August 9, 2022     2:58 pm
125. Week of Fifth Sunday in Lent - Friday
Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in paradise
          Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in paradise   Luke 23:43
          One of the criminals crucified with Jesus abused Him persistently, saying: "If You are Christ, save Yourself and us!" But the other one had experienced a great change. He rebuked his companion and said: "Don't you fear God, seeing you have the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds. But this man has done nothing wrong." And he said to Jesus: "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!" And Jesus said to him: "Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in paradise"- O precious word of our Redeemer! It shows that Jesus receives the very worst of sinners if they come to Him. It shows that Jesus receives them though they come to Him in the last hour, after a long life of sin. It shows that Jesus gives them the same blessedness which He gives to the greatest saint; and He gives it at once, without an intervening purgatory. Let every one comfort himself herewith! - And this whole delightful story shows how alone a man may come to true faith in the Saviour: by seeing and hearing Christ Crucified, as we may do now in His Word. And it shows what fruits faith brings forth at once: true sorrow for sin, childlike trust in Jesus, a blessed hope in death, a bold and cheerful confession of Jesus, and penitent patience in cross and affliction. May all here take a lesson! - Christian, be like that criminal who repented in his last hour. And don't you believe that had his life been spared him a while longer, he would have renounced his former life of sin and followed Jesus? Most certainly. Then you do so! May God help you!
          PRAYER: - O Jesus, grant to me the mercy which You granted the criminal. Not that I am worthy of it, but grant it because You love to show mercy. Remember me for Your saving mercy's sake. Forgive to me my great and numerous sins. Let me belong to Your Kingdom of Grace. When my last hour comes, receive me into paradise. Give me true knowledge of You through the preaching of Your cross. Give to me at all times repentance to salvation, firm confidence in You, sure hope of eternal life, a new heart and courage to cheerfully confess Your name, to serve You, and to suffer patiently. Have mercy on me, O Jesus! Amen.

First Part : Festival Season
August 9, 2022     2:58 pm