St. Dismas: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

Today is of course the Solemnity of the Annunciation, but today is also the feast day of St. Dismas, whose quote in the title of this post has earned him the title, “the good thief.”

Dismas was crucified next to Jesus, and was a last-minute convert:

39. One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40. But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41. And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42. And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43. And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-43

The conversion stories on the Journey Home are oftentimes moving, but this one seems to take the cake. There this man is, hanging and about to die, and being next to the hanging Christ moves him towards God.

The man cries out for mercy, and importantly he his motive here is pure. He feels that he has earned his crucifixion, he acknowledges his wrongdoings, he has a fear of God and shares it with the other man hanging, and he seems to fully expect to spend eternity in Hell; all he asks if that Jesus might not forget him.

Not a bad example for a thief.

And thus, Jesus shows him mercy.

What a moment of consolation is must have been for this man as he hung there dying.

St. Dismas: pray for us!