Last week’s gospel marked the end of the liturgical year (Year C) with the Feast of Christ the King. In the story, one of the thieves, who asked Jesus to be remembered, was given by many over the years the nickname of the “good thief”. He was considered “good” for recognising his own failings while trusting in the goodness of God.
The image used in the first week of Advent in the new liturgical year (Year A) is of a burglar. Burglars or thieves take possession of things that don’t belong to them. The effects of their actions are manifested in the victim’s emotional fear and shock. As a result, the person’s sense of trust is diminished, and their awareness and caution are heightened.
I started a new sport in cycling only a few years ago. As a beginner cyclist, I purchased a simple bicycle, assembled the parts together, and completed a single trip before it was taken overnight from our backyard. One would think your own backyard is a safe place! I learnt to be a bit more cautious with my new bike.
The burglar in our gospel this weekend is coming to the unsuspecting victims to help do a lot of good. The burglar’s actions and unannounced arrival are likened to when Christ will come again. Gospels like these are not intended to instill and create fear and anxiety, rather, the second coming means we too have an attitude of vigilance, readiness, and care.
Christ breaks into our homes and lives to give rather than take. He wants to invite us into our true home, the Kingdom of God.
By Fr Hoang Dinh