This Gospel passage presents us with Christ and his flesh and blood laid bare on the cross. The one who had sort out the vulnerable and the broken, the weak and infirmed, was himself broken and vulnerable for all to see. People had come to know him by his words and actions, and they had seen what he stood for.
The leaders jeered, the soldiers mocked and one of the criminals crucified with him blasphemed. With a strange twist of irony, they are the ones who tell us who this man really is, the Christ of God, the Chosen One.
And above his head a roughly printed placard intended to state his crime instead proclaims his true title ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
We look upon the cross and see Jesus, our own flesh and blood making the ultimate sacrifice for us, the ultimate sacrifice for all broken humanity.
We are familiar with the two thieves crucified with Christ reacting in very different ways in seeing Jesus. Focusing on the good thief, he sees an innocent man who makes him think and reflect on his own life, his own behaviour and the need to make up for what he has done. His encounter with Christ is a conversion experience. Christ, innocent, condemned and dying enables him to see hope beyond what seems hopeless. He experiences the mercy and presence of God in this broken figure before him and makes an incredible act of faith in addressing Jesus by name and saying ‘Remember me when you come into your kingdom.’
When our flesh and blood is laid bare, may we always have the courage to address Jesus by name and imitate the heart of the good thief. A heart transformed by the saving love of Christ Crucified and promised paradise.
I have chosen the 'Maryknoll Gloria' track 5 from ' A Noble Work' for the song reflection.
Blessings on your week.