In the middle ages a king was considered the center of the world, some referred to him as the Sun. The Gospel tells the story of the Good Thief, who realizes at his death that through the darkness of his life, his own goodness connects with the heart of Jesus. He offers his life to Jesus on the Cross. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
Jesus immediately responds as if waiting anxiously for him, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” From the Cross Christ takes possession of what the Father has given Him-all of creation.
He is King of the universe; the One Who promises to find us when we are scattered, confused, or living in dark places. God searched for the Good Thief his whole life and finally finds him on Calvary. The Thief recognizes Jesus on the Cross and offers his life to the One Who always loved him.
In the same way, God will find us and give us rest.
Yes, Jesus is the King Who loves. Only in love is Jesus capable of liberating us from the bondage of sin and fear, making it possible for us to be good, loving and forgiving.
My dear friends, as we conclude the Year of Faith, we can begin to realize what we have learned: that our faith is a very precious and fragile gift from God, that with this gift we seek out, as a parish and as individuals the poor; those who have lost their faith or those, who through spiritual sloth, ignore it.
The reality is that 80% of our parish is poor and lost. The fruit of this Holy Year is that Jesus sends us from the cross to show them the way back. Jesus calls us from His Throne on Calvary to become missionaries for the Church.
Do not to be afraid, repeat with the Thief “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom,” Pray it over and over today.
Come to realize, in spite of your sinful ways, your own goodness. It is there that others hearts will be attracted to God’s Mercy. Do not allow what frightens you to hide you from His sacraments or prevent you from seeking His Face in that 80% who are lost. Go after them and bring them home.
Can it be so hard to love God? Can it be so difficult for Him to find us? Don’t wait for your dying breath, say the words today, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” Open your hearts to those who are lost and risk the consequences of your actions: holiness, justice, love and peace.
The Father gives us Christ today as King of all creation, as a way to reconcile ourselves with God in His Church. He gives us food that we might open our minds and hearts to Christ in the poor and live by His Gospel with joy!
Be not afraid to ‘do everything for the love of Jesus!’ (Bl.Teresa of Calcutta)