TUESDAY HOMILY: The Dreaded Shrinks
to constant conversion.
This "little way" is pictured for us as Zacchaeus comes down from the tree to meet Jesus. His climbing the tree is a symbol of the climb he had made socially. He climbed up the tree of power and influence and wealth and status in order to become great, but to meet Jesus he had to come down where he was supposed to be. He had to come down to himself. He had to come down to his littleness before Christ.
When he met Christ Zacchaeus' life was changed. He vowed to give back the money he had stolen and begin living a new life. By coming down to his littleness Zacchaeus became truly great.
The same must happen to each one of us if we are to really meet with Christ. Sooner or later, one way or another, all the things we've gathered around us to re-assure us of our greatness will be taken away. If we really want to meet Christ, then sooner or later, one way or another, all the prestige and power and wealth and influence and worldly greatness that we have gathered to ourselves will be removed. We will come down from the sycamore tree of our vanity and reliance on human achievement and kneel before the Lord and realize our littleness. This process is painful. It's the spiritual version of the "dreaded shrinks" because through it we are becoming little not large.
Then we will come down where we ought to be. At that point Jesus Christ will lift us up and make us truly great. At that point he will say with great joy, "Today salvation has come to your house!" At that point he will welcome us into his embrace and remind us that this transaction of salvation is the whole point of his life in the world, for he has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
He has come to help the ones who think they are great realize they are little, and to lift up the ones who are little to their true and everlasting greatness.
Fr Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. His latest book is Catholicism Pure and Simple. Visit his blog called Standing on My Head and go to his website to browse his books, read his bio and make contact.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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