11 - Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent

            We adore you O Christ and we bless you

All        because by your holy cross

you have redeemed the world.


Bible Reading - Luke 23:39-43

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding* him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah?* Save yourself and us!’ 40But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ 42Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into* your kingdom.’ 43He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’



To pick an argument at this point seems crazy.  You would think that anyone being crucified would find it hard enough to breath without wasting words on recriminations and accusations.  Clearly it strikes the other criminal that way too.  The words we choose at particular moments of stress reveal so much about our true character.  We would like to think that we are like the one promised to share in paradise, yet we know that sometimes we are like the other one.  Fear and panic brings out different responses in us and blame is one way we scream at the darkness.  Even in extremis Jesus manages words of grace and hope.


Lord Jesus,

we give you thanks and praise

for from the cross you opened the way to eternal life.

Remember us in your kingdom of mercy.  Amen.



            O Saviour of the world

who by your cross and precious blood redeemed us

All        Save us and help us we humbly beseech you, O Lord.