Gospel – Luke 23:35-43
The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Reflection on Sunday Gospel
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God…
I think most that read this Gospel focus on Jesus and His crucifixion. I’m hoping you’ll oblige me as I focus on the criminals that surround Jesus, condemned to the same fate.
Even as he is sentenced and dying upon the cross, the first criminal “reviles” Jesus, joining with the chorus of rulers, soldiers, and non-believers. The second recognized the sinner within himself, admits that his present fate is of his own doing, and begs for forgiveness. I can’t imagine a better person to petition to for salvation to than Jesus.
I think so many of us deny our true selves, and live a life of in-authenticity to be one with the crowd. It certainly is easier to not stick out, to just go with the flow. But are we truly fulfilled doing so? If we only admitted to ourselves and those around us who we really are, and live our lives by Gospel values with faith and zeal, I think we could be the better leaders this world needs. To fight for social justice, and uplift the poor and oppressed, we as Lasallians, and Christians, must raise our voice, go against the grain, and be the advocates for our brothers and sisters who need us most.
It may sound very pie in the sky, but what change comes from conforming to the accepted norm? There is no reward for sticking with the crowd, and I believe, nothing worse than discrediting God’s given gifts in you, by not being who you were made to be.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
– President John F. Kennedy, original quotation credited to Edmund Burke
St. John Baptist de La Salle … Pray for Us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts … Forever!