Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise. (Luke 23:43)
The scene from Luke’s Gospel is Jesus crucified between two thieves. All are naked, at least with out clothes. But the “good thief” bares his soul, he opens his heart, and Jesus jumps at the chance to enter it and to receive him. Having asked Jesus to remember him, the good thief hears Jesus say, “today, you will be with me in paradise.” Given the request and the response, Saint Ambrose of Milan said that Jesus granted far more than what was asked. But God is like that.
Knowing our own limits, we can place them on God and presume that God runs out of love, or mercy, or forgiveness, or compassion. Not true. We do shut down to God and to one another. But God wants nothing more than to shower us with his mercy and love.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori said, “God’s paradise is the human heart.” There is nothing more that God desires than that we would choose to live forever with him. so often we can think or feel that God wants to keep us out of Paradise. Not true. But we must be open to receive the gift.
The prophet Joel says, “rend your hearts, not your garments,” bear your heart and soul to me. god waits for the chink in the armor of our hearts to deliver once more his message:; “I love you and want you with me forever. I want you with me in Paradise.”
What are your thoughts? Please comment below.