Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
The person asking Jesus to remember him in Luke’s Passion Narrative from Palm Sunday is the so-called “Good Thief”, the criminal hanging on the cross next to Jesus, and being crucified for some crime he did commit. He believed in Jesus (how he arrived at his faith is never explained, but immaterial) and asked that Jesus remember him in the afterlife. Legend holds that his name was Dismas.
In the previous post I talk about the importance of the Hebrew word shoah and how it does not merely mean to recall something. It means to remember it so intimately that it becomes present to you, rergardless of the passage of time. Dismas was aking Jesus not to remember him fondly, after all, both were dying. He was asking Him to be saved, to bring him, Dismas the Thief, into Jesus’ heavenly kingdom.
The Church usually uses Dismas as an example of the mercy of God, and how it triumphs over the judgment of God. This relates to the recovering alcoholic is a great way. Dismas was a thief, and apparently lived his whole life as a thief. Yet despite that, he still asked Jesus to save him and Jesus did. Right there on the Cross, Jesus told Dismas that essentially he was going to Heaven after he died. Jesus granted a plenary indulgence to someone right then and there.
While you shouldn’t wait until you’re dying to convert or revert to the Faith, or to ask Jesus to save you (why gamble on eternity?) it does serve as a useful reminder that no matter how bad you have been in your alcoholism or addiction, you ask Jesus with faith for forgiveness and redemption, and He will give it to you. As a Catholic, you can get this in sacramental confession. No matter how bad your sins are, no matter how long you committed them, no matter how long its been since your last confession, they’ll be wiped clean off your soul and you will be new again. There is no sin so great that He cannot forgive. In fact, believing that your sins are so great that He cannot forgive them is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Your evil (or cumulative sinful acts) cannot be greater than God’s mercy.
Ask Jesus to “Remember you.” And then proceed to live out your new life. Go to confession.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"