Some writer with a sense of humour gave today’s gospel a striking title:
“The good thief who stole… heaven!”
It is interesting to note that, on today’s feast – the celebration of Christ the King –
we are given this gospel text to reflect upon (Lk.23:35-43).
It presents us with the picture of a king… crucified!
Not an inspiring sight in any way…
The leaders of the Jews sneer him.
The soldiers mock him.
One of the thieves taunts him.
And his followers are at a loss to make sense of what is happening.
Yet, it is to him, known as ‘the man of Nazareth’ that the thief – identified by tradition as Dismas –
addresses his prayer.
More of a desperate cry, this very short petition is all that was needed.
This man had recognized so much more than a king!
A cry of faith, words uttered in desperation or… the expression of amazing hope…
It remains valid and so very meaningful to this day:
This prayer could be ours, whatever our situation… no matter our desperation…
Note another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/34e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019-fete-du-christ-roi/