Sunday, October 30, 2022
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Times
St. Augustine Catholic Church
The Son of Man has come to seek and save what was lost.
My Brothers and Sisters,
Our patron, Saint Augustine, in his famous book, “The Confessions …” said, “God, our Father, created us without our permission but cannot save us without our cooperation. These are two different things. That is to say, God has done His part and we must do our own part, too, in our journey for our salvation.
Let us look at the story of Zacchaeus in the Gospel that I have just read. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and a wealthy man. He must have heard about Jesus but had not yet seen Him. An opportunity came up on the day Jesus was in Jericho with a crowd following Him. Zacchaeus knew he would not be able to see Jesus very well because of his short stature. So, he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree in order to get a better look at Him.
When Jesus reached the place where Zacchaeus was, He looked up and said to Zacchaeus, “Come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” He quickly did so and received Jesus with joy. Some of the people murmured and grumbled because Jesus had gone to the house of a sinner. Zacchaeus stood his ground and made his confession to Jesus. “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone, I shall repay it four times over.”
These were the actions of Zacchaeus as he sought for conversion for which Jesus acclaimed him, “…a true son of Abraham and one who does not wish to be lost, but be saved.” This self-accusation of oneself is what we must always do to be granted pardon and forgiveness in order to be saved. Amen!