As I stood in two places at one time (a tip I picked up from my favorite movie, "A Walk To Remember"), I could not help but think about the "good thief" hanging on the cross beside Jesus. His request was a simple one. "Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom." Although I have heard the reading many times throughout my life, there was something about it today that gave me goosebumps when I heard the reply of Jesus. "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Wow! Mercy, grace, forgiveness, and the assurance of eternal life in one powerful moment.
Standing on the bridge with my feet in two separate states was nothing compared to what this individual experienced. A convicted criminal who sought forgiveness in his moment of agony was promised eternal life. It is hard to ever top that gift.
There is good news for us contained in that narrative. That same amazing grace of Almighty God is offered to each and every one of us. I think that is why the reading impacted me so much more today. I had just experienced that grace personally, because I had the privilege of going to the Sacrament of Penance just before Mass started. The same gesture of forgiveness offered by Jesus to the "good thief" had been offered to me just minutes before hearing this proclamation of the Gospel. Wow! We are blessed to participate in the sacramental life of the Church.
This is the final week of the liturgical year. I encourage you to live it well. The holidays can bring extra stress into our lives. Enter into Thanksgiving Week with a grateful heart. Love your family. Enjoy time spent together. Travel safely! This coming Sunday will usher us into the Advent Season. Let us give praise to Christ our King all the days of our lives!