Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17TH Lk. 19: 1-10 “‘Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.’ And he came down quickly and received him with joy.”
Part 1: Zacchaeus and Jesus by Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.
Part 2: LORD JESUS, HEAL ME! I KNOW YOU CAN!!! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
- What Joy for Zacchaeus! He had no idea he would be going to Confession that day! Yet at the invitation of Jesus, he couldn’t wait to pour out his sins and his willingness to do reparation, trusting in Jesus’ Infinite Mercy to forgive him.
- Fr. Ed often talks about the great benefits of frequent confession at least monthly, better every two to three weeks. Yet some still have an idea they only need to go to Confession when they commit a mortal sin. They fail to recognize the graces that flow from the Sacrament of Confession are not only curative, but preventative!
- If we take vitamins sometimes, off and on, they may do our body some good. But if we take vitamins daily, they fortify our body and improve our overall health. The same is true with frequent Confession–it fortifies our soul against worse sins!
- What do we confess if we have no mortal sins? Our venial sins! Those minor sins that we may make little effort to eradicate rob of grace, peace and joy in the Lord!
PART 1: Zacchaeus and Jesus by Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C. (+2006)
A person who is penitent, who is growing into an understanding of their great sinfulness, their notable faultiness, is a person who is very alert for occasions to make reparation to God. Whereas the person who is not aware in a purposeful way of their own defects and deficiencies inevitably has a very sharp eye for real or supposed deficiencies in others and is very unalert, that is, does not even recognize occasions for reparation.
We miss the point so often! Our Lord is giving us an opportunity to make reparation in this act of humility before us for our many acts of pride; because we have been so often impatient He is arranging this occasion for us to make reparation by patience; and so on.
The person who has a sense of being a penitent, of needing to do penance, will be very alert for these. This alertness and this purposefulness are joined and conjoined. We see this purposefulness in the tax collector Zacchaeus. He didn’t say: “I’m sorry. I was a victim of circumstance and all my forebears have lived like this. And some of them did worse than I did, and let me tell you what some of these others did.” Instead he became a real penitent, a man of purpose. He was going to pay back everything, and pay it back fourfold.
Zacchaeus is also an outstanding model of another characteristic of true penance, which is joy! Up there in his tree, Zacchaeus fully saw what a rotter he had been. He had no taste at all for saying what other people were doing; but he saw what he did; he became this man of purpose, and he became so alert to opportunities for reparation that he said he was going to pay back fourfold.
And he was obviously joyous. You can see him scrambling down out of that tree and going off to lunch with Christ, very penitent and very joyful! The remembrance of our sins and our faults, if we have true penitence, never begets bitterness, never begets melancholy. It always begets purpose, alertness, and joy!’
PART 2: LORD JESUS, HEAL ME! I KNOW YOU CAN!!! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
One of the principal activities that Jesus exercised in His Public Life was that of Healer! Jesus, the Healer, the Divine Physician of our lives came into a wounded, suffering, broken world.
RECOGNITION. There is no way any one of us can be healed unless we first recognize that we are wounded and in dire need of healing. The Hispanics have a saying: No hay peor ciego que no que ver; no hay peor sordo, que aquel que no quiere oir. Translation: There is no worse blind man than the one who does not want to see; no worse deaf man than the one who does not want to hear.” Sad to say, many of us are willfully blind and deaf and we fail to admit this reality!
JESUS HEALED THOSE WHO RECOGNIZED THEIR WOUNDEDNESS AND TRUSTED! Time and time again in the Gospels, we witness Jesus healing the sick, the diseased, and the wounded. However, there were conditions! They were especially two: recognition of their wounded state, accompanied by unlimited trust that Jesus the Divine Physician could heal them.
EXAMPLES. Just to mention a few for your meditation.
The Blind Bartimeus to whom Jesus gave sight to his eyes when he implored the Lord in humility and trust: Lord I want to see!
The woman with the bleeding or hemorrhage. Her desire for healing and her faith in Jesus were so great that she believed if she were to only touch the hem of His garment, she would be healed. Her healing was immediate, corresponding to her faith.
The Centurion’s servant was healed due to one thing: the faith of the Centurion. This healing was spectacular. The faith of the Centurion was so great that he felt himself unworthy for Jesus to enter his home. However, if Jesus were to only utter a word, a mere word, then the Centurion trusted that his servant would indeed be healed. And so it happened! Jesus healed the servant from a distance by His mere word. Of course this healing depended on the limitless faith of the Centurion, who was not even Jewish.
One of the principal activities that Jesus exercised in His Public Life was that of Healer! There are so many examples of Jesus healing, but one more: the paralytic carried on the mat. This case is interesting because the healing came about by team effort. Obviously the paralytic could not move by himself and thus had to be moved by his friends. We do not know the number, but maybe four. In any case, all five trusted that Jesus, the Divine Physician, could heal this paralytic. The house where Jesus was presently engaged in preaching was packed to the gills. Unable to enter through the front door, with incredible ingenuity, the friends decided to cut an opening through the roof (we can only imagine the reaction of the owner of the house!) and lower him through the roof towards Jesus. Rejoicing immensely at the creativity, persistence, and perseverance of these men, Jesus said the man’s sins were forgiven and then Jesus healed him of his physical condition of paralysis. Once again, healing came about through faith, confidence, and in this case, perseverance.
WHAT ABOUT US? DO WE RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE WOUNDED? Jesus so earnestly desires to heal all of us, not in a big crowd, but individually. However, this all depends on our willingness to admit that we are wounded, as well as having total confidence in Jesus the Healer, Jesus the Divine Physician.
SPIRITUAL WOUNDS. Among all of the wounds that we experience, spiritual wounds, moral wounds are the most serious; these are the wounds that are present in the very depths of our soul.
ORIGIN. The origin of these wounds goes back to the first fall that we call Original Sin. Due to Original Sin all of us are wounded in mind, soul, and even in body with various sicknesses. Only Jesus and Mary did not have this original wound. Jesus was God; He was the “Holy of holies”. Mary was preserved from this original wound, that we call Original Sin, due to a unique privilege that we call “The Immaculate Conception”.
JESUS AWAITS TO HEAL US OF OUR MORAL WOUNDS, OUR MORAL SICKNESS. The arms of Jesus are open, we see this from the cross, to heal us of our moral wounds. The Father of the Prodigal Son (Lk. 15: 11-32) is waiting with his arms wide open to receive us home, irrespective of the many times we might have fallen. Saint Paul reminds us: Where sin abounds, the mercy of God abounds all the more. (Rom 5:20)
WHEN IS THE TIME? Now is the time, the hour of salvation. The wounds of your soul can be healed as soon as you desire! This can happen today. God calls you now; better not put it off until tomorrow because, to be honest, tomorrow may not come. Who knows if we will have a tomorrow or not! That depends upon God’s providential will!
HOW CAN WE BE HEALED? Jesus heals in many ways. However, morally and spiritually Jesus heals through the Church which is His Mystical Body. To be more specific, Jesus heals through the Sacraments, and most specifically through the Sacrament of Confession, sometimes called Penance, other times called Reconciliation, in which we experience His Infinite Mercy, a mercy that cannot be described by words.
WHERE? Why not call the Catholic Church that is nearest to you and inquire about Confession times and location. Then GO! Even if you do not remember the Act of Contrition, even though you do not remember the protocol or exact method, still go and simply ask the priest to lead you through the process, and he will be more than willing to help you through it all. Then after you have finished confessing your sins, you will hear these words of Jesus speaking through the priest, the wonderful and all-consoling words of Absolution: And I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Go in Peace and Joy!
JOY, PEACE, HEALING, AND FORGIVENESS. In that moment, once again as in the Gospels, Jesus is healing and it all depends upon your trust and faith that this Divine Physician can heal you! Jesus healed 2000 years ago, and He can still heal today, if we place our trust our faith, our confidence in His might and words!
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA