Sunday´s homily on Luke 19: 1-10. The keyword is welcoming
The Gospel of today shows us how two desires meet: the desire of man (Zacchaeus) to know God and the desire of God to reveal himself to us. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus but he couldn’t because he was short in stature. At the same time Jesus wanted to stay with him and wants to stay with us. Zacchaeus was discovered by Jesus without needing to say a word. Jesus knew his deepest desire. Oh that today you could discover just how much God wants to live with you, his amazing desire to be close to you! From the very beginning God said “It is not good for man to be alone let us provide him with a “kasama” a good companion to live with.” We would never have imagined that Jesus himself wanted to become this close companion. He doesn’t just want to be your visitor for a day; he wants to remain with you for ever.
To live is to live with Jesus. He is the true life. Those who don’t live with Jesus are dead. If we don’t share the gift we have received we are dead inside. There is no room for solitude or for self sufficiency with Jesus. One of the greatest sicknesses of today is solitude: a lack of love, care and affection. Jesus comes to fulfill our deep desire to love and to be loved. Only he can fulfill the deepest desire of our heart. Only he can unify our whole life when we live for him and for others. Open the door and let Jesus enter! He will enlarge our little lives by giving us a great horizon. God cannot enter without our permission. God needs an open and welcoming heart. Zacchaeus received Jesus with great joy and he was overwhelmed with joy. By welcoming Jesus he was able to discover who Jesus really was. He discovered the gratuitous and generous heart of Jesus. This encounter totally transformed the life of Zacchaeus. The thief became a giver. I will pay back four times the amount that I cheated people of. He was transformed from being a selfish person into being a generous one. His house would no longer be empty; rather it would be a house that was open to Jesus and open to others. Our house too is called to be a place of encounter, a house of prayer for all nations. We can decide to live a life of companionship with Jesus by putting the dwelling place of our entire life at his disposal. We can dedicate ourselves to live with Jesus and for Jesus to propagate his Kingdom of love around us.
We recently celebrated the feast of all saints. We could call Zacchaeus the patron of ordinary saints in their ordinary lives. We could also call him a true son of God. As Pope Francis says we are temped to think that holiness is only for special people, but this is not true (EG 14). By taking little steps we can let Jesus fill us with his love and become a little bit better every day. When we welcome Jesus every day and we live with him, we live with love and we share his love with others, bearing witness to him in small things. If we don’t, we miss out on the best. The great tragedy in life is not to become a saint.
Fr Dario SEMD, November 3rd, 2019