We adore you O Christ, and we praise you,
because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are You not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39 – 43)
How many times did I look at You from the pair of eyes of the thief who was consumed by anger, hatred and arrogance? When things did not go my way, when unfortunate events happened and when I was disappointed, I easily gave in to the temptation of thinking, “Are You not the Messiah? Save me!”
When I was weak, instead of seeking Your help, I pretended that I was strong. As pain came, I chose band-aid solutions, never acknowledging the deeper root of my despair. Walking around hurt, I passed on to others the misery that I was carrying with me. I sinned and got hurt. I sinned and blamed You for allowing me to. I blamed You for not sparing me the anguish and suffering.
Lord, with all humility, I confess that I created a cycle of pain and blame. I refused to admit my faults and this was the reason I was not able to see who You really are. I derided You because I did not know You.
But, now it is in the past. Loving Lord, give me the vision to move on and move forward. Let me see all of who You are this time.
I would like to forever look at You from the eyes of the penitent thief. Let my eyesight be filtered by a heart who knows Your immeasurable love and everlasting mercy. Bring me to a place as close as the thief who saw Your agony, an agony that You willingly embraced for him, for me – so he, I could be saved. Just like him, move my tongue, my lips, my mind and my spirit to speak prayerfully about my wrong-doings, ask humbly for forgiveness, and accept lovingly Your pardon and grace.
Let me trust you with all my heart and surrender fully my life to you. As I look back and see the many times I sinned, I come to You broken and weak saying these words:
“I indeed have been condemned justly, for I am getting what I deserve for my deeds. Dear Lord, all I hope now is that You remember me in Your kingdom.”