Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The First Saint?

Of all the characters in our Lord's Passion, or at least of those on the side of Truth, I used to see myself closest in relation to St. Dismas, "The Good Thief". As a teenager, I was in fact, a good thief, with my misuse of this gift of a 180 IQ, letting me elevate shoplifting to an almost art form. I was so adept at stealing, that the other kids at school would give me a list on Friday, for things I would "appropriate" for them on Saturday, while we hung out at the Mall. For the first time in my life I was noticeably good at something, and so for the first time was I motivated completely from my prideful nature.

Somewhat distressingly, a part of me is still "proud" of that distortion of my God given abilities, and can still find myself watching films like "Oceans Eleven", with a kind of envy. I think it is also important to note that my criminal career started not long after that day, at age 11, when I decided that God didn't exist. 'cause no God, no morals.

To be honest, I didn't stop out of a realization of wrongdoing, but that I was approaching my 18th birthday, and stricter laws would soon apply. For 25 years these crimes would stay mostly hidden, until last year, at my first "life" confession, where I would speak both of the crimes, and the pride associated with them. Thankfully, like Dismas, I saw the truth of God's kingdom before me, and continue daily ask Jesus to remember me there, knowing full well that I do not deserve entrance into His house.

St. Dismas is also a reminder to those we meet who might feel that what they have done in their life is too bad, or they have gone to far away, that God "could never forgive me". We need to always be ready to share the story of the man who had the honor of breathing his last breath next to the One who gave him his first.

Luke 23:39-43

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus answered him,

"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

No comments: