“Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:42
How many times do I see myself at the good thief, crucified with our Lord, to many to be counted and when all is said and done, I should be counted as the bad thief.. I try to try to do what is right and just and find myself doing exactly what is wrong and unjustified in the eyes of our Lord. Yesterday I attended Holy Mass and seen a soul not “looking” as if they were praying to our Lord but rather what seemed to be one holding Him in contempt. Not standing at the right times, not participating in the prayers and certainly not showing any amount of reverence for our Lord, but yet, going up to receive Him in the Eucharist. I cringed and became adamant that one could receive our Lord in such a way. The Priest turned to him first and offered our Lord to him, then to me. When Mass had ended and I walked out, I thought of my attitude towards the other who had received our Lord is this way, and was quickly reminded of how I to used to receive our Lord. Completely looking past the Mass, the Wedding Feast, to what I would be doing after. Looking to the day after the beautiful time I had with Him. I was quickly reminded of the times I did not have any idea how much our Lord loved me and how I was so confused upon returning to Him. I didn’t understand why I had returned, but I did return. I was reminded that I was not the only one to see our Lord in this way and I did not have a monopoly on His love nor His voice. Time belongs to Him and be it that we do not understand why He calls us back is not the point, but rather the fact He called us back in the first place, is the only point that matters. No one is perfect but Him and rather than condemnation to any souls, I should have been full of joy that another had returned to Him, to be a part of His body. To call on Him at every step. Forgive me Lord. I know not what I do.
This first week of Advent and in the coming weeks before Christmas and the birth of our Lord, I feel a strong need to understand I am not alone in this faith and to be alone in His body would simply be vainglory in my faith. I need to understand I have to recall that I too have worn the shoes of homelessness, I have worn the shoes of unworthiness and could very easily return to that person. Nothing has come from me but rather from the One True God. I need to remember me as the bad thief and beg for our Lords mercy every day of my life. Knowing that I must stay awake and not fall asleep in the misery of the world, nor the fact that God giveth and taketh away. I must continue on the path of what is right and just, no matter how painful it may be. Everything is for the greater glory of God.
I found a little plaque today while walking through Goodwill that put it all in perspective for me. “I love Jesus not only for what He is, but for what I am now that He is in my heart.”. Thank you Lord for correcting the things in me, You are not. I love You.