I've been thinking about Saint Dismas a lot lately. St. Dismas is the good thief. I've been thinking about that other thief too, the one we don't have a name for. The one that seems to have been lost to God, and to salvation. Or was he? That is what I have been thinking about.
Yesterday, our resident priest offered a homily about - what is meant to be, will be. I am not sure how to reconcile that notion, with the other thief. The one we don't know so much about. You see, we know the St. Dismas made it to Heaven. We know that for some reason, on that cross, St. Dismas was able to receive Graces from our Lord, and the other thief didn't. And I want to know why. Why was one thief able to receive the Graces needed to be humble, repentant, and stand for Truth while being tortured and killed, yet the other one was only able to mock and scoff. Is that what was meant to be? For one to be saved, and for one to be damned. Who decides what is meant to be?
The problem with the notion that - what is meant to be, will be, is that for many it can take away the need for repentance and the efforts required for spreading the Gospel! Jesus commanded us to take the Gospel to the ends of the Earth, but why does that matter if - what is meant to be, will be? Does that mean that I don't need to worry about evangelizing? Does that mean that I don't need to put in an effort to know and serve the Lord? What is meant to be, will be.
Does that mean that some have no hope for salvation. Does it mean the some of us are justly predestined to be saved? So, I reflect upon St. Dismas. The thief who chose goodness and Truth in the end. And I sorrow for the other thief, who chose the wide path and not the narrow road, and I ponder in my heart why that was so. You see, it can be so easy for any of us to be that thief, the one who mocked and rebuked our Lord. I, as a faithful follower occasionally fall and do this. So I reflect on another character from the Gospel, St. Peter. I realize that hope is never lost. As long as we keep trying. Some of us choose to accept Grace and are open to that Grace changing our lives. The Father knows this about each one of us, he know everything. He knows who will and who won't accept His Graces and allow those Graces to change them. He knows who is lost and who is saved, because He knows our hearts, and he knows what our free wills will choose. And so - what is meant to be, will be, whether that be our salvation or damnation. God knows our hearts, he knows that some of us will be the mode of His Graces for others, and He know that some of us will not. So - what is meant to be, will be. Jesus was meant to die, and some of us are meant to live, and some of us will perish. It is our choice to be on the side of St. Dismas, the good thief, or the nameless lost one.
St. Dismas, pray for us.