Yesterday’s gospel reading of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1 – 10) signposts for us the commencement next Sunday of the Lenten Triodion, the preparatory three-week period before the commencement of great Lent. It seems only yesterday that we were celebrating the joy of the incarnation and of Christ’s epiphany. Yesterday marks for us a change of tone in the liturgical year. It marks the beginning of a period of reflection and introspection as we evaluate our respective relationship with Christ.
Zacchaeus a sinner, and small of stature, was intent upon meeting Christ. Undeterred by the obstacles in his way he achieved his intent. Christ upon seeing him on the sycamore tree declared: “Zacchseus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” This sinner cried out and Christ heard him and invited himself into his home.
This is an important lesson for each one of us today. We must call Christ to come. There is one thing that Christ cannot do and that is use force to enter our hearts. Our hearts must be freely given to him and once they are then he enters as King and Lord. If we refuse him admission then we cannot have a relationship with him.
Today, how many have the courage of this man Zacchaeus. In the face of oppression he stands straight and unbending as he declares the social Justice that he practices. You see, being a Christian demands that we stand in the marketplace of public opinion and declare our love for Christ. In the coming weeks we will walk with the Lord to Jerusalem and to his crucifixion. This secular world has little time for Christ. We will all be called to account and whether we stand straight and upright in defending our faith or whether we backslide is up to each and every one of us. The fruits of whatever decision we make at this time of the year will in their due cause be harvested by each one of us – whether the fruit be good or it be bad – as Lent approaches let us reflect upon this.
Program for this week is as follows:
Yesterday, St Basil’s celebrated their family fun day at the grounds of the Parish of St Nektarios. It was a great success and a special thank you to all those people that assisted. I have posted a large number of photographs on the St Nektarios Facebook page. Look these up and enjoy!
In the storms and tempests of life we all need a guiding star to steer by. No sailor navigates without reference to an external point – we cannot rely upon ourselves to select whatever course we want. If we do we cannot be surprised if we find ourselves docked in a port that we don’t want to be in.
Till next time.
Father John Athanasiou – 0411 061 554