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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) 3rd November 2019

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Jesus entered the city of Jericho, which was a place of curse. He came to wipe away the
sins and curses of people. It is like God stepping into the Garden of Eden when man
and woman brought tragedy upon themselves through sin. Gen 3:8. Please note, when you
sin, you will not be able to see God, because your vision of eternal life gets blurred in
your confused state of mind where you can never encounter God. But in the stillness
of your heart, you would certainly be able to experience God, so keep yourselves away
from the noisy and wicked world and get closer to God.
In the case of Zacchaeus in the Gospel of today, he showed great eagerness and enthusiasm
in trying to see Jesus. In spite of his wealth and the pleasures and the comfort provided
by them, he was apparently unhappy, empty and lonely in his heart without God. But the
man Zacchaeus persevered in his attempt to see Jesus and humbled himself to achieve his
aim. He climbed on the Sycamore tree. Jesus called Zacchaeus and he posed a question to
Zacchaeus, “Are you willing to come down from your tree of sinfulness?” And Zacchaeus
agreed to come down from the tree of his worldliness and follow the master who is the way, the
truth and the life. – John 14:6. Most importantly, Zacchaeus decided to improve
his relationship with one another and to restore his relationship with God. When he desired
to meet Jesus, Jesus expressed his decision to stay with him that day. This attitude of
change saved Zacchaeus and that would bring the message of salvation to his whole household.
Zacchaeus was a true son of Abraham, a spiritual son. Jesus is the one who seeks and saves
the lost. He is the one who sought out Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus put himself in a position to see
Jesus. Jesus by his gentle gesture touched the heart of Zacchaeus to receive him.
Only after Zacchaeus accepted Jesus, did Jesus save him. Unless we accept Jesus as our master
and Lord, he cannot take us along. In the case of Israelites, though they had heard
the good news all did not accept it. Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus from others. He was
eager to meet him, and he took the necessary steps to encounter the Lord, and Jesus responded
to fulfil Zacchaeus’ wish. So only if we preach about Jesus to others, like Zacchaeus
can hear about him. As St Paul says in Rom 10:16-17, Faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. God bless you.

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