Glorious Cross April 14
Through your cross you brought joy to the world (Veneration of the Cross, Good Friday).
There was no information about his crime or what led to his delinquency. But a moment arrived for him when none of that was important. Alongside him, someone who seemed completely innocent was condemned to the same death by crucifixion as he was. The innocent man displayed such goodness, a profound peace and a calm, inexplicable joy, despite the terrible injustice being done him. By what Spirit does he live? The criminal was touched by the innocent man, feeling a promise of liberation coming from him. At this moment of his dying, the last moment of a life empty of true joy, the criminal risked a demand. He addressed the innocent man: “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom” (Lk 23:42). And the answer was: “I tell you truly, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43). What an explosion of joy! What a conversion to the conviction of joy that goodness is worth it in the end. Jesus had already breathed his Spirit on him and he received the fruit of joy, what had been the most painful lack of his life. The Good Thief finally understood that he had taken a wrong path in life. He should have lived in a way that permitted God’s companionship even to the cross. That assurance is what joy brings.
It’s the trap you weren’t counting on that has captured the most game. (Bashi-Mwenda)