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Second Word 2020

"I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me."


By Pietro S. Albano

(Piet is a Science lecturer and parish volunteer in Nottingham, UK. He is our web's Editor-in-Chief.)


In Jesus' second last word, we read that one of the thieves crucified with Him asked the Lord to remember him (the thief) when Christ comes to His kingdom. I would like to compare the Repentant Thief with the Prodigal Son in one of Jesus' famous parables. Like the Prodigal Son, this thief has left his "home" and led a wayward life.  While the Prodigal Son squandered his share of his father's estate, the thief stole and squandered someone else's possession. Sensing that their lives were going nowhere - the Prodigal Son was dying of hunger in a famine-struck village and the thief in the throes of death -  they both repented and asked for forgiveness.  And both were pardoned! Both were welcomed back home! 

What is this home that both characters left and have returned to? I think, it is what the Repentant Thief referred to as Jesus' kingdom. It is where God is present. 

I don't know about you, but if there is any word that has gone viral and has been underscored day in and day out due to Covid-19 pandemic, it is the word "home". Government leaders, health professionals, and netizens have been telling us "Stay at home". As a result, the home has been converted into a workplace and a classroom for quite a number of people. I am still adjusting to this setup, but feel happy and grateful to be at home because it gave me more time to be with my family. Through our daily interaction at home, we are able to get to know more of, communicate with, and look after each other. The pandemic has been worrying that it felt good having someone to talk to at home and be reassured that everything will be alright in God's perfect time. We also have more time to pray together, asking God to be with us in these challenging times. The lockdown has also made us communicate more frequently with our family and friends here and abroad.  My siblings and I, as well as our own families, have prayed the Rosary together through Messenger.

St Therese of the Child Jesus once said, "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth". We may have been locked down at home because of the pandemic, but our mission goes on. In a way, the situation we are into is a potential occasion for grace to blossom in our homes: Jesus' Promised Paradise.




Prayer 

Loving Jesus, like the Repentant Thief, we humbly ask You to remember us too when You come into Your kingdom. 

Nurtured by your Second Word on the Cross:
grant fidelity to our calling as parents, spouses, or guardians in ensuring a safe and healthy home for us and those under our care;
grant reconciliation to those having tensions and arguments at home;
grant courage to those who are abused at home;
grant strength to those who cannot go or stay home because they work in the frontline of defense against the coronavirus;
grant comfort to the dying who would leave a void in their homes;
grant a warm welcome to those who have died in their true home with You.

Forgive us in those moments when we took our loved ones for granted. 
Please heal our homes and our world.

In Your merciful Name, we pray. Amen.


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