Tuesday, 20 November 2018 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scriptures again we are reminded of the current state of our sins, and how we ought to repent and turn away from them and embrace fully God’s love and mercy. This is what we ought to do, in the time and opportunity God has given us, that we do not fall into eternal damnation, but regain our rightful place by His side in heaven.

In the first reading today, we heard the account from the Book of Revelations of St. John, in which at the beginning of the book, St. John was told to write to the Angels of the seven churches of Asia. In those letters, the Lord wanted each and every one of those Church communities to know that their ways have fallen away from Him, or that they have become lukewarm in their faith, and in the need of repentance and conversion. And that is why the Lord is calling on them to repent and turn away from their sins.

He was warning them against the riches and the temptations of the world, which are often in the way of one being truly faithful to God. While the riches and worldly things themselves are not at fault, but it is how we mankind often misuse them and become overly obsessed and infatuated over them, which resulted in us doing things in our respective lives, that do not conform to the way that the Lord has shown us.

But at the same time, while God is indeed not happy with our sins and mistakes, the blemish and faults present in our lives, He is ever loving and ever merciful towards us. After all, He created each and every one of us because of His great love for us. We are the pinnacle of His creation, the ones created in nothing else but His own image.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why today we ought to reflect on our Gospel passage today, on the story of the encounter between the Lord Jesus and Zaccheus, a tax collector and sinner. This story is one that I am sure quite well-known amongst us, but do we truly relate the significance and meaning of this story to our own lives? There are indeed important parallels that we should take note of today.

First of all, Zaccheus was a short man, but that did not dissuade him from trying to make the hard effort to be able to see the Lord, climbing up a sycamore tree so that he could have a good look at Him. The Lord saw his efforts, and called on him, knowing that in the heart and mind of Zaccheus, there was genuine love and focus on God. That was affirmed when the Lord spoke to Zaccheus, and he declared his devotion and commitment to God, publicly before everyone gathered, that he also repented from all of his past wrongdoings.

In the example shown by Zaccheus, we saw first of all the frailty of man, easily afflicted and corrupted by sin, and easily overcome by the various temptations of the world. However, we also saw man’s desire to be reconciled and to be forgiven, reunited and to be received once again into God’s loving embrace, as shown by the effort and commitment made by Zaccheus, shedding away all of his pride and ego, and humbling himself before God in the presence of all the people.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we also capable of making such a commitment? Today’s Scripture passages have reminded all of us of the importance for us to understand the sinfulness that are affecting us at the moment, how we have been corrupted by those sins, and of the repercussions that will come if we do not repent from those sins. We must realise that God wants to reconcile us to Himself, and want us to be forgiven our sins, but we must make the effort to come to God in all humility as Zaccheus had done.

Let us therefore pray, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we will have the perseverance and the willingness, the courage and the strength to live up our faith each and every days of our life, turning ourselves to God and refocusing our lives towards Him. May the Lord be our guide, and may He continue to watch over us and bless us in all of our endeavours. Amen.

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