Dearest Jesus, please don’t let Tom’s wife lose hope. Please comfort her and Tom and their daughter.
To forgive, and to cope, we need You
Jesus’ dying prayer
Father God, the sky is darkening with the culmination of my human destiny. I can no longer see Your Face! I humbly cry out to You from the depths of my being. I AM Your beloved Son who has accomplished all that You desired of me. I AM only begotten Son of Your divine Essence. You created all things through me. Yet I hang defenceless upon searing metal stakes that bite into my flesh and bone each time that I force upwards to gasp the very air that You created through me.
My torment is scarcely bearable and my mind faints and jolts in horrific awareness with the weakness of my battered, abused body. My body, ruined in its youthful strength, is exposed in degraded despoil. Fevered with dehydration, my eyesight fades, my ears ring, my head throbs, and my tongue swells. My muscles tremble uncontrollably, deeply bruised by the Roman scourgers who smashed metal and jagged bone into every part. My face is swollen and raw; my eyelid split, heavy with pain and blood. Sweat screams saltily in my torn nerves. My joints are dislocated with violent distension. My head can find no ease as the thorns gouge into my scalp with inescapable ache within my brain.
Yet nothing wounds deeper than the torture of love within my being. My heart thunders and rips with the anguish of love. Love is the shuddering gasp of my breath. Love is the dry, harsh voice of thirst that cries out my forgiveness. Love is the blood and life-fluids that drain from me. Love is my strength, my weakness, my hope, my faith and my generosity. Love has been my life and now it is my death. Let love flow from me upon all my brothers and sisters of humankind, to cleanse them from evil and discord. Let love draw them to me, in communion on their cross of redemption.
My Father how I love them, these foolish blind ones who watch me die, and taunt with indifference, lukewarmness and unbelief throughout the centuries. They have not seen and heard although I have fought the powers of evil for them, with persistent prayer and penance, with teaching and example, with humility and powerful truth, and now with my death. I am, for them, a bleeding, suffering testimony of love.
I love them, Father. Forgive them. They cannot understand what they do and fail to do. For my love of them even in my extremity, forgive them. Save them from the pitiless powers of darkness that rule the earth and oppress their lives.
They are my kin. I emptied myself of all glory and lived, witnessed and die—as man—for them. Pity them, for sake of my pity for them. I hold them up to You. My whole being bears the emptiness, darkness, and guilt of humankind’s deepest struggle. I would strive to enlighten them as I have these past years, but now is only time to suffer, to expiate, and to plead for them.
I have been patient with them, Father. With careful repetition and example, I taught them what they must take into their darkened minds for their soul’s redemption and for the nations to which I will send them in Your name. I frequently transcended the natural sequence of events to offer them miracles, so that they would recognise Your power in me, thus be encouraged to believe and to follow Your truth. Yet many only marvelled at spectacle, seeking more.
Father, my throat is bruised and constricted, for grief of the souls for whom I die. They cannot know how terribly wounded I am by their sin, infidelity, hypocrisy, mental blindness and hardness of heart. I am God and I am sinless man—so these things have heinousness and poignancy far beyond their dulled understanding. Nor can they imagine the depth of my love and yearning for each precious one’s everlasting happiness and fulfilment in You.
Father, look upon these Your chosen people from whom You drew my human form. They join with the gentiles to destroy me, for evil howled for my death, and they succumbed. Now it seems that my mission is lost to evil spirits who believe that they have triumphed over the only Person who could restore Creation and redeem humankind. Yet I shall rise again, because I am eternal Lord of Creation. I am undefeated, for my faith and love is Your reality and victory, You who are divine origin of all that exists. With my rising so shall humankind be raised to You.
Father, I offer You my whole Self, all that I am and have done, with all that You are, to plead for salvation and conversion of souls. I might have refused to become their redemption, yet I accept total immolation. Within it, Father, I hold each person to myself. In the wounds, the blood, in the tender swelling of broken tissue, in the shuddering of shattered muscle, in the sweat that burns across the clammy dust of earth upon me—within these is written the name of each human soul! Laden with humankind and with the sins and guilt of each, I offer myself to You, Father. As Your divine Son, I implore that You accept this prayer across the length and breadth of time.
Father, my Father, I am crushed! My humanity yearns for release and peace as grief and longing rasps at every fibre of soul, mind, heart and body. Speak in me, Father, out of Your own Being. Pray in me, and accept all suffering love at my torn, bleeding hands.
I am Your own, Your very Self—and these for whom I am living Sacrifice are my sisters and brothers, my kin, flesh of my flesh. Accept all my prayer for them—all ever prayed and suffered by any person in union with me throughout time, all love, atonement and praise from each individual, held up to You in my ruined hands.
Everything You have given to me and to each soul, I return to You, with all that I am, which is of Your nature yet also of my human frailty. So Father, grant the coming of Your Kingdom in the souls of Your people, my own, out of Your great love for me.