21 Nov 2017: Be Transformed!

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Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reading 1: 2 Macc 6:18-31; Gospel: Lk 19:1-10

Today’s readings present to us two wonderful examples of Christian-living.

In the first reading, we come across Eleazar – a noble man of high position. Though old, he still enjoyed the favour of those in authority. When given an opportunity to escape from punishment without having to eat anything that is profane, he lucidly declares that he will neither break the God-given law, nor prove to be a scandal for others, especially for the young, appearing to eat something profane. He was ready to uphold the law/commandments of God even to death. He was concerned not about the life he lives here, but about the life that comes hereafter.

In the Gospel reading, we come across Zacchaeus – a chief tax collector who was rich. With an encounter with Jesus, we see that he was completely transformed to the extent that he was ready to repay four times as much to anyone whom he might have defrauded. He stands as an epitome to convey the message that if we have encountered Jesus, our life is transformed and will never be the same again.

Abiding by God’s commandments and being transformed by His love are at the root of our Christian vocation. It could be good to ponder upon where we stand with regard to these aspects? Mother Mary, whose presentation we remember today, is the best example of Christian-living. Through her intercession, may we also imitate her in following the Lord.

Zacchaeus was a sinner, shunned by the Jews. He was small in stature. But none of these things deterred Jesus from going to his house. He was up a tree; how did Jesus notice him? Our stature, social status, etc., do not matter at all to Jesus. What matters to Him is an open heart that is ready to accept Him and His teachings and be transformed in His love. Wherever you may be today, as you read these words, be aware that the same eyes of Jesus are looking towards you. He is looking at your heart. Are you ready to welcome Him? Are you ready to be transformed?

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