MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: And He Said To Jesus: O Lord Remember Me, When Thou Shalt Come Into Thy Kingdom

TIZIANO Vecellio
Christ and the Good Thief
c. 1566

And he said to Jesus:O Lord remember me, when thou shalt come into thy Kingdom.

Consider first, that this good thief fulfilled the parts of justice: First he declined from the evil, which he reprehended in his companion; and then he did good turning unto Christ, Secondly, according to the doctrine of Micheas, He exercised Judgment, previously accusing his sin; he loved mercy, admonishing his companion to conversion; and he walked carefully with God, of whom devoutly and humbly he craved pardon.

Consider secondly, the several fruits of the cross and affliction, according to the several dispositions of men. The wicked are not amended, but rather blaspheme: the good confess their fault, and come nearer unto God. Do not marvel then, if our Lord grant prosperity in the world to the wicked, and affliction to the good; which he doth mercifully for these causes; both because the wicked should not offend more deeply by their impatience, & the good be joined more firmly unto God; & also that the wicked may have some reward in this life, seeing they are to be deprived of everlasting life, & that eternal reward may Be reserved for the goodb

Consider thirdly, even word of the thief: (O Lord) a word of reverence, fear, & subjection: I submit and promise myself to be thy servant and bonds lave: he doth not say, O my Lord, force speaketh to the Lord, creator, and possessor of all creatures. Remember me, a modest & humble petition; I ask not a Kingdom, nor any honors; but only that thou wilt remember me, knowing that thou canst not remember me, & not help me. I dare desire this remembrance, though I am a sinner. 1. Because thou hast admitted other sinners praying unto thee. 2. Because this hast done so many & so great things in favor of sinners. 3. Because I a sinner, having given over my will of sinning, do now believe in thee with my wholehearted, do entirely love thee, and with my mouth do openly confess thee. 4. Because I ask nothing but remembrance, and pray for nothing but mercy. 5. Because if is reason, that he be partaker of thy rest and glory, whom tho hast vouchsafed to be a companion with thee in thy l;labors, torments, and death. When thou shalt come into thy kingdom. I acknowledge thee to be a King, but they kingdom is not of this world: I know, that the Angels expect thee at thy death, and a whole Army of Servants, who shall not carry thee, as they did Lazarus, but shall attend and follow the coming of thy own will and power. Admire thou the faith of this Thief, who alone, when all others blasphemed, disbelieve, and detest thine own infidelity,who when the whole world believeth, doest scarcely believe; and pray Christ tinkered thy faith, and bring thee into his kingdom with this thief.

~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J.

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