Father, forgive them
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. This prayer was for those who crucified, insulted and whipped him, and he wanted to teach us forgiveness that we need while we are in the midst of this world which is dominated by fanaticism and hatred.
HG Bishop Takla of Dishna in his article (tolerance and forgiveness) explained to us the need to acquire the virtues of tolerance and forgiveness, especialy as we celebrate the Holy Week.
Violence and hatred can only be stopped by love, wisdom and tolerance. Thus, Jesus said: But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. (Matthew 5: 39) This is Love mentioned in (1 Corinthians 13) that is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. However, this doesn t mean to forget about your rights as Jesus refused to be beaten without cause: “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”. Furthermore, St. Paul demanded his rights and appealed to Caesar.
Tolerance is a virtue mixed with growth, and we are asked to use it for unlimited times and for all people, just as God forgives us. We need to pray for those who offend us and never offend back. May we learn from Jesus Christ who forgave those who crusified him.