"There was never a preacher like the dying Christ. There was never a congregation like that which gathered about the pulpit of the Cross. There was never a sermon like the Seven Last Words." - Archbishop Fulton Sheen, from The Seven Last Words.
1. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." - Luke 23:34
The purpose that Jesus was sent by His Father is for the forgiveness of sins and these words remind us of htis fact. Sins are offenses against God and can olnly be forgiven by Him, thus he takes our sins to the cross so that we may receive this great gift. Prayer and study are necessary to properly form our conscience so that we recognize our faults in not following Christ as we should. Our end goal is Heaven, which requires perfection with the grace of God through the sacraments. By immersing our lives with Scripture we read and hear the Word of God and through our study of our faith we learn how to live it out. In living out our faith we begin to recognize how often we fail to live like Christ in causing hurt to others through our actions or our thoughts but also in the failure to act as well. Baptism forgives all our sins but we recognize that we sin even after baptism. The sacrament of confession is where we recognize that Jesus came in order to save us and reconcile us with God so that we may know His love and allow Him to be our model of holiness.
2. "This day you shall be with me in Paradise" - Luke 23:43
This interaction between Jesus and the two criminals testifies to our need to recognize our offenses. It is in recognizing our offenses that we can begin to see the mercy of God that awaits us. God's mercy desires for us to be with Him in Paradise. It is freely given but we have to want it. It is a gift from God but as in all gifts we have to know what it is that we are being given and we have to accept it. Our acceptance is living our lives in a way that resembles that we which we are pursuing. We model our lives after Christ recognizing the great gift of mercy that Jesus desires to give by extending that very mercy we receive to those that we encounter every day. Paradise is an eternal reward, this life is temporary. If we live for eternal things in this life we will receive those things we have lived for while making our way through the life that we have been given.
3. "Woman, behold thy son" - John 19:26-27
4. "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" - Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34
5. "I thirst" - John 19:28
6. "It is finished" - John 19:30
7. "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" - Luke 23:46