Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's reading from the Gospel of Luke tells us that the Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost, in the same reading, we heard that when Jesus entered Jericho, He came upon Zacchaeus who was a rich and a chief tax collector. Most likely, Zacchaeus, like other tax collectors, was a dishonest man. Over and above collecting his quota that had to be remitted to the state, he surcharged the poor and pocketed the extra money that he collected[1].

Jesus' encounter with Zacchaeus was not by chance. The Lord God had called Zacchaeus in a unique way. Zacchaeus had heard that Jesus was coming and out of curiosity, he wanted to see Him.

When Jesus saw Zacchaeus, He invited Himself to his home by saying, Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today[2], what an expression of joy!

What followed was a total human change of heart. By the grace of God, Zacchaeus repented of his sins[3]

Here we perceive that Zacchaeus, after having met Jesus, he experienced a total detachment from his earthly possessions.

The conclusion of the gospel it is really wonderful: The Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost[4]. Zacchaeus was a sinner, however by the grace of God, he repented and welcomed Jesus in his home. Through Christ, he was saved.

Returning to my introduction, how would you respond if Jesus said to you, I must stay at your house today. How would you react to such an invitation? Would your home be ready? Would you be personally ready to welcome Jesus in your home?

The true issue here is not how we would react if Jesus wanted to come into our homes but rather, how have we reacted when He came into our homes? Indeed, Jesus has visited the homes of each and everyone of us. For Jesus is alive in us!

Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, we have received the indwelling Spirit of Christ within us. Through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, we have received the Divine Presence of the Lord Jesus within us. And if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us[5].

When God lives in us, His glory is manifested through the fruit of His grace. He invited Himself into our homes and we have welcomed Him. For those of us who have received God in our homes, let us be thankful to the Lord for coming to us.

For those who have not received the Lord God in their homes or those who no longer have His Sacred Presence in their homes, it is never too late to repent and to welcome the Lord Jesus to return. For the Lord is a God of love, grace and mercy. He does not wish to see that any be lost.

As we continue with the celebration of the Holy Mass, let us pray for those who do not have the indwelling of the Lord God in their homes. Let us ask the Lord to reach out to these souls so that they too may partake in the universal salvation plan of God.

[1] Sunday 4th November, 2007, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time. St Charles Borromeo. Readings: Wisdom 11:22-12:2. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God-Ps 144(145):1-2, 8-11, 13-14. 2. Thessalonians 1:1–2:2. Luke 19:1-10.
[2] Lk. 19:5
[3] Id, 19:8
[4] Lk. 19:10
[5] 1 Jn. 4:13

ilustration: French miniaturist, Christ and Zacchaeus, 1423 Illumination on parchment, 41 x 28 cm, koninklijke kibliotheek, La Haya (Holanda).

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris