Father Paul Campbell, LC
And the people stood by,
watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He
saved others; let him save himself if he is the
Messiah of God, his chosen one!" The soldiers also
mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine,
and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews,
save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him,
"This is the King of the Jews." One of
the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and
saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and
us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you
not fear God, since you are under the same sentence
of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly,
for we are getting what we deserve for our
deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he
said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your
kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you
will be with me in Paradise."
Introductory Prayer: Lord,
thank you for this moment in which I can
be alone with you. I believe that you are
truth itself, that you are the foundation of all moral
judgments. I trust that you really care for me
and give me the light to see the needs of
others. I love you, Lord, and show it now
with my desire to pray.
help me to be always faithful to Christ my King
in the smallest duties of my state in life.
1. They Scoffed and Mocked Him: Contemplate the scene
of the Crucifixion, what we see and what we
hear. We see three men being crucified. The one in
the middle has a sign affixed to his cross
which reads: “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.”
Who is this king? We hear the leaders of
the Jews ridicule him and the soldiers mock him.
Even one of the dying criminals derides him. Jesus provoked
strong reactions from these diverse individuals; he continues to
provoke strong reactions today. Reflect on the frenetic energy
with which individuals try to erase his name from
public life today. Look at the time and resources spent
to undo his teaching, his influence and his values
in Western culture. He is ridiculed in books, movies
and works of art. His Church is attacked, as is
his vicar on earth and all those who remain
loyal to him and his teachings.
2. The People Stood
By: We tend to overlook the crowd who stood by
watching. They did nothing actively wrong; they were merely
passive. As Jesus was mocked and ridiculed and scorned,
they remained silent and did nothing. No one stood up
for Jesus; no one came to his defense. How
few stand up for him and his Church today! Why
is it that other groups are so quick to
defend their own while we remain silent, watching and
standing by, but not standing up?
3. One Man Believes:
The good thief put his faith in Christ. A
moment of grace came to him in the waning
moments of his life. He was able to see Christ
the King in all his humble glory and he
reached out for salvation. “This day you will be with
me in paradise.” This king was a political failure.
He had no success, no power to save his own
life. The power he did have he freely surrendered
rather than use it for personal gain. He died
with only a few followers standing at the cross. He
had no wealth or army, but he loved his
own in the world. He loved them to the end.
Would I follow such a king?
with Christ:Jesus, I don’t want to be just part of
the crowd who remained silent. Give me the strength
to stand up for you and to defend you. Help
me never to deny you in my life. Help
me to be faithful to your teachings and your will.
Resolution: I will speak of Christ today in
my conversations with others.