Arch-Bishop Sheen writes, Jesus on the cross, First words go out to His Enemies; “Father forgive them, they know NOT what they do!”
When the Roman’s crucified Roman lawbreakers and insurrectionists; they were used to their victims crying out against them. They perfected the crucifixion, not only to punish but as a warning for all those who go against their commands You will face certain death! The Apian Way was pre-paved with tree poles at the city outskirts, as just warning.1 According to Dr Edwards, the Roman execution of Jesus was pretty much done by the book. Roman citizens, soldiers, women and children were given a pass and did not bare crucifixion. But Jesus, being none of these faced the bitter Cross of Roman death. The flogging, stripping, drink of gull ( bad wine) and attachment to the cross all observed the LAW. Pontius Pilot Governor, fearful of news of trouble getting back to Rome; because Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi, most likely followed the letter of Roman law without exception.
There was 1 exception, to Roman Law, in this Crucifixion!
Almost universally, the common occurrence was the carving of tongues from their victims, cut out, as required by Law. The Roman soldiers did this to stop the Blasphemes against the Caesar and them, formally ending their complaints, denials, and professions of their injustice.2 Not so unbelievable, as even the jails today are filled with the innocent, or so they say! Can you imagine the disappointment of the Pharisees and all the Hebrew crowd who cried out “we have no King but Caesar.”3 When this King of Love, does not blaspheme his murderers but asks instead, calling to His “Father; Forgive them they know not what they do?” So Jesus final moments of death, He loves his neighbor. You know the ones; that flogged, spat and stripped him hours earlier in a Mockery of a Trial, that even it’s executioner judge did not accept the accusations. “ I find no fault in Him”4.
Sheen remarks the surprise and indignation, that this Rabbi sticks to His message, “love they neighbor as thyself, calling for their forgiveness not His! He is even pleading for their mercy as these refused Him and his Works. Sure they had been keeping a close tab on His mission, and his TRUTH of His Word, that is why He threatened them. His words condemn the world.5 Although His miracles and preaching could no longer threaten, do you suppose this action and these words asking a Father in heaven for forgiveness haunt them? Forgive them, they know not what they do? Did they ask themselves, what could this man mean we don’t know what we are doing? The Pharisees Priests hid in the shadows, waiting for the one last torture, their vindication moment: the customary carving out of protesters tongues, as required by Law for blasphemers of Caesar. But instead all were disappointed. Did these Words: “Forgive them Father,” haunt the priests, or were they all too numb to sin by then? His words condemn the world.6
And what about this testimony. Many say he came to Forgive us all and this is true. The cross and sacrifice is enough for us all. But who is taking Him up on his offering? How many men today say “it is One and Done”. Yahoo? What a mockery of His gift. These believe or say they believe, that this action of one man then covers us all. We believe Lord. But belief is not words alone. Are these people innocent “they know not what they do? Were the Pharisee priests innocent? Or were they thinking of their pocket books, power, prestige, traditions? So what are today’s sinners why are they innocent?
They believe, but do not do? IS this an excuse? Will a just earthly just judge excuse a criminal because he is ignorant of the law? Or as the roman crucified, will these also while being crucified in punishment scream their innocence until the Roman soldier is ordered to cut out their lying tongues?
Or what about the women today like the Pharisee ambitiously killing the innocent. How will she proclaim but Father I did not know? Can a just judge ignore the truth? Will the advocates for justice (the countless babies) say; she knows she has a chemical reaction to her body within days of her pregnancy. She knows there is life in her womb. Later her menstrual cycle completes her conviction. She knows, she acted against you Father in her fornication. Or what are her defenses, “Father I did not know? How is she different to a murderer on death row, claiming the gun went off by itself, its the guns fault, when his victim had several slugs in their bodies. Father forgive them for SHE knows not; what she does? This is ignorance?
Yes Venerable Fulton Sheen makes a prayer desiring to be held ignorant of the worlds wisdom. But then he isn’t denying the mercy of the Cross through penance. The sacrament of penance is the principle point of Salvation in the Cross. Penance and forgiveness wasn’t established that day, the Jewish people practiced their ritual of penance, day of Atonement yearly, on Yom Kippor. Almost 6000 years now. But what of the rest of you? All christians that say Lord, Lord to Jesus, are they doing the ritual He established? Islam calling Alah, Father Forgive them for they know not what they do. He died for you. And for me. But you cannot humble yourself before the living God and admit to another you participated all day long in crucifying Him….your Lord? How can He be your Lord, meaning your master! When you do not obey what he teaches? You deny His Church, he left here for you? Many convince themselves, the golden rule observable to all over age 7, instilled into our hearts and minds, does not apply, only His Mercy.
What of presumption?
Presumption is a rash expectation of salvation without making proper use of the necessary means to obtain it. ( Baltimore Catechism)
How may ALL of us be guilty of presumption?
We may be guilty of presumption:
1. By putting off confession when in a state of mortal sin;
2. By delaying the amendment of our lives and repentance for past sins;
3. By being indifferent about the number of times we yield to any temptation after we have once yielded and broken our resolution to resist it;
4. By thinking we can avoid sin without avoiding its near occasion;
5. By relying too much on ourselves and neglecting to follow the advice of our confessor in regard to the sins we confess.
In the situation you describe, the sin to be the most worried about is the sin of presumption. The sin of presumption starts out with committing small sins presuming that God will forgive them. But over time our conscience will become dulled to sin and we will be led to presume that God will forgive our mortal sins. However, at that point, because of our presumption, we will be missing the necessary condition for the forgiveness of mortal sins: sorrow for our sin.
The Advocate, will say, His church teaches also, this is Presumption of His Mercy. Thus a breaking of the 2nd commandment of 10. No exceptions. We are called to honor.
But modernism society of the world, already condemned by His testimony, convinces you His Mercy is endless, but where is justice, held somewhere within in ones own mind?? Jesus did not receive justice and he was humble.
Oh so you think it is your right to innocently condemn little ones to death; like the Pharisee priests in the shadows, good luck with that! NO, the Father did not spare His Only Begotten Son, from injustice, How then do you make your case, to spare you! Spare you, your Justice?
1 “Scourging and Crucifixion In Roman Tradition.” Christian Biblical Church of God: Restoring Original Christianity for Today, 2018, www.cbcg.org/scourging-crucifixion.html. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019. William D. Edwards, MD, Department of Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
3 Jn19:15., “Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.”
4 Jn18:38., “What is truth? And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews, and saith to them: I find no cause in him.” Jn19:4, Later said, “ Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him.”
5 Jn7:7., “The world cannot hate you; but me it hate: because I give testimony of it, that the works thereof are evil.”
6 Ps.72:15., “If I said: I will speak thus; behold I should condemn the generation of thy children.”