The Beautiful “Not Yet” …

Posted On November 3, 2013

Today’s Mass readings were so powerful for me, and one of the reasons was because I was remembering a chapter in my book where I quote JPII talking about the gospel. Ask yourself this question, “Who am I in the mind of God?” Just think, you are known, loved, and called by name!

I wanted to share a short excerpt in the hopes that you’ll be as inspired as I was. To refresh your memory, Jesus has just entered Jericho and is surrounded by a great crowd of people. Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore tree — presumably out of curiosity —  in order to see what’s going on.
From p. 126-128 of 7 Secrets of Confession:


As Pope John Paul writes, “Zacchaeus had no idea that the curiosity which had prompted him … was already the fruit of a mercy which had preceded him, attracted him, and was about to change him in the depths of his heart.

Jesus, arriving at the tree, looks up at Zacchaeus and calls him by name, saying, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house” (Lk 19:5). …

“The home of this sinner,” Pope John Paul explains, “is about to become a place of revelation, the scene of a miracle of mercy.” But, since mercy “reaches fulfillment to the extent that it meets a response” (#6), this miracle will not happen if Zacchaeus cannot free his heart from his former “unjust and fraudulent ways.”

And Pope John Paul points out:

This is what happens in every sacramental encounter. We must not think that it is the sinner, through his own independent journey of conversion, who earns mercy. On the contrary, it is mercy that impels him along the path of conversion.

Left to himself, man can do nothing and he deserves nothing. Before being man’s journey to God, confession is God’s arrival at a person’s home.

How I wish I had understood this years ago! Confession is God’s arrival at my home. He knows each of us, as He knew Zacchaeus. He sees everything — all our sins, all our weaknesses, even our most hidden thoughts — but He also sees the beautiful “not yet” that even we, ourselves, may not see, the “not yet” of who we are but have not yet become. And with His searing, healing, all-embracing gaze of love, He calls us by name and invites Himself into our home.

We don’t go to confession; we are called to this encounter with Jesus — the one whom we love because He has first loved us. Trusting in this love, we enter into this sacramental encounter, called by name to change our hearts and our lives, and become who we already are in the mind of God.

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  • The goal, the destination, or the purpose [of our life] is the encounter with God ... who desires to restore us ... ~ Pope Francis