My Thoughts 16/11/2021

The Story of Zacchaeus, which is the gospel for today, is one of the two scripture passages that we always use, both with parents and children, as they prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (the other is the Prodigal Son).

Here is a story of a man who experiences a change of heart; a man whose life is turned around. The tax collector was wealthy, yet despised by those around him, as he was collaborating with the Roman occupiers in collecting taxes. The crowd murmured, grumbled, complained,  “He has gone to stay at a sinners house.”

Zacchaeus was following the urge of his heart, he wanted to encounter Jesus, he stepped out and stepped up. Jesus’s words were,

“Hurry because I must stay at your house today.”

These words of Jesus were music to his ears. He welcomed Jesus joyfully. He responded to Jesus being with him by returning not only what he had taken from others through dishonesty four times over, but also gave half of all he owned to the poor.

I am sure we all remember the words of St. Pope John Paul in his first homily as Pope,

“Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ.”

Jesus is saying to each of us today, “Hurry I must stay at your house today.” I want to dwell in your heart.

Give me the courage to open wide the doors of my heart to Christ today. May I welcome Christ anew and experience transformation.

Canon Father Anthony
Canon Father AnthonyParish Priest