Christ who pardoned the thief on the cross, will hear the plea
of a dying sinner today
THE GOOD THIEF, Dismas to whom Christ spoke while on the Cross, must have heard of the teachings and miracles of Jesus. He had put off doing anything about it. But he had seen a great deal of this Man this day; his heart was finally moved by the patience of Jesus and His prayer for those crucifying Him. Unlike his companion, He confessed his guilt and the justice of his sufferings and contrasts it with the innocence of Jesus. He asks that our Savior remember him in His kingdom. He does not ask to be relieved of his cross and to be freed from death, but only to be remembered. Jesus most generously rewards the thief with heaven on that very day.
We can learn from this incident something of the loving kindness and majesty of Christ. Even though He was in a sea of pain He gently received the plea of the thief and rewarded his faith and sorrow. We can learn, too, something of the power of grace. Grace will pursue us as long as we live, and at the moment we turn to God, even if it is in our last hour, He will lovingly receive us and forgive us.
We do well to remember that in welcoming the prayer of the thief our Savior did not breathe a word about the evil life he had been living. Neither should we murmur or complain when we hear of the deathbed conversion of public sinners and criminals. There is great joy in heaven over their conversion; there should be eq ual joy on earth among the faithful.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959 © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print.