- Jesus Christ, to the Good Thief (and hopefully, someday, to us)
By now you know today's reading is my favorite Gospel passage. Here are some of my thoughts about the Good Thief (St. Dismas) from this weekend:
- I wonder if the he ever met Jesus. It wouldn't be that unrealistic. There is a chance he heard Jesus preaching as he walked past him. We tend to forget what life was like back then, and surely a figure like Jesus would draw attention as He entered a village.
- Did he insult Jesus first? Matthew and Mark both tell us that those crucified next to Jesus jeered Him. Perhaps St. Dismas realized the error of his ways while witnessing Christ's behavior on the cross.
- The fact that Jesus tells the St. Dismas that he will join Him in Paradise shows God's unbelievable mercy. Did the Good Thief give a full confession on the cross? It doesn't sound like it. Was he baptized? It doesn't sound like it. So why was he saved? One reason, and one reason only... God's great mercy.
- His scene is actually a Station of The Cross. Number 11 to be exact. I sometimes forget that because most churches still have the original Stations up. (As you know, Pope John Paul II instituted a series of 14 new Stations to more accurately align to the Gospels)
- His teaches us to act. Now. What if the Good Thief waited to ask Jesus to remember him? We may never know, but we do know that God is always ready to forgive us. He waits for us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And yet, few of us take frequent advantage of that.
God Bless you.