Sermon for the 31st Sunday in the Ordinary Time Year C
Dear friends in Jesus Christ, today we celebrate the thirty first Sunday in the ordinary time. Sunday is the time for all of us to worship and thank the Lord for on Sunday before 2000 years he rose from death.
Sunday becomes an obligation for all of us. Sunday is the Lord’s day to commemorate his death and resurrection. In the old testament God has given ten commandments to the people of Israel. Among them the second commandment speaks about the day of the Lord.
Exodus 20: 8–11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
In the new testament Sunday becomes the day of the Lord. Again we have the obligation to keep the day holy to worship and thank the Lord.
In today’s readings, specially in the Gospel passage we have just read the famous incident of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus wanted to meet Jesus. The meeting with Jesus became the turning point in the life of Zacchaeus.
1. Jesus is passing in my Life everyday.
Do you recognize and believe that Jesus is passing in your life everyday. Yes of cause, Jesus is passing in my life everyday. If I am week in my spirituality and if I don’t give much time to recognize him I will never see him in my life passing around me.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Jesus was walking by the sea of Galilee and he called them by their names. They were able to recognize Jesus and they were able to see Jesus.
Everyday and every moment Jesus is walking in your life, calling you by your name. If you pause for a while with open heart and mind you will be able to see Jesus.
2. Zacchaeus is the friend of money and not with God
The life style of Zacchaeus shows that he is the friend of Money and not with God. His aim was to collect money as much as he wanted. He knew the taste of money. He loved the world so much to live long. To live long he wanted more money and he spent much of his time to steal money.
The bible teaches us not to become slaves to money. Zacchae
us has become slaves to money and thus he wanted to live for money.
The teaching of Jesus is very clear that use money carefully to gain the kingdom of God.
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
3. Zacchaeus was busy with money in the midst of the World.
If you see the life of Zacchaeus, he was busy with money in the midst of the world. His speech, his thoughts and his actions were utilized to steal money from others. As a whole person he has become money oriented person all the time in everything.
4. Zacchaeus did not work hard to earn money, rather he wanted to steal money.
Earning money through hard works in honest way is something different than stealing money from others in the name of tax collection. Zacchaeus was not earning money by his own hard works. He was almost stealing money from others.
5. He heard about Jesus and wanted to see him
One day zacchaeus thought in his mind to see Jesus. It would have been a strange thought for him in his whole life. Every day early in the morning when he gets up his mind might have thought how to get more money today. This thought would be normal for him everyday.
Today he thought differently that he wanted to see Jesus. The first step to see God is the beginning to experience God in us.
Proverbs 9: 10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
6. Change of heart, mind and thought
It is true that Zacchaeus might have been experiencing the money of this world and nothing more than that. Due to his over desire for money of this world He might have experienced the emptiness in his heart . Money cannot fill your heart with the grace of God. He might have realized his life style. He was an important person in the society with lots of earthy wealth. But he might have felt something missing in his life.
To fill his heart with the grace of God he wanted to see Jesus. The moment he met Jesus, the whole life of Zacchaeus was changed. His life was reversed and has become up side down. Whatever he thought important in his life has become nothing for him now.
Zacchuaeus pronounced his faith publicly.
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“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.”
7. Salvation is available for all
When Jesus saw his faith with the change of his heart, he offered the gift of salvation to his life. We need faith in Jesus with the change of our hearts to receive the salvation of Jesus.
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.”