As we end the “YEAR OF MERCY” and the Liturgical Calendar Cycle “C” the Gospel writers all emphasize the virtue of ‘MERCY’. Matthew, for example, writes that when Jesus saw a large crowd of hungry people, He immediately created bread and fish for them to eat (Mt. 14: 13-21)

In the other Gospels, Mark continuously points out Jesus’ deep concern for the sick. John does this too, while showing Jesus’ universal compassion for the whole world. But of all these writers, Luke especially focuses on this aspect of Jesus’ ministry. Besides, illustrating Jesus’ compassion for the sick, his Gospel enumerates the famous parables of the ‘lost sheep’ the ‘lost coin’, the Good Samaritan and the ‘Prodigal Son’. In today’s gospel, too, he depicts Jesus’ Mercy, this time focusing on his words to the Good Thief.

We do not know exactly why this man defended Jesus. Perhaps he had already heard about him before this time. Or perhaps he heard Jesus’ words of forgiveness on the cross: “Father, forgive them fro they do not know what they are doing.” Perhaps he also heard what Jesus said to his mother and to John: “Mother, behold thy Son; Son, behold thy mother.” Surely, he must have been impressed by the way Jesus endured his sufferings. In any case, Jesus made such a deep impression on him that he defended Him when the other thief mocked Him and, in doing so, confessed his sins, telling his companion, “We are only paying the price for what we’ve done. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he added, “Jesus, remember me when you enter upon your reign.” Surely, these words gave Jesus great comfort and, as a reward for this, He told him, “I assure you, this day you will be with me in paradise.”

This man must have done some very serious crimes, since he was being crucified. But in one great act of faith, he confessed his sins and asked Jesus for mercy. Seeing this, Jesus forgave him and promised that they would enter paradise together. Mercy, forgiveness, kindness, compassion and love – these are the gifts of God richly endow us with every day of our life. Blessed be our loving Father; blessed be the Holy Spirit; and blessed be Jesus, our Lord and Savior, now and forever. Amen. God bless!

Key Concepts: Talent. If stewardship means taking care of, and sharing all God’s gifts, then stewardship of the gift of talent means nurturing, developing and using the God-given abilities and characteristics that help to define “who we are” as individual human person. Most of us know what it means to contribute money or to give away our precious time, but what does it mean to be a good steward of talent? Our talents are the special blessings that each of us has received from a loving Creator who prizes the diversity and abundant variety of all creation.

When we volunteer to help others by sharing our talents with them, we give them something far more precious than our time and money. We give them something of ourselves, an intimate sharing of “who we are” for the good of others.

This Sunday is the Closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Continue to perform the 5th Beatitude in your life: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Mt.5:7) On the 21st, we have the memorial of the Presentation of the BVM. The next day is the feast of St. Cecilia, and the other days are all optional memorials of saints. But on the 24th we have our Annual Thanksgiving Day, therefore be mindful to offer our heartfelt gratitude to God for everything we have. God Bless!

Your Priest- Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie