Meditation for the Day

Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time, November 17

May Jesus, Who Is Our Dearest Friend and Brother, Fill Our Hearts with His Peace and Our Homes with His Loving Presence; and May God’s Gift of Salvation Fill Our Souls with a Serenity, the Likes of Which We Have Never Before Experienced!

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house…’ – words which we find in today’s Gospel.

I would like to propose a certain scenario for each of us to think about. Suppose we were given the opportunity of sitting down with Jesus at our dinner table at home. I am sure that each one of us, after coming to our senses from the awesome wonder of such an event, would have some very specific questions we would like to ask Him. Suppose one of those questions would be, “Lord, what is Heaven like?”

I could imagine His answer might go something like this: “People live in such a broken world today that their senses have become dulled to all the beauty which already surrounds them. In Heaven, where there is no brokenness, there is only harmony and a unique and an indescribable oneness with their God.

“People will be amazed at the sights and the sounds and the smells, colors never before seen, music like no one has ever heard before. It would be like sitting next to the Grand Canyon and trying to take it all in – completely awestruck at its beauty. Only Heaven is infinitely more!”

It is this destination, this home, this ultimate of all gifts which God is offering to you and me today – a gift which neither of us deserves, but a gift which He still offers out of the Infinite Love which He has for each of us, His children.

And we hear Jesus say, “Today salvation has come to this house…”

In today’s Gospel, we read about Zacchaeus, a man despised and treated as an outcast by his own people, for his occupation was a tax collector. And since tax collectors were not paid a salary by the Roman Empire, they were expected to take a portion of what they collected in taxes as payment for their services, and many typically padded the Roman taxes in excess, and took more than their fair share.

And this is why they were treated by their own people as public sinners, as outcasts. But we hear, in our Gospel Reading today, our Lord saying, “Zacchaeus…today I must stay at your house.”

What the crowds of people could not know, what they were unable to discern, was what our Lord already knew – the heart of Zacchaeus, a man whose heart was open to God’s Merciful Love and forgiveness, a man who was more than willing to make amends for any sins he had committed in defrauding his own people.

And upon hearing the crowd grumble that Jesus was going to enter the house of a sinner, our Lord responded, “…the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

In this culture in which you and I live today, a culture saturated with all sorts of materialistic pleasures as well as violence, many are sadly seduced into believing that the material things of this world can provide real happiness and peace.

I am sure that we can all admit that having a full belly of food and a bank account filled with cash, a nice home and a new car provide us with a certain sense of contentment, but it is not the sort of joy that provides lasting peace! It is not the sort of pleasure which feeds the soul.

If anything, materialism gives us a false sense of security, for it drains the soul of a true and lasting happiness – for it places God in the backseat of our lives. Materialism, and all its seductions, can sadly relegate God’s invitation to each one of us to a place of rejection and refusal.

When we look at our First Reading today from the Book of Revelation, our Lord is reproving the Christian communities for having lost sight of what was truly most important – living a truly loving and intimate relationship with God, founded upon principles of virtue and holiness.

Sadly, their faith had taken several steps backwards, to the point where the practice of what they had originally accepted and embraced was neither alive nor dead. And our Lord reproaches them, and He also says to each of us who have also backslid, who have also lapsed in our life of faith –

“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

Shocking words to say the least! – but words which are nevertheless necessary, oftentimes to wake up the hearts of basically good people who have lost their way and become lazy in practicing the tenets of their faith. Because our Lord then says, “Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.”

And for those of us who take the initiative to change our lives and embrace the faith with which we were taught, our Lord’s words strike at the heart of who we are as a faithful people, “…the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

May Jesus, who is our dearest and most intimate Friend and Brother, fill our hearts with His peace and our homes with His Loving Presence. May God’s gift of salvation fill our souls with a serenity, the likes of which we have never before experienced!

And may each of us sing out the praise which is rightfully His due. For our Lord gives us a promise today which is binding for all eternity, “I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne…”

******************************************************************

Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

******************************************************************

Scripture for the Day

  • “And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.’(Luke 19:9-10)
  • “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)
  • “…because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12)
  • “Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)
  • “And it shall be that everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 2:21)
  • “For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: ‘Seek me, that you may live.’(Amos 5:4)
  • “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)
  • “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
  • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
  • “I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:21a)

******************************************************************

Prayer for the Day

“Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself.
Bring lukewarm souls into the abode
of Your Most Compassionate Heart.
In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who, like corpses,
filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame.

“O most Compassionate Jesus,
exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy
and draw them into the very ardor of Your love;
and bestow upon them the gift of holy love,
for nothing is beyond Your power.”

Saint Faustina (Diary, § 1229)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s