31ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME C
SINNER YES, CORRUPT NO!
I do not know how many saints there are in the world today.
The true saint does not know he is one; and if he has a hint, he will try to conceal it.
But I am sure there are many sinners around me; the first one being… (tada!) inside me!
There are two types of sinners in the world today – the corrupt sinner and the simple sinner.
The corrupt sinner knows that he is a sinner...and he stops there. He has no plans to change.
He has no desire to be another thing because he thinks there is no hope at all for him.
Even with God, the corrupt believes that no power, even divine can help him.
So he turns from sinful to rotten; from destroyed to decaying; from smelly to stinky.
The simple sinner also knows he is a sinner, like Zacchaeus in today’s Gospel (Lk 19).
He could not hide this from others who also know how bad he was.
But the simple sinner also has an open heart to any chance, however little, that he can still change.
That is why Zacchaeus waited for Jesus on top of a tree. That is why he joyfully flung open his doors when Jesus came to visit his home.
That is why he decided to abandon his riches in order to follow the Lord.
The simple sinner falls many times a day… but also stands up just as many.
He is a sinner, yes… but in his heart there is faith that God will rescue him.
He has hope that the Lord will soon heal him.
He feels loved by God and he wants to love him back – slowly, gradually, one day at a time.
The simple sinner has the possibility to become a saint. Why?
Because he is in good company. Zacchaeus started like that. St. Peter was just the same. St. Augustine too, and so many others we know who started from the bottom up.
Sometimes we are afraid to consider ourselves sinners.
We refuse to look at our weak and flawed situations because we think God rejects us if we do something bad.
We cannot accept ourselves.
But there is no danger in becoming a simple sinner. What is dangerous is becoming a corrupt sinner.
Which one do you prefer to become?