Lent is a journey that takes us directly to that cross where Jesus gave his life to save ours. This is scandalous in so many ways. But the very idea that God would come to us, only to die for us, so that we all may live forever together, is a powerful thought; mostly because the justice is so pure.
The cross is not only a journey to a particular destination, but it is also an action that we must undertake. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be a disciple of mine, my pick up their cross and follow me.” For Fr. Gahigi, like many others and myself, forgiveness would be his cross.
Jill Carattini writes, “Jesus extends to the world the possibility of reconciliation by simply embodying it. His suffering, and willingness to be broken by the very people with whom he is trying to reconcile, is the very road to our healing and wholeness and holiness…Far from the suggestion of a moralistic god watching a world of suffering and brokenness from a distance, the costly ministry of reconciliation comes to a world of violence and victims through arms that first bore the weight of the cross.” (1)
You might say that it is in our forgiveness that we find our salvation. Our cross is our destination and our purpose.
As we walk towards the cross we must faithfully hold fast to the promise of the Lord who said, “I will remember their sins no more.” With a clean heart and faithful spirit, we can approach God with confidence; faithfully believing God loves us and accepts us.
With faith in the righteousness of God, we can accept others as they are, and accept ourselves as imperfect as we are. Better still, we can risk forgiving and being forgiven.
Prayer: Dear God, help me to see my own forgiveness in the cross of Christ so that I might be able to forgive and live faithfully to your righteousness and will. Amen.
(1) Jill Carattini. A Slice of Infinity: The Suffering of Forgiveness. Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Sept 20, 2011. http://rzim.org/a-slice-of-infinity/the-suffering-of-forgiveness/