CLIQUER SUR LA LANGUE DESIREE
“It is important for us to keep in touch with our deceased to pray for God's grace so that their souls may find mercy and peace.”
Readings: Thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time.
The month of November is usually a month dedicated to prayer for our departed faithful. Because they lived with us, they shared our joys and sorrows, and they are part of our history. Now they are inscribed in the past but we do not lose their memory. Our celebration of this day is an act of faith in God's boundless love, in Christ risen from the dead and in the Holy Spirit “who gives life”, these are the words that call us to look at God as the Almighty and merciful Father. Today's texts invite us to turn our gaze towards God's infinite mercy towards the sinners we are. He wants to help us get out of this sin situation in which we are sinning. We are all called to convert. This good news is for us the starting point of great hope.
The first reading tells us precisely about God's infinite mercy for each of His creatures. He never ceases to show his patience towards sinners. He appreciates our little progress in conversion, especially when we are on the right track. This text deserves to be stopped because it pushes us to change our gaze on our neighbour, on our enemies and on those who leave us indifferent. God loves all that exists; He has no repulsion towards His works. True conversion must lead us to look at each other with the very gaze of God, a gaze full of love.
Unfortunately, we live in a world of violence and massacres in the name of any religion under the pretext of defending God's cause. But in fact, would God need man to defend his cause? Would God be unable to defend his own cause? Well, “NO” for the true God is love, understanding and mercy. It is on the side of the small, the poor, the excluded and all those who are being hurt unfairly. Therefore, to be closer to men, He sent His Son Jesus to seek and save those who go to their loss. God therefore gives everyone the opportunity to convert and recover when they fall. This is what we have to witness with our words, our deeds and our whole life.
In his letter to the Thessalonians (second reading), the Apostle Paul invites us to focus our whole life on Christ. It is through him and with him that we can progress on the path of holiness. When we really welcomed him, our meeting with him can only transform our lives. He is there, “at the heart of our lives,” and he recommends that we look forward to his return. But at the same time, he warns us against so-called revelations about the end of the world. Certainly, the Lord will return, but no one knows the day or the hour. The important thing is to remain firm in faith and faithful to our baptism.
As for the Gospel, it reports to us an event that is well known to all. This is the story of a man called Zacchaeus whose encounter with Jesus changed his whole life. In fact, it happens in Jericho, a pagan city, a city of sinners. Every time Jesus entered it, it is to bring someone out of sin and bring him back to God. Jesus is not the one who blames the sinner, and judges him, on the contrary, he comes to enlighten him so that he may see his sin and come out of it. That's what's going on with Zacchaeus the publican. Let's look closely, who is Zacchaeus? Zacchaeus, small man, publican and tax collector. As a result, he could only be hated by all those poor people who were burdened with the taxes that had to be paid to the Roman occupier. He had a reputation for being intractable and taking advantage of his dominant position. In addition, as chief of publicans, he was held responsible for the behaviour and violence of his collaborators. His position placed him in the category of infrequentable sinners. He was already “condemned” and excluded by his fathers.
Now this man has an ardent desire to see Jesus. He runs ahead, he climbs on a sycamore to see Jesus who was to pass through there. From that moment, everything goes far beyond what it had planned: Love crosses the face of the sinful man. And the decision is without appeal, Jesus invites himself to his house; this decision provokes a stir. The “well-thinkers” believe that Jesus would have done better to go to a good family. Instead, he goes to an infrequentable thief. For them, it's a scandal. Seeing only Zacchaeus's past, they don't give him a chance. But God does not bind “sins” but the act of conversion of sinful man. Therefore, Jesus can say, “Today salvation has come for this house”. The expression “today” is quite significant in the act of Zacchaeus. For it is “today” that we are called to follow the process of conversion, not tomorrow.
We, too, can be like this crowd. We live in a society that has nothing but contempt for people of bad reputations. But the Lord tells us that He came to seek and save those who were lost. God's salvation is offered to all, including all prisoners. Every person is very important in the eyes of God. It must change our look at them. The way to achieve this change of vision is prayer.
The same Christ invites himself to us today; he comes to bring us the salvation of God. When he comes home, he trusts us far beyond anything we can imagine. He joins our assembly to tell us all God's love for us sinners. With him, it is God's salvation that enters our homes. It is enough that we hasten to welcome Christ who knocks on our door.
May our appointment to mass and adoration transform us as he transformed the publican of Jericho.
Saturday: Gospel, Homily (Peter Dibi)
Orgue:At the Great Organ, Guy Didier
- Entrance: “Fantasy in G major” (J. S. Bach)
- Offertory: “CARPIO mui bien” (T. Giordani)
- Communion: The famous “Adagio” (Albinoni)
- Release: “Fugue in G major” (J. S. Bach)
John Sebastian Bach
The other homilies of Father Pierre Dibi
Read also: THE FIP of the week
Download (PDF, 187KB)