St. Dismas

Saint Dismas (Feast Day: March 25), while a pivotal figure in the discourse recounted of the Crucifixion, is a bit of a mystery prior to his execution. There is, however, a legend that the Holy Family, en route to Egypt when Jesus was only an infant, was confronted by several thieves. One of the thieves, seeing the child, convinced his partner to do no harm to them. This thief, who safeguarded the Holy Family through his persuasion, was Dismas. So goes the tale. But again, aside from such tales and mere speculation, little is known about this Good Thief outside of the Gospel narrative. But it doesn’t matter. The most important part of the life of Dismas was his faith on his deathbed. He ridicules the other thief for mocking Christ, acknowledges his own faults, and directly asks Jesus for mercy. This is central to so much of Christ’s ministry: that He forgives sinners, that He repeatedly shows them love and mercy. Here, even during the most bitter moments of His Passion, Jesus speaks a consoling word to Dismas – that he will be with Him in Heaven. Dismas had terrific faith!

We have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal…Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” – St. Dismas (taken from Lk. 23:41-42)

Questions for Reflection:

When have we failed to stand up for Jesus? In what aspects of our lives do we need to stand up for Him?

Do we follow the example of St. Dismas by directly asking God about our longings in prayer?