HOMILY OF THE THIRTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
How beautiful is the gift of life! How glorious is that Life which our transient life earnestly seeks. The goal of life is Life, and the beauty of the life we have now is only a glimpse of the magnificence of that Life which our present life is only but a gateway. May you share in this Life; Amen.
Life is a reflection of the glory of God for “the Glory of God is men and women fully alive.” The Sacred Scripture is an account of God’s ceaseless effort, not only to sustain the life we have now, but also to lead us to Life itself. He is indeed the “Lord who love the Living”; He is the Lover of life the First Reading (Wisdom 11:22-12:2) reminds us today. This is the logic behind God’s effort to save us from damnation. He continues to confront us with His life-giving love so that we can receive the energy we need to love and work for the Life He offers us. Without this inner disposition, both the life we have now and the one God offers us in the beyond would be meaningless, unproductive and sour to us.
What is this life all about? Firstly, In this present life, the Life God offers us is all about knowing God the giver of this greatest of gifts; it is about doing His will, adoring Him in spirit and truth; witnessing to His name and spreading His reign on earth. It is about being a voice against all the evils of our time and society. It is about rejecting our old and sinful ways to accepting the way that leads to Salvation. It is about overcoming the limitations of our shortness in the spirit, due to wrong choices, to climbing that tree that will grant us a clear view of the Master. Secondly, In the Life to come, the Life God offers is all about the salvation of our souls; our eternal communion with God. The gift which Zacchaeus received from the Lord in the Gospel of today (Luke 19:1-10); “today salvation has come to this house.” This is the life we are speaking about! The Life only God can give and He gives it only to those who truly understand what the life we have now is all about.
The world continues to offer us reasons to reject Life. We have new and appetizing but damnative alternatives! Truly, one can easily slip off if one is not careful. But again, the Life we desire is never reserved only for those who did not slip off; but more for those who can be courageous like Zacchaeus to climb the stem of the Sycamore Tree; those who seek to encounter Jesus in His Word and in the Sacraments. This Life is possible for you and for me! Don’t mind any philosophy or way of life that says the otherwise. The people murmured thinking that this type of Life was impossible for Zacchaeus but the determination of Zacchaeus made it possible for him. You can possess it! But you must work for it!
I pray for you that you may never lose sight of this Life which God offers us today; Amen. Happy Sunday;
-Fr Cyril Unachukwu