Prayer for Those Who Will Die Today
May those who die today who, through strict justice, deserve condemnation, beg for the divine mercy at the Lord’s feet, even in their last breath, and thus be saved.
I try to remember each day to say this prayer I developed. We can recall three Scripture passages that will help us here:
1. “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43)
Jesus’ words to the criminal, maybe moments before they both expired, gives us hope that it is never too late to sincerely repent regardless of our sins. Invoking the intercession of this so called Good Thief, traditionally known as St. Dismas, is surely powerful here.
Titian, Christ and the Good Thief, c. 1556
2. “Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them…’You too go into my vineyard.'” (Mt 20:6-7)
In the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Mt 20:1-16) Jesus’ lesson is that all are welcome into the Kingdom no matter how late they come on board. The landowner in the story cautions us thus: “Are you envious because I am generous?” We are to work with the landowner (God) to bring souls to salvation, even those (especially those) furthest away.
3. “First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone …This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tm 2:1, 3-4)
God “wills everyone to be saved.” Again, who are we to not cooperate with the Lord as we read His words in the Bible. Paul writes to Timothy about a spiritual good work that is “good and pleasing” to God. We must not neglect this task of mercy.