Sly at the zero hour

Jesus said to him “I promise you that today you will be with me in paradise”.  A phrase that gives eternal life, a promise that is not broken and truly happens. Isn’t it great and amazing that at this point in your life, someone is assuring you of the place which is wholly unknown to you? Isn’t it lifegiving knowing that at this certain point, someone never gives doubts upon you, neither puts you into the irons of prejudices? You just have to believe and trust His words, don’t question and distrust which are remarkable basic human instinct values. This is precisely, what the man did at this zero hour of his life when he was hanging on the cross, together with Jesus. This calls for the greatest testimony of someone’s TRUST in the person of whom he just might have heard about greatness, power and humility.  Moreover on that cross, he wins life for all eternity.

Let us try to bring to mind this event in this season. Having a moment during this Lent when we are called to reflect, recall and further re-examine ourselves and our relationship with our God, of our truthfulness and transparency of our very lives in His mercy and kindness. A specific time for us Christians to re-evaluate ourselves on how are we responding each day to the call of conversion, the call of fraternal charity as well as the call of life in advocating true peace and ambassadors of respect and equality, especially towards our oppressed brothers and sisters in different aspects of real life situations for both young and old. An ideal opportunity for our self-renewal towards His love, the act of charity.

In like manner, let us allow ourselves to take a glance of the sly man in that very hour – the thief who became a liege lord in stealing the eternal life, as he acknowledged, forthwith who Jesus was – the Saviour, his Saviour when he said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Let us pass an eye over the heart of the thief when he said these words to his companion, when he blasphemed Jesus on the cross. We might be on the same boat, giving judgements and putting into the box persons who are explicitly doing evil or even more, in our daily struggles in the process of purifying our thoughts and action towards our neighbor.

The Reminder

“Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? “No matter how sinful is he, he had deep reverence, the humility of accepting that there is God who sees everything and gives due sanction to all he has done in his life. He simply acknowledged his nothingness before God and enunciated his love towards the Almighty despite his misgivings. It became then, the best phraseology of a penitent’s heart.

The Acceptance

“…And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds;” After all, with all his humility he accepted the rewards of his wrongdoing. This acceptance defeated the capital sin which is Pride and gave him the avenue to see the hope in the one next to him who is Jesus – the giver of New Life. This made him speak the words with such conviction, faith, and full trust in the Saviour, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ – his saving ticket to eternal life.

The Truth

“…but this Man has done nothing wrong.” He became an utmost witness of the TRUTH about Jesus. That the Lord does not do anything which would harm the humanity but instead saving the humanity form the slavery of sin. The tenacious statement of truth on the person of Jesus, his real identity and of his deeds.

As we make headway on our journey with intense prayer and contemplation of the mystery of our Lords Passion and Death, let us allow ourselves to ponder and perpend personages of his way to the cross and on the cross.  In doing this may we be able to concretely touch our inner selves to see how deeply we are connected to our Lord’s suffering and to reconnect to the weight of the past to our present in order to seize the joy of the resurrection and apperceive the new life in Him.

Jesus did not just promise afterlife but give us LIFE through His Death. The penitent thief was clever enough to win life, so we must too, as each single day offers a new beginning, a new hope for tomorrow and the assurance of a life which must be filled with certainties. The certainty of being with Jesus when He comes again!

Sr. M. Glenda, fdz

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