THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (MEMORIAL) White
The scripture tells us nothing about the hidden life of Mary or her presentation in the temple. But the seventh chapter of the Apocryphal gospel of James gives a detailed account of how Joachim and Ann, the parents of Mary brought her to the temple at the age of three. The priest received her and proclaimed: “The Lord has magnified thy name in all generations. In thee, the Lord will manifest His redemption to the sons of Israel.” Mary grew up filled with the Holy Spirit.
First Reading: 2 Mac 6:18-31; Psalm: 3. R. v. 6b; Gospel: Lk 19:1-10
GOD’S REDEMPTIVE LOVE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
As sinners, when we repent and ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness; we could easily feel this was a step taken out of our own power and personal influence. Although it may entirely seem so; but it is far more than that. There is always a very compelling love inviting us to reunite God even while we are still sinners. This compelling and irresistible attraction is the love of God. It always beckons on us to seek the face of God even as we live in sin. This could open up a new understanding in case we do not know; that it is the love of God that finds the sinner and not the sinner who finds God.
In the gospel of today, seeing that Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Christ; any reader could easily attribute the whole effort to Zacchaeus. But the very important question we need to ask is; “Who in the first place inspired and propelled Zacchaeus to do what he did?” Was his action not all about the person of Christ? The man Zacchaeus must have heard so much about; who was going around changing the lives of people. The man that inspired him so much that he felt an attraction he couldn’t resist. The truth is that it was the love of Christ, the God made man, that seduced Zacchaeus to make that effort to see Christ. The love of God won Zacchaeus.
This same compelling love of God is the inner invitation we hear everyday inside of us calling us to seek the mercy of God. There are some of us who feel so damaged that we keep resisting this voice of love calling us to repent and seek the mercy of God. We do not want to take any practical step in response to this invitation because we feel we are too damaged. Christ desires us to know that that very feeling of attraction we have desiring to return to him is itself a proof that God loves and wants us back. When we feel remorseful because we have sinned; it is the love of God that is drawing us to himself. And when we respond to this invitation of love, God will be delighted to welcome us back.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grant us the grace to always respond to your invitation of love. Amen.