In the Name of the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Ghost.
As we progress deeper and deeper into the weeks of Lent,
we can say with an ever-growing sense of gratitude and of joy, of a
serene and exulting joy the words of a Psalm, СMy soul shall live, and
with gratitude I will give glory to the Lord'.
In the first week of Lent we have seen
all the promises of salvation given in the Old Testament fulfilled: God
became man, salvation has come, and all hopes are possible. And then, in
the second week of Lent, we had the glorious proclamation of all the
Saints of Christendom that not only did God come and dwell in our midst,
but He has poured out upon us, into the Church, and into every human
soul ready to receive Him the presence, the transforming gift of the
Holy Spirit that makes us gradually commune ever deeper to the Living
God until one day we become partakers of the Divine nature.
And today, if we ask ourselves, 'But how
that? How can we be forgiven, how can evil be undone?' - one step brings
us deeper into gratitude, deeper into joy, deeper into certainty when we
consider, when we contemplate the Cross.
There is a passage of the Gospel in
which we are told that when Christ spoke of salvation and of its
conditions, Peter said to Him, 'Who then can be saved?' - and Christ
answered, 'What is not possible to men is possible for God!Т. And He
Himself came; the fullness of God abided in a human person, and He has
power to forgive because He is the victim of all the evil, all the
cruelty, all the destructiveness of human history. Because indeed, no
one but the victim can forgive those who have brought evil, suffering,
misery, corruption and death into their lives. And Christ does not only
forgive His own murderers, when He says, 'Father, forgive - they don't
know what they are doing': He goes beyond this, because He had said,
'Whatever you have done to one of My smaller brethren and sisters, you
have done it to MeТ - not only in good, but indeed, the worst: because
in compassion, in solidarity He identifies with every sufferer: the
death, the pain, the agony of each of those who suffer is His. And so,
when He prays, 'Father, forgive! They do not know what they are doing,
what they have been doingТ, He prays for each of us not only in His own
name, but in the name of all those upon whom evil has visited because of
But it is not only Christ who forgives;
everyone who has suffered in soul, in body, in spirit, - everyone is
called to grant freedom to those who have made him suffer.
And so, we can see why Christ says,
'Forgive so that you may be forgiven' because both the victim and the
culprit are tied in one knot of solidarity and reciprocal
responsibility. Only the victim can say, 'Lord - forgive him, forgive
herТ, and only then can the Lord say, СI do!Т.
But do you realise what responsibility
it puts on each of us with regard to all and everyone? But also the
depth, the glorious depth of hope which opens up to us when we look at
the Cross and see that in solidarity with all mankind Christ taking upon
Himself all the suffering of the world, accepting to die an impossible
death has said in the name of all the sufferers, 'Yes, - we forgive!Т
This is one more step towards freedom,
this is one more step towards the moment when we will be faced with
Christ's resurrection that engulfs us also because the risen Christ is
risen and is offering all and each of us the fullness of eternal life.
And so again, and again we can say that
Lent is a spring of a new life, a new time, a time of renewal, not only
in repentance, but in being taken by Christ Himself as the shepherd took
the lost sheep, as the Lord took up His Cross, brought it to the place
of death, and undid death, undid evil by forgiveness and giving His life.
Once more we are confronted with another step of our freedom and of
newness. Let us enter ever deeper into this mystery, into this wonder of
salvation, and rejoice in the Lord, and rejoicing, step after step, more
and more, let us also express our gratitude by newness of life. Amen!