"Jesus answered him: I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Jesus (Luke, 23:43)
At first glance it appears that Jesus was swayed toward the so-called good thief, through sympathy.
But it is not so.
In the lesson of the Calvary, the Master renewed the definition of paradise.
In another passage He, Himself, affirmed that the Divine Kingdom does not surge with exterior appearances. It is initiated, developed and consolidated in eternal radiance in the intimacy of the heart.
On that hour of culminating sacrifice the good thief unconditionally surrendered to Jesus Christ. The reader of the Gospel is not aware of the obstinate work and the new responsibilities that would weigh on his shoulders in order to lay the foundation of his union with the Savior; notwithstanding, the reader is convinced, that, from that moment forth the former wrongdoer would penetrate the Heavens.
The symbol is beautiful and profound and gives the idea of the infinite extension of the Divine Mercy.
We can present ourselves with a voluminous baggage of debts from a dark past before the truth; but, from the instant in which we yield to the designs of the Father, sincerely accepting our obligation of individual regeneration, we advance toward a different spiritual region where "the yoke is easy and the burden is light." Upon reaching that stage, the indebted spirit will not remain in a false blessed attitude, recognizing, that above all, with Jesus, suffering is rectification and the crosses are immortal clarities.
That is the reason that the good thief, in that same hour, entered the lofty heights of paradise.
XAVIER, Francisco Cândido. Our Daily Bread. By the Spirit Emmanuel. Spititist Alliance for Books, 2003. Chapter 81.