HOMILY FOR 31ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
HOMILY THEME: ANY MAN CAN CHANGE.
BY: Fr Livinus C. Igbodekwe.
Don’t condemn anyone. Anyone can change. Grace can find anyone. What is needed is just an encounter with Jesus, and a change of life will occur. Every believer’s story starts as that of Zaccheus. There was a time we lived outside of Christ (Eph 2:12), and there’s a time we met Jesus on the road of our life, and we agreed to open the door of our heart to Him (Rev 3:20).
1. *The Old Zaccheus:* Zaccheus was an interesting man. Very hated yet very wealthy. Can you imagine that. He has accepted hatred as part of his person. He chose to neglect the public opinion of people for they were the same ones he defrauded. By the way, what matters most is that he gained while they still hated him.
2. *The Inquisitive Zaccheus:* inquisitiveness is the first step to impact. Moses went out to see and he got called (Ex 3:3). Some people have gone out to see and ended up being impacted. “Hearing about” is not “seeing”. I believe that he has heard about Jesus but have not seen him. He stepped out of his post to see him without knowing that what He will see will make his day and change his life.
3. *The Handicapped Zaccheus:* Your handicap can become your advantage. Paul was a short man but when his life was in danger, he was laid down in a basket (Acts 9:25). What his shortness couldn’t afford, the sycamore did. Don’t let your disadvantage be your excuse. The blind Bartimeus could shout to get God’s attention (Mark 10:46). Zaccheus was short but could climb a tree to see Jesus. Having spiritual encounters requires effort. And every effort pays off in one way.
4. *Zaccheus’ Invitation to Salvation:* Many followed Jesus on the streets, but few people they were that brought Jesus to their homes. But most remarkable was Zaccheus hosting of Jesus because it was Jesus that told Zaccheus that He will be in his house that day. No where again did He say this to any other person. The one seen as the worst sinner can become the one most favored. Only Jesus can make this possible. This is a pure description of grace.
5. *The New Zaccheus:* The conversion of a notable sinner has a way of drawing many other unbelievers along. It caught a lot of interests from many Jews and other tax collectors and those stigmatized by society as sinners. No one could believe that such a man as Zaccheus could change. As the banquet proceeded, signs of his conversion began to show. There’s no way one can say that he/she has repented without such a one showing the fruits of repentance. Zaccheus realized how much he had operated outside of God’s will, and how much he had been a yoke on people’s neck. He promises to restore. Only then did Jesus announce to the members of the banquet table that “salvation has come to this house” (Lk19:9). How many houses claim to be saved? And how many has salvation actually come to their houses? Where are the signs of salvation in your own house?
Let us welcome Jesus in our homes today for He has already given an invitation. Let us also begin to show the fruits of our repentance if we need a real change of life.
Happy Sunday to you all!
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