APRIL 2018


By Fr. Tirso Villaverde

..."Jesus’s example of forgiving"

...continued from Home Page

“Glass half full”

In refusing to play the victim, Jesus transformed the way pain is received. Jesus did not fight back. He did not seek revenge. Instead of fueling the fire of hate with more hate, Jesus smothered hate with so much love that evil had no other choice but to flee.

Second, he did not allow someone else to be the scapegoat. Too often, we point the finger at someone else forgetting that three more are pointing right back at us. We can lead ourselves to believing that we have no part to play at all and everything is always someone else’s fault. It is so much easier to nail someone else to a cross rather than admit our own faults and weaknesses.

Jesus did not allow anyone else to be the scapegoat. Rather, he actually played the scapegoat even though he was completely innocent. He put himself in that position and allowed himself to be the object of so much hate and anger and violence. But, he did not throw the blame onto anyone else.

On the contrary, Jesus even prayed at one point that his persecutors be forgiven for they know not what it is they were doing. Eliminating the scapegoat transforms pain because we not only see what part we play in everything but we also learn to see the other person—even the one who caused us so much pain—as a child of God equally loved by the Father as we are loved by the Father.

The second quote I mentioned also is appropriate during this Easter season. “The closer God comes to us the more luminous and human we become.” Oftentimes, people may think that when God comes to us He comes to take something away from us. Part of the human tendency is to think that God comes to rob us of things that we enjoy so much. In this way, people can be led to believe that there is very little to no pleasure in life whenever God comes to us human beings to call us to follow in His way.

On the contrary, God does not come to destroy us but to make us even more fulfilled. St. Irenaeus who lived in the 3rd century once commented that the glory of God is man fully alive. For this reason, something is removed from us when God comes to us but it is not for the reason that many people may think.

The Resurrection of Jesus is an important mystery because in rising from the dead, Jesus has actually filled the hearts of believers to be more fully human, and more fully alive as we are called to be. We are reminded that we are creatures of light rather than of darkness.

May this Easter season be a time of renewal and reenergizing for all believers.


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