These words of Jesus spoken from the Cross, are full of divine generosity. When one of the men crucified with Jesus taunts him, the other says, no this man has done nothing wrong, and turning to Jesus says, ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom’. He then receives this reply ‘Today you will be with me in paradise’.
I love that word today. Because in a very real sense we only have today. Yesterday is in the past in our memory, and tomorrow is in the future in our imagination, but today we are alive, we can make choices.
And what does Jesus promise to this dying man? You will be with me. Jesus knows that he will overcome death, and he promises to take this man with him. Where will the dying criminal go? to purgatory? to be a ghost? Not at all, he is going to paradise!
This extraordinary generosity shows us the beauty and divinity of Christ the King, even in the horror of his own death.
Today you will be with me in paradise.