“When they came to Skull Place, as it was called, they crucified Him there and the criminals as well, one on His right and the other on His left.” ––Luke 23:33
“One of the criminals hanging in crucifixion blasphemed [Jesus]: ‘Aren’t You the Messiah? Then save Yourself and us.’ But the other one rebuked him: ‘Have you no fear of God, seeing you are under the same sentence?’ ” (Lk 23:39-40) Today’s Gospel passage from St. Luke confirms that every action has a consequence. Are we living for the world like the bad thief? Or do we have the eternal perspective of the good thief?
This passage changed my life. Many years ago, at Mass, our merciful Savior cut through my apathy. As I listened to the good thief chastise the bad thief, I became completely focused. I was no longer daydreaming. The passage concluded with those most precious words of our Lord, “I assure you: this day you will be with Me in paradise” (Lk 23:43). It was the first time a Bible verse gripped me to the core. I immediately thought, “If that remorseful criminal can be saved, why not me?”
But why was the good thief saved? In addition to repenting, he performed several “good works.” He:
- admonished the sinner (see Lk 23:40),
- admitted his wrongdoing and submitted to justice (see Lk 23:41), and
- humbled himself and made an act of faith (see Lk 23:42).
Jesus canonized a saint into heaven from the cross! How will this change your perspective?
Prayer: Father, my sins are as a drop of water in Your eyes. I will not reject Your ocean of mercy.
Promise: “The Lord God is My help, therefore I am not disgraced.” ––Is 50:7
Praise: “Blessed is the reign of our father David to come!” (Mk 11:10)
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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