Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (21st November, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Tuesday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time (I))
2Macc 6:18-31;Ps 3:2-7. (R.v.6);
Mary’s presentation was celebrated in Jerusalem in the sixth century. The Eastern Church was more interested in the feast, but it does appear in the West in the 11th century. Although the feast for some time disappeared from the calendar, in the 16th century it became a feast of the universal Church. As with Mary’s birth, we read of Mary’s presentation in the temple only in apocryphal literature. What is recognized as an unhistorical account, the Protoevangelium of James tells us that Anna and Joachim offered Mary to God in the Temple when she was 3 years old. This was to carry out a promise made to God when Anna was still childless.
Topic: Still God’s creature.
In yesterday’s gospel, we saw Jesus on His way to Jericho. And today while passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, a rich but short man could not see Him on account of the crowd. He ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road Jesus was to pass. When Jesus reached there, He called him by name and asked him to come down and welcome Him as his guest. People grumbled because he was a known sinner. Zacchaeus vowed to give half of his possessions to the poor and to repay everyone he had defrauded four times. Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
Zacchaeus had been earmarked by the people for Hell. In the Jewish culture, such persons have no room for repentance. However, even the worst sinner still retains God’s trademark (God’s creature). Hence, Jesus even addressed him by his personal name. And God is still interested in the salvation of all even those who have lost the hope of being saved.
The memorial of the presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ought to reawaken in us the necessity to offer ourselves entirely to God. Our lives ought to be in line with Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans, “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:8).
Dear friends, what is still holding you down? Jesus is calling you today as He called Zacchaeus. Follow the example of Zacchaeus who admitted that he was a sinner. Jesus loves all His children, cf. Jn 13:1. Zacchaeus confessed by telling Jesus the things he was to do to make his path straight. You are required to do restitution.
Bible Reading: Ps 51.
Thought for today: God is still waiting for you.
Let us pray: Lord, give us the strength not just to leave our old ways but also to make amends – Amen.
Blessed Virgin Mary – Pray for us.
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