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Are We Ready for Complete Conversion to Christ?

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion

Clergy Corner for October 30, 2016, Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 11:22-12:2; Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14; 2 Thess 1:11-2:2; Luke 19:1-10

The Lord of the Universe, who in his great plan created us, loves us more than we know. Because he loves us, he corrects us, so we might not perish, but have life to the full.

As the Book of Wisdom says: You, O LORD, "rebuke offenders little by little, warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing, that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD" (Wis 12:2).

Indeed, "The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works" (Ps 145).

Yet, we must not presume upon the Lord. We should pray that he make us worthy of our great calling to be a child of God, to be a disciple of Christ the Lord, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in us (see 2 Thess 1:11-12). In fact, who are we not to be good Catholics and to besmirch the reputation of the Church and hinder the spread of the Gospel?

As for Zacchaeus, the wealthy, chief tax collector of Jericho, it is easy to get caught up in worldly gain and pursuits. But, somehow, when Jesus came to his town, Zacchaeus knew this was his chance for something more, something greater than what his life had been.

The Lord, the lover of souls, knew it too. While the townsfolk only saw Zacchaeus as a sinner, Jesus read his heart, and knew that he was ready for a change. So, Jesus singled him out and said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house" (Lk 19:5).

While the people grumbled about Zacchaeus' sinfulness, his response to Jesus' grace-filled call was an immediate conversion. He promised to give half his wealth to the poor and to repay, four times over, anyone from whom he had extorted money.

Knowing his conversion was genuine, Jesus said: "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost" (Lk 19:9-10).

Are we ready for complete conversion to Christ? Or, are we still holding back? Let us pray for the Lord’s grace to make us worthy of our calling, and to sell out to Christ the Lord.

Tags: Clergy Corner, Fr. Runnion

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