Who do you need to forgive?

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All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Ephesians 4:31-32

A meditation on the Wounds of Christ by: Ashley Blackburn
Wound of Betrayal

O Jesus, you were sorely betrayed by one of your own apostles, Judas.  How this must have hurt your heart to the very core.  When I am betrayed or hurt by someone that I love and trust, it is hard for me to bear.  I am usually led to lash out, fight back, or get even.  But you did none of this, Jesus.  In order to show us the way, you choose to love.  This radical love is what you call us to today.  Jesus, help me when I experience betrayal.  Soften my heart so that I may show love and forgiveness to those who offend me.  

 

Spend time in silent prayer meditating

 

Wound of False Accusation

O Jesus, you were falsely accused with erroneous claims made against you. The irony is that you, the fulfillment of the Truth, were made out to be a deceiver.  Jesus, when I am falsely accused, it is hard for me to keep my peace.  Anger and fear usually well up within me and it is with these that I take action and fight to prove my innocence.  But Jesus you showed us another way; the way of love.  You were content knowing that with God all things will be brought into the light of the Truth.  Your accusers did not have the Truth, but it was not in the will of the Father for you to reveal that Truth to them at that time, for the fulfillment of the Truth was expressed in your crucifixion and resurrection.  Jesus, help me to overcome my emotions in order to follow your way of peace in times of trouble.  

 

Spend time in silent prayer meditating

 

Wound of Abandonment

O Jesus, you experienced abandonment from most of your followers, with the exception of your mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and John the beloved disciple.  These three remained with you through your passion and death, while everyone else abandoned you and denied that they were once your followers.  Large crowds would gather to listen to you as you taught.  These same people would reach out to you to be healed and come to you in order for you to cast out demons.  Where were they all now?  Jesus, when I am abandoned or forgotten, I usually am led to feelings of sadness, unworthiness and even anger. But in your abandonment, you sowed peace and forgiveness; you chose to love even those who had hurt you so much.  This radical love is what you call us to today. Jesus, help me when I experience abandonment.  Soften my heart so that I may show love and forgiveness to those who have abandoned me.  

 

Spend time in silent prayer meditating

 

Wound of Scourging

O Jesus, the wounds of your scourging covered the entirety of your body; there were too many to count.  Blood poured from each of these wounds, covering your entire flesh.  It would have been hard to bear the sight of you, but the soldiers continued in their efforts to punish you despite your innocence.  Jesus, when I suffer from a physical injury or ailment, the pain is all I can think of. It captures my mind and my heart and I can do nothing except dwell on my suffering. Yet none of my pain compares to what you endured at the scourging. And despite your suffering, you chose to love. Although you could have stopped any or all of your passion and death, you chose to endure it, because it was the will of the Father.  This obedience to the Father is what you call us to today.  Jesus, help me when I experience physical pain and suffering.  Soften my heart so that I may show love despite my pain.  And teach me to offer up my pain as a prayer for others in need.

 

Spend time in silent prayer meditating

 

Wound of Insult & the Crown of Thorns

O Jesus, after being brutally scourged, you were then insulted, spit upon and publicly humiliated. They dressed you up in a purple tunic to mock your “kingship” and put a crown of thorns on your head. The thorns pressed deep into your head penetrating the skull.  Blood flowed down your face dripping over your eyes and nose, dripping over your lips and into you mouth.  All the while, the insults penetrated deep into your heart.  It was almost too much to bear, but you remained faithful to the Will of the Father, trusting that His plan would be brought to fulfillment.  This radical trust is what you call us to today.  Despite insults and humiliation, despite mental anguish and seeming failures, you are there for me as a constant source of love and healing.  May I always confidently turn to you, trusting in your providence.

 

Spend time in silent prayer meditating

 

Wound of the Right Shoulder

O Jesus, after enduring so much already, they then placed the heavy wooden cross upon your right shoulder and made you carry it with your frail, beaten, bloodied body up to Calvary.  They had no mercy.  Your passion was not yet complete. The pain and suffering was to continue, even though it seemed as if your human body could have taken no more.  But you took that next step, you chose to continue on in the midst of the horrendous circumstances. Jesus, how many times have I reached my limit and I chose to quit, to surrender to pity and defeat?  In the midst of your passion, you took that next step, under the weight of the heavy cross, trusting in the promise of the Father.  This wound of the right shoulder, where you bore the heavy cross, was the most painful.  In my own life, in the crosses that I am being asked to bear, may I always remember and unite mine to yours. Even after reaching what seemed to be your limit, you carried your heavy cross to calvary, for with God all things are possible.  He gives strength and an abundance of grace to those who trust beyond reason, clinging to their faith in their suffering.

 

Spend time in silent prayer meditating

 

Wound of the Hands

 

O Jesus, your hands were used for so much healing and so many miracles during your ministry.  Now they are being bound to the wood of the cross. The executioners stretched your arms apart, but in doing so they opened your heart to the world.  As we gaze at the crucifix today, we see you with arms outstretched, your loving arms just waiting to wrap themselves around us, comforting us in our suffering as you endured your own.  Despite the pain and suffering you were experiencing during the crucifixion, you offered only love and mercy. Jesus, may your love break us free of the sin that nails us down, so that by freeing our hands, may we use them for the building up of your Kingdom.

 

Spend time in silent prayer meditating

 

Wound of the Feet

O Jesus, your feet were rough, worn, and well traveled.  These same feet carried you from one town to the next in order to proclaim the Good News.  Now they are nailing your feet to the cross.  Binding them in hopes that you would no longer be able to continue your ministry.  But little did they know that after the resurrection, you were going to penetrate the hearts of all mankind. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, your ministry did not end, but only multiplied. Jesus, there are many times in my life where I feel bound, unable to make a change in my life or a difference in the world.  But we know that not even the crucifixion could stop your mission of salvation. Through our own acceptance and participation in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we too are set free from the bondage of sin and death. Thank you Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit to be united with us in such an intimate way. May I always desire to do your will, despite the obstacles that may be in my way.

 

Spend time in silent prayer meditating

 

Wound of the Side & the Heart

Your crucifixion was complete.  It was only a matter of time before you breathed your last.  The onlookers continued to insult you, even in your most vulnerable state.  The words you spoke on the cross are a powerful witness to us “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.  How hard it is to forgive those who have offended me, and especially those who I know will continue to offend me or those who have no guilt for what they have done. But you showed us a great example on the cross. Your radical forgiveness was not just for you to do once, but for us to imitate in our own lives.  It is only through your grace that we are able to forgive and it is forgiveness that heals our Hardness of Heart.  

 

Then you breathed your last breath and the soldier took his spear and dug it into your side.  Water and your most Precious Blood flowed out from this wound.  Jesus, when we come to you and standing at the foot of your cross, place all our worries, fears, concerns, sufferings, and loved ones at your feet, it is in that moment of surrender that we are washed clean with the lifegiving water and saved by your sacrificial love that is poured out for us through the precious blood.  Jesus, come to my aid in my pain and suffering, for I am unable to endure it alone.

 

Spend time in silent prayer meditating

 

Triumphant Wound

After the resurrection, your wounds did not disappear, for Thomas looked upon the wounds in your hands and put his hand into your side. These wounds will forever be a part of the story of our salvation.  They remain as a sign of your triumphant win over sin and death. How often do I long for my past hurts to disappear?  The pain of them seems to be too much to carry with me.  But in union with your resurrection, we too are able to conquer sin and death.  We are able to gain victory over our past hurts and offenses.  For it is through the resurrection that your wounds were renewed.  They now allow the light of salvation to shine through them, pouring out graces upon all of humanity.

About veilofveronica

I am a mother and wife as well as an RCIA and Adult Faith Formation catechist at a parish in the south. I have 3 children and a great husband.
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3 Responses to Who do you need to forgive?

  1. Kathleen Sexton says:

    This is a beautiful and moving meditation. Thank you so much for making it available. I so needed to connect with Jesus suffering and to forget my own.

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