First Reading: Rev 3:1-6.14-22; Psalm: 15. R. v. Rev 3:21; Gospel: Lk 19:1-10
THE MERCIFUL LOVE INVITATION
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
As sinners, when we kneel and ask for God’s mercy, we easily feel it was a step taken out of our own power. Although it physically appears so; but it is far more than that. There is always a very compelling force inviting us to reunite God even while we are still sinners. This compelling and benign attraction is the love of God. It always beckons on us to seek the face of God when we sin. This may 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, hearing that Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus, any reader could easily attribute the whole effort to Zacchaeus. But the very important question we need to ask is, “What in the first place inspired and propelled Zacchaeus to do what he did?” Was it not all about the person of Jesus? The man Zacchaeus must have heard so much about. The man that was going about changing the lives of people. The man that inspired Zacchaeus so much that he felt an attraction he couldn’t resist. The truth is that it was the love of Jesus, the God made man, that seduced Zacchaeus to make that effort to see Jesus. The love of God won him.
This same compelling love of God is that 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 repentance. We don’t want to take any practical step in response to this invitation because we feel we are too damaged. Jesus wants 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 love invitation, God will be delighted to welcome us back. God awaits our return today.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grant us the grace to always respond to your love invitation. Amen.