The Second Word of Jesus on the Cross: A Reflection
"Today, you will be with me in Paradise."
It has just been a few minutes after Jesus prayed to His heavenly Father to forgive His persecutors, a few minutes of continuous pain and agony. And it is here that the Lord spoke His second Word: "Today you will be with me in Paradise."
Jesus has just canonized the first saint!
For most, an unlikely choice for sainthood. He was a thief, and probably spent many years of his life robbing other people. Not a worthy candidate for this highest honor.
But wait! He acknowledged his sins and repented for them. "Jesus, remember me when you come to your kingdom!"
The response of Jesus was immediate: "Today, you will be with me in Paradise!"
"A sincere and contrite heart, O Lord you will not spurn."
The thief became a good thief and was promised heaven.
How about us? We may not be a bit like that thief was promised and given heaven.
But our aim is just the same: to be with Jesus in paradise . . . in His heavenly kingdom.
And we can be sure that if we ask Jesus, repent of our sins and acknowledge Him, He will say also to us: "Today, when your time comes, you will be with me in paradise!"#