“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16
We have completed our 40 days in the desert and now we have entered Holy week. Jesus’ final week. Where we remember the heart of our faith, the Paschal Mystery: The Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ.
Today is Good Friday. I watched the stations of the cross and observed the prayerful silence 3:00 PM holy hour. As I reflected, I became so sad to know that I, we, all played a part in His death, which our salvation was won at such a great price. We witness Jesus’ selflessness, and obedience to His Father, where He willingly took on all our sins, and was brutally crucified for them. With that in mind, one thing that really spoke to my heart during this prayer time, is Jesus’ unconditional love and mercy for us. Throughout his ministry, He conveys this to us. We witness it In His miracles, healings, and forgiveness to those, like ourselves, who may not always be deserving of it. But, despite ourselves, and because of His Love for us, He still offers us His reconciliation, mercy, and forgiveness. Alleluia! We praise you Jesus and adore you, because of your cross, you have redeemed the world and set us free! This is the hope of Easter for us. Unlike Judas, who refused to accept Jesus’ forgiveness, the thief on the cross, and those who had faith and asked for Jesus’ forgiveness, were restored by His grace and looked forward to living in paradise and eternal peace with Him. We too are grateful to have this same opportunity given to us.
I had a dream a few nights ago about my mom. She was alive and I was so happy to see her. I asked her if she really was alive. I was asking others to touch her to make sure she was there. It was so real and vivid. I remember going from being filled with so much joy in seeing her, to having feelings of sorrow, guilt, and remorse. I was hugging her but then began to cry. I was telling her I was sorry for not being able to do more to help her. She was holding me and saying, “It is not your fault that I died, it was just my time to go to be with Jesus.” While we were talking, my brother Ricky appeared. We all embraced. It seemed so real! I woke up feeling a peace and a sense of relief. I believe that Jesus was speaking to me through my mom in the dream. Jesus was forgiving me for anything that I might have said or did to offend my mom, including any guilt feelings. He was telling me to let go of these feelings and accept her forgiveness. It reminded me of Jesus and His forgiveness of my sins; a particular sin I carried for 25 years, one I thought I could never be forgiven. He forgave me and I was able to accept His forgiveness and finally forgive myself. I realized that not accepting God’s forgiveness is because of our great sense of pride. We are like Judas. He would not humble himself to receive Jesus’ forgiveness. This led to his death. Whereas Peter, who had denied Jesus, humbled himself, went to Jesus and asked for His forgiveness, and was forgiven. This brought him even closer to Jesus. My acceptance of Jesus’ forgiveness brought me closer to Him and to the truth, “I am His beloved daughter and precious in His sight!” I became free of any bondage of guilt or shame!
Christ is risen! Therefore, I do believe that one day I will be with Jesus and my mom in Paradise. This Holy week I pray that you will have hope, and if in need, ask for Jesus’ merciful forgiveness, accept it and be reconciled with the Lord! Have a Blessed Easter!