Jesus forgave all of his persecutors, both as an adult and as a child.
You can get Aleteia inspiration and news in your inbox. Our specially curated newsletter is sent each morning. The best part? It's free.
While upon the cross, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). The statement reiterated the reality that Jesus came to save all of us, not just the virtuous, but most importantly the greatest sinners.
He looked with compassion upon those who put him to death and while it isn’t recorded what the Child Jesus would have thought when he learned that his family had to flee from Herod, he most certainly would have forgiven even Herod for his heinous actions.
It’s not always easy to forgive those who hurt us, and often we might harbor negative feelings towards them for decades. However, we are urged by Jesus to forgive our enemies and to love them with a Christ-like love.
If this is difficult for us to do, one way to soften our hearts is to pray to the Child Jesus. There is something about children and their innocence that penetrates the coldness of our hearts. The face of a child can help lower our guard and we may be more willing to accept a difficult truth.
Here is a brief prayer to the Child Jesus from The little book of the most holy child Jesus for help forgiving our enemies or those who have hurt us in the past. It challenges us to love all people, especially those who injured us in any way.
This little Child has come into the world to save His people; and not only has He not where to lay His head, but they seek to take His tender life with the cruel sword.Does He say, “I will not save these men. They seek to shed My Blood, to take the life of Me, who came to be their life.”“I will not save them!”No. It is already in His Heart, “Father, forgive them.”The wilder their hate, the more tender His love.Dear Child Jesus, I will bear no anger nor hatred in my heart.I forgive all who have hurt me, or who have sought to do me harm.Give me grace, for your dear sake, always to forgive, always to pray for those who may injure me or wish me ill.Dear Mother Mary, it was sorrow, not anger, that filled your heart. You could not but pray for the enemies of your dear Son. Pray that I may have ever a forgiving heart.Holy Joseph, pray for me.Most Holy Child Jesus, save your children.
What did Jesus say about forgiveness?