Is there always hope?  Hope even for those who commit the most heinous of crimes?  Hope at the very end of our lives? The Bible passage for this week is the account of the penitent criminal on the cross being crucified with Jesus.  The authorities probably put Jesus in-between two criminals (possibly thieves) to humiliate him and to rank him, before the crowd, with criminals.  One of them, in the very last few moments of his life repented of his sins as he turned his heart, mind and possibly even body toward Jesus.  “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”  What was Jesus’ response?  Perhaps surprisingly there was no words of condemnation or a spirit of ‘you are getting what you deserve’ from Jesus.  The radiant beauty of the heart of Jesus shines forth as he utters the amazing words: “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”  We do not know what this criminal had done.  Perhaps he was a thief, perhaps there was much more to it.  What we know is that it is never too late to repent.  A lovely line from a poem captures this sentiment as it gives an account of a man falling off a horse to his death: “Betwixt the stirrup and the ground; Mercy I asked, mercy I found”.  While there is life, there is hope in Christ for all of us.