HOMILY FOR THE 31ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C
Wisdom 11:22 – 12:2
2 Thess. 1:11 – 2:2
*THEME: THE GOOD IN YOU*
Beloved in Christ, this Sunday reminds us that we have barely three more Sundays to end this liturgical year and also for Pope Francis to climax our year long celebration of the mercy of God. And as if by divine design, the first reading and the gospel passage invite us to reflect on the boundless mercy of God as a foundation to the question; is there anything good in the sinner?
My dear friend, for the world, the answer is a big NO! But for Jesus, the answer is a big YES! This is affirmed by the first reading; you are merciful to all and you overlook men’s sins so they can repent.
Beloved, the gospel story of Jesus’ encounter with zacchaeus gives a vivid expression of the boundless mercy of God. For we are told that Zacchaeus though a wealthy man he was not happy because his life made him an outcast. However, irrespective of the human obstacles that made his life extremely difficult, he refused to be limited by the world.
My dear friend, the problem of Zaccheaus was not his height but the crowd because without them, for he could have seen Jesus even as a short man. People saw in him a sinner and thus despised and hated him because he was a tax collector.
But Zacchaeus did not cause trouble or pick a quarrel with anybody for blocking him. He instead tried another means. He thus invites us to avoid and ignore distraction and distractors to our success. But sadly, most people today tend to concentrate on what people say and think about them. God knows we are sinners but he also knows we can become saints if we co-oporate with him.
Again, the story of Zacchaeus reminds us that an encounter with Jesus is to transform us into better Christians; if you believe, let it be seen.
For Zacchaeus, I am going to give half of my property and if I have cheated, I pay back four times. (cf Luke 19:8). Inner change should be manifested in concrete action.
But unfortunately, some of us encounter Jesus in his word and sacraments but are still the same for we only change with our lips and not with our lives. Jesus is not demanding a mere change of words but a change of life.
Let us therefore pray
that God will make us worthy of his call so as to make us abstain from evil and trust in him.
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