My Dear Church Family,
To all of our companions with me on the journey of union with the Lord. All of us are seeking heaven. I just got back from my annual retreat and so I am filled with the spirit of joy that it was a retreat that challenges me to grow in this deeper, deeper union with the Lord which is seeking heaven and claiming again that “Thy kingdom come on earth, thy will be done.” So, Church, our new lifestyle is trying to be a companion to each other on the journey to this destination. Hallelujah! So, all is well in that.
I hear a little bit of Zacchaeus in each one of us. I like the character of Zacchaeus because although he had a whole bunch of material things, was doing well, and was wealthy, he still longed for what is really important. This coming Tuesday I have the privilege of giving the homily for Fr. Bob Bousaubin. Fr. Bob was very much one of my companions on the journey because we did spiritual retreats together. We talked about spiritual things. I did ministry with him when he was at St. Rose for as much as ten years during his seminary time and his first assignment was to St. Rose. Much later he was at St. Englebert’s and on the North Side. Then he was probably the one who started the Hispanic Ministry in South St. Louis at St. Cecelia’s. He was a companion on the journey for me. I think of him as a little bit of Zacchaeus as I think of myself. Fr. Bob, in the way, was in the seminary for about four years of college, then he dropped out for about six years, wondering what he should do with his life. He probably became very successful in traveling through the South during the Civil Rights time, making a living with Brown Shoe Company. But then instead of just selling shoes or as he would say, ‘instead of just selling “soles” of shoes for Brown Shoe Company’, he went after Jesus’ direction and went after really searching for real “souls” of each person.
So, it was good to see in him a little bit as Zacchaeus, searching, along with each of us, searching a little bit more so that we have the Zacchaeus spirit within us because we are blessed. If we are blessed, money, power, or material things doesn’t make that much difference, but the real soul that is searching. For the Book of Wisdom tells us that the “Lord is a lover of souls, and his imperishable spirit is in all things that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in the Lord! For he has mercy on all and he overlooks our sins.” So, we keep searching for what is good—Salvation for our souls! Alleluia!