Homily for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: A contrite heart
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Sunday November 3 2019
(Lk. 19:2-10) Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus visits the home of Zacchaeus, the tax collector. It drew a lot of criticisms and debates among the crowd specially to those who knew Zacchaeus very well. Recognizing the opportunity, Jesus told Zacchaeus He will come with him to his home. It was a great honor for Zacchaeus given the popularity of Jesus. But it was not without controversy because Zacchaeus was a great sinner.
Zacchaeus was living a sinful life because he was exacting too much taxes on his fellow Jews. He must have heard about Jesus and was excited to see Him. When Jesus came to Jericho, Zacchaeus took the opportunity. Because he was small, he had to climb a sycamore tree to have a glimpse of Jesus. When Jesus saw him, He obliged to pay him a visit. It was a moment of decision. The Lord was already the one coming to him. And He responded! Honored by Jesus’ presence, he made a confession and a reparation. Those were marks of a contrite spirit. Jesus forgave him and brought salvation not only to Zacchaeus but to the household as well!
Is this hard to understand? Is forgiveness that easy? Yes and No! Yes it is easy because God loves a contrite heart. No, because it takes a lot to have contrition. Besides, the reparations Zacchaeus made were enough proof of his sincerity to change his ways and follow the Lord. How many of those who had asked forgiveness did as much as what Zacchaeus did? Did they return what they had stolen? Did they do acts of charity to those sectors they had hurt? Did they made some acts of reparation for the irreparable crimes they had done? While God’s forgiveness is not conditioned by reparations, they are necessary as testimonies to our sincerity. The resolution not to do the sins again is initiated by our reparation.
The First Reading cements God’s mercy and love for us. He created us. He loved everything He created. When we go astray, He will look for us and allow us to return with dignity if we are repentant. It does not matter if we are so tiny before Him. Each of us is important before the Lord. He died for all of us on the cross. Hopefully, we appreciate this and start believing that we need to appreciate and recognize ourselves too!
All of these translate to Jesus’ mission and our destiny – SALVATION!