31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

      When is the last time you stopped to ask yourself what the meaning of your life is? Regardless of how busy we are, we need to frequently take time to come back to this life changing question because if we never stop for a moment and ponder the future, we will simply wander around this life aimlessly. While we may have different answers to this question, hopefully all of our answers arrive at the conclusion that the purpose of life is to spend eternity with God forever. Friends this life is just a fleeting moment, so the greatest purpose of our life must be to become a saint.

      Often when we hear this call to sainthood, we don’t actively pursue it because we think that we can never be saints because when we hear of saints we think of the great martyrs who died as a witness to the faith, or men and women who performed miracles. I think all of us would agree that sainthood is a noble ambition, but I think many of us doubt if sainthood is something that we can realistically attain.

      There is no reason why each and every one of us here cannot become saints. While all of the saints, those we that have been canonized by the Church and those countless unknown souls who now live with God forever in heaven, are real life super heroes, they were all human like you and I. They had their strengths and weakness, they were all sinners, but all of them at one point in their life came to realize the purpose of life was to become a saint and they strove to achieve sainthood with their whole being. For “our first step to sanctity is realizing that nothing in life is worth so much as our becoming saints.”[1]

      Becoming a saint doesn’t mean that we have to shut overserves off in a monastery for the rest of our lives or necessarily live as a priest or religious sister. To become a saint, we need to follow the example of Zacchaeus, who was willing to go out on a limb to catch a glimpse of Jesus and then take a leap of faith and welcome Him into our homes. Just as Jesus invited Himself into Zacchaeus home, He is knocking at the door of our hearts asking us to let Him in.

      If we want to be saints, we have to have the honesty and humility of Zacchaeus. We must admit that apart from God, our souls are lost and we need to admit that Jesus comes to seek and to save what is lost. Since it is God who justifies us — we can never succeed in our own self-justifications. Since it is God who sanctifies us, we can never succeed in making ourselves holy. It is after all, God who saves us.

      All of us have places for conversion in our hearts. If we really want to change things in our lives we need to first hear the voice of God and allow Him to enter into our hearts. God most perfectly enters into our house in Holy Communion, where He physically comes to dwell within us. In receiving Holy Communion, God enters into the house that is your heart and soul, and pours us His love and mercy. It is in Holy Communion, that God’s life-changing love enters into our house in an infinitely unique way.

      If we want to have our lives changed, we need to give up the self-delusion that we can change our lives by ourselves. Only God can change our lives and He can do it just as easily as He changed the life of Zacchaeus, who found holiness in simply responding to God’s invitation. God’s life-changing love is here for each of us in a way that is infinitely more powerful than the life-changing experience that came to Zacchaeus. Why not humbly accept God’s invitation each and every time we receive Holy Communion? So today, when you receiving Him in Holy Communion welcome Him into the home of your heart? Welcome Him into the darkest areas of your heart and let Him bring you His healing and mercy; let Him make you a saint.

[1] Albert Joseph Mary Shamon. Three Steps to Sanctity. Oak Lawn: CMJ Marian Publishers and Distributers (1993) pg. 1

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