Father Nathan Homily | November 05, 2019
Father Nathan | Homily
31th Sunday Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel talks about that Jesus works for the salvation of all. Jesus did not avoid the company of the rich people. The reason why Jesus was familiar with Tax collectors and sinners is that he sought their salvation.
Scripture lessons summarized:
The first reading (Wisdom 11:22 —12:2) reminds us that God’s Almighty Power includes His strength to be merciful.
That is why God, who created the universe, mercifully waits for sinners to repent. God continues to love us, even when we do not love Him in return.
The reading focuses on the love God has for all He has created, the love that overlooks sin so that we all have time for repentance. God shows us His redemptive love through His mercy.
In the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 145: 1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13 14), the Psalmist tells us that the Lord is good to all, and His compassion is over all that He has made. The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness (Ps. 145:8).
In the second reading (2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2) St. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to persevere in their Christian Faith, giving glory to God, without idly waiting for the “second coming” of Christ in their lifetime.
He advises them to continue to live a good Christian life every day, allowing God to work in their lives so that they may be worthy of their vocation as Christians.
Today’s Gospel (Luke 19:1-10) presents the story of the instantaneous conversion of the tax-collector, Zacchaeus.
God’s grace led Zacchaeus to a moment of conversion. The account describes how Jesus recognized Zacchaeus for exactly what he was, a lost sinner in need of a Savior, and how God’s grace worked in Zacchaeus to lead him from idle curiosity to repentance, conversion and restitution.
The episode emphasizes the fact that such a conversion can only result from a person’s fully receiving the love, acceptance and grace offered to everyone one by a merciful Lord.
1.) We have shortsighted sinners: Zacchaeus was physically short, and so, could not see the Lord. So true. I believe it’s also about moral description. It’s his moral stature that is the real cause of his inability to see the Lord. Some scripture passages.1. My iniquities have overtaken me, till I cannot see. (Ps 40:12) 2. Unless one is born again by water and the Spirit, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (John 3:5) 3. Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God. (Matt 5:8)
2.) Seek the Lord: Zacchaeus sought the Lord. His own search and longing led him to Christ.
Christ knew his longing.
“Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6)
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
3.) Surrendering to the Sanctifying and Saving Savior: Jesus stops by that tree, for we always meet Jesus at the Cross.
Jesus invites Zacchaeus into a saving and transformative relationship.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me”. (Rev 3:20)
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
4.) We are called to generosity: Jesus wants us to move from our small and feeble Faith to a greater and more powerful Faith, just as Zacchaeus did. He also wants us to be financially and spiritually generous.
An author said:
“Money is an article which may be used as universal passport to everywhere, except Heaven and as a universal provider of everything except happiness.”
Just like some of us, Zacchaeus was thinking that to have more money would give him security and even happiness.
Yes, we can love the money, but money will not love us in return.
Money has no feeling. It has a callous nature.
When Jesus touches Zacchaeus, the tax-collector makes a choice that he has to change his way of life
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