What a beautiful Holy Week meditation!
In Redeemed Online’s Lent Series, Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, SV, of the Sisters of Life invites us to model the Good Thief’s “holy boldness” when he asked Jesus “to remember him” at the crucifixion.
She encourages, “In the crosses of our lives, whatever sufferings we face, let’s step into that holy boldness of that Good Thief– to believe that we have never gone too far to call upon [Jesus]”
Listen to her full meditation below:
Click here if you cannot see the video above.
Here’s the full text of her video:
“There Jesus was, dying on the cross, between two criminals who were sentenced to death for their crimes. One of them mocking Jesus, the other, who was forever known as ‘The Good Thief,’ was defending him, saying, ‘We are guilty of these crimes, but he suffers innocently.’
“And looking to Jesus, cries out and says, ‘Lord, Remember me when you come into your kingdom.’
“And then, Bingo! Paradise was promised! The eternal jackpot. I want that power—the power of those words—to ring true in my heart: ‘Remember me, Lord.’
“There was something bold and playful, pleading in that response: ‘Don’t forget about me! Miss me! I want to be with You!’ Something that the Lord couldn’t refuse.
“Yet, it was his very own sentiments towards his people Israel, that for years he pleaded with them, ‘to remember me.’ To ‘not go off and worship false idols.’ To ‘remember that I’m your God! Miss me!’
“That this would be the path to salvation.
“And in the Jewish faith, memory was not reaching back into the distant past to pull something forward. But it was a concept that pervaded the present moment. The whole of my here and now.
“The law to remember the Sabbath was what made them live it and make it holy every week.
“And then the Passover, which they gathered year after year, celebrating this freedom from slavery from Egypt, was celebrated explicitly, knowing that this remembrance would imbue in each person gathered, that this freedom from slavery was mine too. This was my story as well.
“And so Jesus, the night before the crucifixion, at the Passover meal with his disciples, and forever elevating it with the gift of his precious body and blood, bringing new freedom from slavery, said something very simple and profound for the Jewish year:
‘Do this in memory of me,’ was a whole new way of God saying, ‘Remember Me.’
“‘Remember that I’m your God–That I want to be with you in your present moment—in every situation you find yourself in.’
“And so Jesus’ heart swelled with the joy when he heard those words of the Good Thief: ‘Lord, Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.’
“This was a child after his own heart that recognized him.
“It was as if the good thief was saying, ‘I see you. You are my God. You’re the one that loves me—that longs for me to come home to be with you. That even though I’ve strayed, you’re going to pursue me, and I’m going to claim it.’
“So Jesus could not wait until tomorrow to celebrate with him. He said, ‘Today, you will be with me in Paradise.’
“So in the crosses of our lives, whatever sufferings we face, let’s step into that holy boldness of that Good Thief– to believe that we have never gone too far to call upon You.
“We’ve never waited too late. That You are always alongside of us–giving us freely the full gift of your heart. And that’s worth remembering.”
[See also: God Wants to Forgive You: Let Confession Bring You Fully Home This Lent, Priest’s Meditation Encourages]
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