Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me to ask for heaven.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus crucified with two thieves)
Luke portrays this special moment of faith. A thief looks at the crucified Jesus and sees a king. He even believes he has a kingdom. Jesus rewards his faith. “Today” means “before the sun sets”. Originally, “paradise” meant a walled garden for exclusive use of the owner. Now, it is used for heaven.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
One of the crucified thieves blasphemed Jesus, saying “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.” The other thief rebuked him. “Do you not fear God, for you are under the same condemnation? We suffer justly and receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done no evil.”
Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this day you shall be with me in paradise.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- The good thief sees the situation clearly. He is guilty. Jesus is innocent.
- This humility leads to faith. He believes that Jesus is the king.
- His faith leads to hope. If Jesus is a king, then he must have a kingdom.
- Hope leads to a request, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
- A request leads to eternal salvation. This very day, he will be with Jesus in the kingdom.
- The good thief offers hope to everyone. The doors of Jesus’ kingdom remain open until the very last moment!
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, you are the innocent lamb sacrificed for my sins.
- O Jesus, you were born for me. You died for me.
- You are a king and you have a kingdom.
- Fill my soul with hope.
- It is not too late. All my sins can be forgiven.
- Remember me, Jesus. Just remember me. That is enough.
- O Jesus, speak those words on my deathbed, “Today you will be with me.”
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- This day, I will pray often, “Lord, remember me.”
- I will acknowledge my sins and seek forgiveness in the sacrament of confession.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
This day you shall be with me in paradise.