39 And one of those robbers who were hanged, blasphemed him, saying: If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art condemned under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done no evil. 42 And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.
Chrysostom: Here the condemned performs the office of judge, and he begins to decide concerning truth who before Pilate confessed his crime only after many tortures. For the judgment of man from whom secret things are hid is of one kind; the judgment of God who searches the heart of another. And in the former case punishment follows after confession, but here confession is made to salvation. But he also pronounces Christ innocent, adding, But this man hath done nothing wrong: as if to say, Behold a new injury, that innocence should be condemned with crime. We kill the living, He raised the dead. We have stolen from others, He bids us give up even what is our own. The blessed thief thus taught those that stood by, uttering the words by which he rebuked the other. But when he saw that the ears of those who stood by were stopped up, he turns to Him who knoweth the hearts; for it follows, And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. Thou beholdest the Crucified, and thou acknowledgest Him to be your Lord. Thou seest the form of a condemned criminal, and thou proclaimest the dignity of a king. Stained with a thousand crimes, thou askest the Fountain of righteousness to remember thy wickedness.
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. III (London: Rivington, 1843).