus doesn't as he has done nothing wrong to deserve this suffering and humiliations.

This reminds us that even though we are sinners, and we done grave sins either against humanity or against God Himself, we shall be promised to be granted eternal life as long as we repent on our sins and ask for forgiveness from God and others as well, and we show our repentance through changed behavior towards others. God forgives us no matter what sin we have committed, because He loves us as His children.


Prayer:

Dear Almighty Father, I hereby repent for my sins for the sake of the cleansing of my soul here on earth. No matter what sins I have done against You or against humanity, my conscience is the one that prevails as this made me feel sorry about by actions, and preventing me from committing mistakes in the future. I repent my sins because I desire to be granted eternal life that Your Beloved Son promised on the cross. I am prepared to offer myself back to You. Amen.



3. "Woman, Behold Your Son. Son, Behold Your Mother."

Bible Verse:

"Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother and her sister, as well as Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” So from that hour, this disciple took her into his home." - John 19:25-27


Reflection:

Jesus entrusted his disciple John, the brother of James, to care for his mother, Mary. Likewise, us before the hour that we depart from this world, we still care for the welfare of our loved ones here on earth. We are concerned about what would happen to our families and friends once we are gone, after we have departed from this world. It is actually a difficult thing to think about, so we must prepare for it when the time comes.

In the case of Jesus, his love for his mother comes before everything else, so he must entrust someone worthy to care for her. There was no one else worthy for care for her except John who is his disciple, who stayed behind at the foot of the cross because of his love for his master despite fear being prevalent in the other disciples.


Prayer:

Dear Almighty Father, I entrust to You the welfare of all my family and friends on earth. Keep them safe and free from all harm that would destroy their lives and souls, for them being safe makes my life complete. That's all I ask from Your Mighty Hand, that shows Your Love for all mankind. I am prepared to offer myself back to You. Amen.



4. "My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?"

Bible Verse:

"From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He is calling Elijah.”" - Matthew 27:45-47


Reflection:

There are times when we are in deep suffering, anxiety, and depression, we tend to think that God has already abandoned us and left us alone in the darkness of life. Yes, it is still understandable to think that way due to the fact that for us, it seems that there is no solution or end to this suffering. But no, we must not think that way, God allowed these trials and sufferings as tests for our faith to determine if we still keep our spirit strong and have the capabilities to overcome all these challenges.

Yes, there are already people dying because of depression and such suffering, but we must not blame them for having little or no faith. We must show love for other people because we never know what trials and sufferings they are enduring in their own lives. Let us show them that God has never ever abandoned them by praying for them and consoling them when they tell or show their sufferings. It is no easy task from Him, but it must be done for the sake of another's life.


Prayer:

Dear Almighty God, You already know that there are times when I feel that You have already abandoned me, especially during times when I am in trial and suffering. It is only now that I realize that these are tests of my faith in You, to show that You really have never abandoned me. I pray for those people who are in deep sorrow and suffering at this very moment, send them Your caring hand to prove to them that You really have never forsaken them. For there is hope with You. I am prepared to offer myself back to You. Amen.



5. "I Thirst."

Bible Verse:

"After this, knowing that everything had now been accomplished, and to fulfill the Scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there. So they soaked a sponge in the wine, put it on a stalk of hyssop, and lifted it to His mouth."

- John 19:28-29


Reflection:

There are times when we hunger and thirst for something, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Especially in this day and age, when such issues concerning the young adult generation are prevalent such as stress due to school works and workload, loneliness due to abandonment from friends and people around us, and depression from the combination of all these problems in life. We need someone or something to complete us, what it is would be up to us to obtain it.

In the case of Jesus, it means that he is now ready to accept the fulfillment of the promise of The Father to humanity. He now spiritually accepted his death in order to complete his mission to save mankind from sin.


Prayer:

Dear Almighty God, I hunger and thirst for Your divine love all the days of my life. I am ready to accept whatever Your plan is for me, because I know it is for the nourishment of my soul. Help me face the consequences of my acceptance of Your will, for You shall lead me to the path of righteousness if I deserve it. I am prepared to offer myself back to You. Amen.



6. "It is Finished."

Bible Verse:

"When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished.” And bowing His head, He yielded up His spirit." - John 19:30


Reflection:

This now proves the fulfillment of God's promise of our salvation, Jesus has now accomplished his mission here on earth, and he has now accepted death as his sacrifice for us. It seems like he is victorious even in death, it is because we are now saved from our sins. Us too, we feel victorious whenever we accomplish something in our life, like making another's life better by means of helping them succeed. We have accomplished what God has instructed us to do.

It is also the completion of all the prophesies and foreshadowing from the Old Testament, as all these prophesies has led to this very moment. His earthly mission seemed to have finished, but his spiritual presence and guidance to us still continues up to this very day. Us too, once we are done with our mission here on earth, we have fulfilled the graces and promises of the Lord, and we are now prepared to walk through the path of salvation.


Prayer:

Dear Almighty God, Your only begotten Son has now fulfilled his mission to save us from our sins. I now humbly accept the fulfillment of Your promise to us, my triumph over suffering has prevailed, and it is only You who knows when my mission is completed. I am prepared to offer myself back to You. Amen.



7. "Father, Into Your Hands, I Commend My Spirit."

Bible Verse:

"The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” And when He had said this, He breathed His last." - Luke 23:45-46


Reflection:

When we are in times of suffering and deep trial, we tend to lose hope in God as it seemed like He has already abandoned us. But no, He actually has something better prepared for us either here on earth or in Heaven. We may not know what it is until He shows it to us at His perfect time, we just have to keep an eye to realize what it is, as it may already be hiding in plain sight.

Especially during times when we are in sickness which seem worse or even terminal, we have nothing to do except offer our sufferings to God. For it is His will that will be done. We may not be physically healed, but we are spiritually healed by His grace and His undying and unconditional love for us. We lift up all our sufferings, all our trials that have tested us, our bodies, our personalities, and most importantly, our faith, to Him and His mighty hand. For it is the ultimate mission of all, the offering of one's self, in life and in death, to the greater glory of God, and allowing His Will to be done.


Prayer:

Dear Almighty God, We now have come to the conclusion that we lift up all our sufferings, our trials, and most especially, all our blessings in life, to You. As we acknowledge that these were sent to us as tests of our faith, send us the grace to provide us the wisdom and strength to face these challenges. For it is by Your Will that would be done. Because Father, into Your loving hands, I commend to You my spirit to have eternal life with You. I am prepared to offer myself back to You. Amen.



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