Friday, October 29, 2010

Ur Sunday Dose: Like Zacchaeus... (31st Sunday - OT)

Oct. 31, 2010
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wis 11,22-12,2 || 2Thes 1,11-2,2
Lk 19,1-10


Another coincidence today, eh!

The 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time falls on the 31st day of October. In popular culture, it is widely known as the Halloween. The next two days are by-far the most celebrated Christian Holidays at this time of the Year: the Solemnity of all the Saints (Nov.01) and the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (Nov.02).

Let's focus on Oct. 31, since it's a Sunday.

HALLOWEEN, or All Hallows' Eve, is the day which falls before the Solemnity of All the Saints, on Nov. 01. It may come from this Celtic Tradition of Samhain. In it, the Celts believe that the barrier between this world and the other world (May I speak of the afterlife on this?) becomes thin, thus allowing spirits to pass through, both harmful and harmless. The people of the said culture welcome back their ancestors to their homes and ward off the harmful away.

In these times, while the devout Christians celebrate this day, and the following two days with prayers and visit to their departed loved ones in the Cemetery, others observe this very much pagan tradition through trick-or-treats, Halloween parties, devilish costumes, and pagan offerings.

This day has a very solemn meaning, which was very much demoralized by the present culture. What was supposed to be a day of reflection on the glory of God's White-robed Army of the Saints, and His compassion and Mercy on those souls waiting for their purification in Purgatory, turned-out to be a celebration for the wicked triumph of Satan and his fallen angels. This is a proof that even those who consider themselves saved by the Death of the Lord still make some honor to the Prince of Darkness.

Awkward, eh? But this is the reality. Something which must be broken off.

But look at this, my brothers! At this time of the year, we see once again the glory of God's Army, those Saints who gave their lives for the sake of the Gospel. They were never ashamed to proclaim the Gospel, and even if they have a thousand lives, they would offer it all for its sake.

We see the image of Zacchaeus in today's proclamation. He is a chief publican (remember the publican last Sunday?), and is very rich in money and property. But when he heard that the Lord is passing by, he was curious to see him. Though he was small on height, he managed to see him climbing through a Sycamore tree. Jesus, upon seeing him, said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house."

At the house, delighted at having the Lord in his own House, Zaccherus said his faith in this manner: "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." Jesus affirmed this faith: "Today salvation has come to this house"

Like Zaccheus in today's Gospel, we see the Saints as people having their dark history, yet glorified upon letting Jesus come into their lives...

Like Zaccheus, they also lived in sin, some are living in prostitution, gambling, and other worldly vices.

Like Zaccheus, Jesus called them to let him enter into their lives. Some hesitated at first, yet welcomed him with great joy. Upon welcoming Him, they felt like a great transformation is happening in their lives, to the point that they are converted.

Like Zaccheus, they offered their lives to God, and to the service of the needy brothers. We see some Saints renouncing their riches and giving it to the poor. Others do miracles through God's grace in order to transform other lives.

Like Zaccheus, Jesus gives salvation to these people. They are now with Jesus at Heaven, cherishing the Glory that is with God alone. And as of now, we ask their intercession for the many petitions we ask of God through them.

Like the Saints, we are also called to be like Zaccheus. From a dark life of sin, Jesus knocks. We are challenged to let Him in. As we offer our life to Him and to the Church, we could see a vast transformation occurring in our lives. It is never too late to be holy, in all means. But we should not slumber or give a deaf ear to this call.

Holiness is our Challenge. Christ is our Model. The Saints are our Inspiration.

As we celebrate the Day of the Lord on Halloween, we continue to ask the intercession of the Saints. We always ask them to pray for us in all our undertakings. As they lived Holy lives on Earth, of which its reward they are now experiencing in Heaven, we ask their guidance that like them, we too may live in total Holiness, in obedience to Christ and His divine Providence.

... And no to Halloween Parties!

BïTZëëlöG_102710 :)

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