Gospel: Luke 19:1-10
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man named Zaccheus lived there. He was a tax collector and a wealthy man. He wanted to see what Jesus was like, but he was a short man and could not see him because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree. From there he would be able to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, come down quickly, for I must stay at your house today.” So Zaccheus climbed down and received him joyfully.
All the people who saw it began to grumble, and said, “He has gone as a guest to the house of a sinner.” But Zaccheus spoke to Jesus, “Half of what I own, Lord, I will give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.” Looking at him Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house today, for he is also a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”
“Salvation has come to this house today.”
In the course of ministry as a priest I have blessed many houses. In many cases, the houses that I blessed were newly constructed. The owners wanted that the place be blessed before they occupy it. But there were also not-so-new houses which I blessed. The owners, surprisingly have a different reason. The house is disturbed, meaning, they sensed some negative and evil energies residing with them. And notably these have menacingly bothered the family. In other words, they asked for a house blessing to drive away evil spirits.
I have therefore developed a habit of asking the family before the prayer for blessing: What do you ask for in this blessing? To make the devil come out? Or to make Jesus come in? The family is usually, but not always, thanks be to God, divided in their answer. And so I always offer a quick catechesis. To have the house bless- ed is to consecrate the house to God and to pray for God to take over and have control over the whole household. If we pray only to drive evils out, that’s only one benefit. But if we pray for Jesus to come in, that’s a basketful of benefits. We don’t only ride the house of disturbance, we also invite in more blessings, guidance, and protection for the family.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019