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The Cross as Mystery

 When you commit a sin, Jesus teaches us to ask God for forgiveness. But if we want God to forgive us, we must also be forgiving to those who hurt us with their sins.

 

Our sins block us from sharing in God's love... If we ask God to wipe away our sins, we must show God that we are sorry, and that we really do want to share in His Love.

 

We show God that we really do want to share in His love by being loving to others. That's when we love as God loves. We love as God loves when we forgive others who also sin. Just like Jesus forgives.

 

So by forgiving others for their sins, we share in God's love, and God forgives us our sins.

 

"If you forgive the faults of others, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours. If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive you."

 

When we forgive other people for hurting us with their sins, we share in God's life through Jesus. For Jesus is God's life, and He forgives all people their sins on the Cross. This is the Mystery of Jesus' cross. The cross is something in our world that lets us share in God's Kingdom.

 

Our sins hurt Jesus, and helped put Him on the cross. But Jesus forgives us because He is God. This shows us how much God loves us.

 

When we forgive we act like Jesus on the cross, and become part of His love as God. God's love in Jesus on the cross forgives all the sins of the world.

 

St. Paul says that; "If we are children of God, we are heirs... of God... with Christ, if only we suffer with him so as to be glorified with Him."

 

You will suffer with Jesus on the cross, if you forgive people as Jesus forgives them by His cross. Then you will share in God's life in Jesus. And as Jesus was glorified as God, the Son, so you will be glorified as God's child too. You will share in God's life... You will be raised from the dead like Jesus, and live with God forever in Heaven.

 

The Apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. The Prayer Jesus gave them says, "Forgive us... as we forgive..."

 

Learn the Lord's Prayer by heart...

 

The LORD's PRAYER Our Father, who are in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

 

Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

 

For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are Yours, Now and forever.

 

The Story of Saint Rafka, Who asked Jesus to share in the Mystery of the Cross

 

Born in 1832 Rafka entered a convent school in Lebanon, when she 14 years old. She became a nun at 21, and taught school for many years. When she was 53 years old Raf ka (in English, Rebecca) prayed to God to let her hare more fully in the pain of Jesus' Cross.

 

St. Rafka wanted to suffer with Jesus on the cross to share in God's love... the Love that saves all sinners. God heard her prayer and St. Rafka lost her sight. She never complained about being blind. Instead she offered up all her suffering with Jesus on the cross to save sinners. In her pain St. Rafka shared in the love God has for us. For as Jesus loved us so much He would suffer on the cross to forgive our sins, so St. Rafka wanted to be a part of Jesus' love for us by sharing in His suffering in her own body. After 22 years St. Rafka also became crippled, and soon her body was covered with sores. She turned all her sufferings into prayers for God, and became more and more a part of God's love for us. Finally in 1914 she died. The Pope named St. Raf ka a saint i n 2001 after her prayers to God helped many sick people. Maronites celebrate St. Rafka's Feastday on March 23.

 

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