"A third time he [Pilate] said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?..." But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted." - Luke 23:22-24
"One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him... 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.’" - Luke 23:39-43
Two things I noticed reading today that really struck me personally. The first is the phrase "and their voices prevailed". I was thinking about this with Pilate, the educated Roman governor, the sole voice of reason, speaking out to the implacable crowd, and giving in. I find this a good parallel for my conscience. It speaks out "Why?" and the irrational cries of my passions usurp it. And much like the original account, I find myself re-crucifying Christ in my heart.
The second thing is when the good thief on the cross says "we are getting wht we deserve". Tonight I had to study for an exam, but instead I foolishly wasted my time, and today in general I failed in many many ways. I was thinking, as I was feeling guilt tonight, "I am getting what I deserve". I want to be St. John the Divine, the beloved apostle. I want to be holy, to be a saint, to hate sin, and to follow Christ into the hardest spots. But frustratingly I find myself to be the thief on the cross. The one who has made every bad choice in life, save one. The only measure of holiness I have, the sliver, is to ask the Lord Jesus "Remember me".
My dad was watching college basketball the other night, and there was a clip where the star player had fallen and injured himself, it was bad enough that the team knew that this player would have to sit out the rest of the season. They were a small school and this was their big shot at the title, and as he lay there writhing in pain, he kept telling his coach he was sorry. His coach put his arms around him and told him that he loved him and that it was alright. It almost brought me to tears. The friendship these two men had and the care the coach had for the player, the fact that he was so sincere in spite of the player's faillure. It was a beautiful moment.
I always end up injurying myself, I always end up suffering from my own idiocy. Hopefully the Lord will still find in his sacred heart to embrace me in spite of all my faillures.
Jesus remember me. Iesu Memento Mei
On a slightly lighter note:
Today we had a club meeting for the Catholic ministries on campus, and the fellowship that occurred, the trust people had, and the charity people showed to each other, it was amazing. I don't use that word lightly. It was a beautiful moment when we all voiced our weaknesses and some of our fears, but we knew that together we could make it. It sounds so cheesy, and it's so impossible to explain, but it was the communion of the saints at work.