HOMILY FOR THE 31ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C.
THEME: GOD’S MERCY.
BY: Rev. Sylvanus Amaobi.
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY OCTOBER 30 2022.
(1st Reading, Wis. 11:22-12:2; 2nd Reading, 2 Thes. 1:11-2:2; Gospel, Luke 19:1-10)
Dear brothers and sisters, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
*GOD’S MERCY IS UNDENIABLE, AND HIS LOVE UNDOUBTABLE.*
God is the creator of the universe and everything in it. He is the Omnipotent, Omnipresence, and Almighty God in whose presence the whole universe is as a grain from a balance or like a drop of morning dew. Despite the sublime attributes of God, He is still a God that shows mercy to all. The book of Wisdom (Wis. 11:22-12:2) tells us in the First Reading that God loves all things that are and loathes nothing that he had made. This is because God created all things and saw them as very good (Gen. 1:31). In the same vein, God loves sinners and hates sins. He rebukes offenders little by little, warns them, reminds them of the sins they are committing, and offers them an opportunity to repent and come back to Him.
We can relate to this fact through our relationship with God.
The Gospel (Luke 19:1-10) presents to us a vivid manifestation of divine love and mercy. Zacchaeus was a known chief tax collector and, by the Pharisee’s standards, a notorious sinner. He was also a short man. Thus, the odds were against Zacchaeus. We can argue, and rightly so, that he was both socially and physically disadvantaged. But Zacchaeus was not deterred. He was willing to see Jesus as He passed through Jericho’s town. He climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus. This is the most unorthodox method or solution, taking into cognizance the status of Zacchaeus as a rich man. But again, that was a solution that merited his salvation.
Jesus acknowledged the efforts of Zacchaeus and spoke to him thus, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” Zacchaeus initially desired to see Jesus, but his singular effort brought him more than he wanted. He not only saw Jesus, but he also dined with Him. The joy did not stop at dining with Jesus. The joy was complete because Jesus promised salvation to him, “Today, salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.”
We need to learn from the attitude of Zacchaeus not to be deterred by our inabilities or shortcomings but to constantly seek ways of overcoming them. Similarly, our sins should not prohibit or prevent us from coming closer to God. We receive God’s mercy, love, and blessings when we come closer. Heaven is a reward of efforts, people say. Jesus crowned Zacchaeus’ efforts with glory. He needs our efforts to crown them with glory. When we make the resolution to follow Him, He spices it with His grace and love and crowns it with His salvation.
Always remember that Jesus loves you!
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