LIMOGES ENAMEL ON COPPER - Vatican Museum
Jesus promises his Kingdom to
the good thief
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
From the Gospel according to Luke 23:33-34,39-43
And when they came to the place which is called The Skull,
there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the
And Jesus said: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him saying,
"Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other rebukes him, saying,
"Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of
And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds;
but this man has done nothing wrong."
And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in
The place of the Skull,
the sepulchre of Adam, the first man,
the scaffold of Jesus, the new man.
The wood of the cross,
an instrument of exposed death,
a coffer of generous forgiveness.
Beside Jesus, who lived among people doing good,
two men condemned for doing evil.
Two others, one who asked to be at the right side of Jesus and the other at
declared that they were ready to undergo the same baptism,
and to drink the same cup (Mk 10:38-39).
But in this hour they are not here,
others have gone before them to the place of the Skull.
One of them invokes a Messiah, calling upon him to save himself and both of
them, right then and there.
The other appeals to Jesus,
to remember him when he enters into his Kingdom.
He who shares the insults of the crowd gets no reply,
he who recognizes the innocence of a man condemned to death
receives an immediate promise of life.
Jesus, friend of sinners and tax collectors (Mt 9:11; 11:19: Lk 15:1-2),
you have come to save not the just, but sinners (Mt 9:13)
and wished to give us a proof of your great love (Eph 2:4)
and of the abundance of your mercy,
by accepting to die for us while we were yet sinners (Rom 5:8).
Look upon us with your kindness
and after we have tasted the purifying bitterness of humiliation,
take us into your arms, strong with fatherly mercy,
and transform with your forgiveness
the mud of sin into a garment of glory.
proclaimed innocent by a criminal, your companion in punishment
for you and for your companion, the time has come to enter into the Kingdom.
R/. To you praise and glory for ever.
Pater noster …
Sancta mater …