Tuesday of 33rd Week of Ordinary

Today I Must Stay At Your House

In the book Doing What Comes Spirituality, shared a story of a monk by the name Telemachus who left the world of people to live alone in the deserts and mountains. By isolation, meditation and fasting, one night on his knees, an insight came to him—his life of solitude was selfish and not selfless. He decided to return Rome, the capital of the world. To his surprise, Christianity had become the official religion. Everything changed except for one thing. One awful vestige of pagan Rome remained—the arena. Christians were no longer thrown to lions for entertainment, but captives of war were forced to fight and kill each other.

In the arena, people cried for blood as gladiator fought gladiator. Suddenly the monk jumped into the arena and rushed between the gladiators. The fight was stopped, and he was pushed aside. When the fight started again, he ran back between the two to try to stop the senseless slaughter. Then the commander’s voice barked an order, a gladiator’s sword rose, flashed in the sunlight and struck the old man dead. The crowd quieted, shocked that a holy man was killed. The game ended in silence and the audience melted away. Never again, according to this story, did the gladiators fight in the arena. The old man, by dying, ended the brutal games. His death was more valuable to the world than his life.

To change Rome in this brutal game, Telemachus had to shed his blood and his life for it. To change their preconception about tax collectors and sinners, Jesus mingled himself among them; he dined with them; he stayed in their house; and he even forgave the sins of the criminal hanging on the cross with him. Zacchaeus’ true conversion began by looking and searching for Jesus himself, have you and I ever searched for Christ? Or have you and I ever hunger and thirst for Christ? Zacchaeus gave half of his possessions to the poor and repaid four times over those he had distorted their lives, have you and I had courage to leave everything behind to follow Christ? Salvation had come instantly at Zacchaeus’ conversion, how would you and I receive salvation for our own self?

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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