Saturday, May 16, 2009


2. The Second Word

And one of those robbers who were hanged blasphemed him, saying: "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us." But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: "Neither dost thou fear God, seeing; thou art under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly: for we receive the due reward of our deeds. But this man hath done no evil." And he said to Jesus: "Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom." And Jesus said to him: "Amen I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:39-43)

THE DIVINITY OF OUR LORD: This wonderful conversion of the thief crucified at His right hand is a further proof of our Lord's Divinity. His enemies purposely crucified Him between two thieves, so as to increase the ignominy of His Death; but their intentional insult turned to His honor and glory, and Jesus, while still hanging on the Cross, drew the hearts of men to acknowledge Him as their Lord and King. "This thief," says St. Chrysostom, "saw our Savior in torments, but prayed to Him as if He were in glory. He saw Him stretched on His Cross, and prayed to Him as if He were seated on His throne in heaven. He saw One condemned, and called Him Lord. He saw One crucified, and confessed Him to be a King. O wonderful conversion!" All in a moment Jesus turned the sinner, whose crimes had merited death, into a Saint! This conversion shows, indeed, the might of the divine grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! And how, moreover, could He have promised paradise to the penitent thief, had He not been God? 

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)