Through Lent with Pope Francis
When we resort to violence, we show that we no longer know anything about God, who is our Father, or even about others, who are our brothers and sisters. We lose sight of why we are in the world and even end up committing senseless acts of cruelty. We see this in the folly of war, where Christ is crucified yet another time. Christ is once more nailed to the Cross in mothers who mourn the unjust death of husbands and sons. He is crucified in refugees who flee from bombs with children in their arms. He is crucified in the elderly left alone to die; in young people deprived of a future; in soldiers sent to kill their brothers and sisters. Christ is being crucified there, today.Homily, Palm Sunday 2022
Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
Many people heard these extraordinary words, but only one person responded to them. He was a criminal, crucified next to Jesus. We can imagine that the mercy of Christ stirred up in him one last hope and led him to speak these words: “Jesus, remember me” (Lk 23:42). As if to say: “Everyone else has forgotten me, yet you keep thinking of those who crucify you. With you, then, there is also a place for me”. The good thief accepted God as his life was ending, and in this way, his life began anew. In the hell of this world, he saw heaven opening up: “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (v. 43). This is the marvel of God’s forgiveness, which turned the last request of a man condemned to death into the first canonization of history. Brothers and sisters, in the course of this week, let us cling to the certainty that God can forgive every sin.
He forgives everyone.
He can bridge every distance, and turn all mourning into dancing
Luke 23:32-43 NCB
There were also two others, both criminals, who were led away to be executed with him.
When they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there along with the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
And they cast lots to divide his garments. The people stood there watching.
Meanwhile, the rulers jeered at him and said, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” Even the soldiers mocked him. As they came forward to offer him sour wine, they said, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
There was also an inscription above his head that said, “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals hanging there taunted Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other rebuked him, “Have you no fear of God, since you are under the same sentence? In our case, we have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds.
But this man has committed no wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Thought for Today
Traditionally named ‘Dismas’, the ‘good thief’ was able to see the goodness in Jesus and, unlike all those around him, was able to speak the truth.
Be aware of those truths that you believe in, even though others may not agree: people who show love, those who build others up, people who are open to forgiveness. Where there is love and loving kindness, God dwells therein. Sometimes our experience of love goes against the grain of what Church or society might believe in.
Jesus Remember me – Taizé