Sunday afternoon, we went out with some family friends in Lisbon. Eventually, after some time we passed by Marquis de Pombal Park, and our eyes are caught up by a nice-looking building with wide open gates as we pass the path in between the little maze, with the thought that it might be a museum or something for tourists – for those doors seemed always closed – and so, seeing them open today, we headed slowly toward that place to see. Nearing the building, big cars come were at the place cleaning up the space. In some were colorful small elastic balls, as those you would jump into a pull full of them. A vast number of plastic cups were thrown all around. A bridal veil was lost and forgotten, vomit, trash, a smelly air of alcohol, and pee were in the air.
Before knowing what has happened, after playfully kicking a red ball, “May the Lord have mercy and deliver those who attended this fiesta.” I said suddenly. Being reminded of the souls who did this for it seemed it happen the night before.
One of my brothers goes up to the big doors and taking a look inside, quickly descended the steps, saying, “This might’ve been a kind of sex shop event.” Although wondering why he would say so, I did go up to look inside but we advanced, moving ahead on the area.
The more we walked, the more trash and empty alcohol bottles were seen. All kinds of drinks.
It seems like a crazy night.
We casually and slowly encircled the building, as some of us were having our own chats, and when reaching the back of this building, it had another door, side open. The view inside caused my brother and me to lay our hands on our heads in astonishment. Hanging as decoration in the middle of a wide room was a crushed taxi. Perhaps it was made of some light material, so it would not fall. Around it was a decorative big skull and other figures, but I did not adventure to look at each therefore I do not recall what they were exactly. On the platform to my right, where the singers might’ve taken their stand, above it were two decorative figures which clearly show it’s ilude nature of perversion. The floor seemed worse inside than outside as if a truck had come and unloaded trash on the floor. Some people were there cleaning up the trash after this nightly chaotic feast.
As we stepped away, we realized this was a Sinful Fiesta, whatever has taken place the night before.
I began thinking about these souls and the devil, who clearly had a feast themselves on them.
Even while at home I kept being reminded of them, lifting up this Youth on the Lord’s Supper intention. Inviting the souls who attended that Fiesta, inviting all Youth at the Lord’s Supper; of those in Heaven and on earth, in the Spirit, and even of those in the Purgatory. Opening the book for the Reading, I spontaneously and with joy voice up a line;
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.”
We were given the Theme of The Lord Is Gracious and Merciful. And the message and lesson of the readings, all combined, say:
Lord, you have mercy on all because you can do all things, you overlook people’s sins that they may repent. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made. For what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how can a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you? But you spare all things because they are yours, O Lord and lover of souls, for your imperishable spirit is in all things! Therefore, you rebuke offenders little by little, warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing, that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in You, O Lord! [Wisdom 11:22—12:2]
The Lord is gracious and merciful, He slow to anger, and of great kindness! The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. He lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. [Pslam 145]
“Brothers and sisters, we always pray for you that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him. (…) The day of the Lord is at hand. [2 Thes 1:11—2:2] That you might believe in Him and have eternal life [Jn 3:16]”
Then, having Zacchaeus come. He was a chief tax collector in the town of Jericho. Seeking to see who Jesus was, he climbs a sycamore tree to see Him when he would pass by on the way. Reaching the place, Jesus looks up and said, “Zachcaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” He came down quickly and received him with joy.
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner,” some grumbled.
But Jesus said to Zacchaeus after a short conversation, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and save what was lost.” [Lk 19:1-10]
After reading them, I went to check the Introduction about today’s Theme, there I perceive how fitting are these readings for today’s Intention: The Lord is gracious and merciful, [to] drug addicts, prostitutes, criminals, and dropouts of society.
. . . . .
Jesus took over,
“My people, I see them every night, yet My heart takes pity for them and desires to have them saved, not perish. As I did with Zacchaeus, so would I do to all outcasts of society. You see, being a chief tax collector, you can imagine the oppressing and hatred heaped his way, yet, how did I respond to him? I went to stay at his house. Many grumbled due to his state and condition, seeing him as good for nothing, yet I went to stay with him?
“Many of you my dear ones, [including me], you see the outcasts of this present society no better than the eyes of the people back in my time on earth. They failed to see as I see. They only see the outside, but, even so, I looked to tend to the inside.
“You see, he was the lowest and totally unworthy of my presence and visit – yet I chose him above all in that town at that moment. Why do you think so?
“My dear ones…. I seek the lost and the outcasts whom nobody wants to deal with. For they are still made in My image and one of My own whom I have made and seek to redeem. My example should be the same with you toward those counted as “good for nothing” nowadays. Drug addicts, parties, clubbing, drinkers, prostitution, and other practices of sin – even for them, My heart is for salvation. Be not like the world that gambles and judges and fails to see as I see. I extend a hand to save, you, My dear ones, do not expend a hand to stab with judgment and bitter criticism, counting them as responsible for the worsening of society. Although their sins are as many as the sand on the shore and their soul is red blood, I can do all things and redeem even the prostitutes. I can make them white and pure as snow! My dear little Magdalene is one example of My saving grace. She was one way when I found her, now she is another way when I redeemed her.
“So, you see? Even if the world is worsening because of the multiplying of the sins of mankind, as you all are My ambassadors on the work of making society a better one with Me, so must you not cast glares of bitter hatred or complaining when such a soul passed by you. You know that when I get and reach them ‘to those who much is forgiven, love much.’
“As I go about showing mercy and kindness to all My Works and being good to all – so imitate Me. Like this, you are My ambassadors, bettering the world by your example.
“Pray much for them instead. After all, had it not been by My grace upholding you, you could’ve been one of them. In My sight, are all equal and when a sin is committed, your sin is not lesser than their sin. Sin is sin. My dear ones, love them, even as I show you how to do it.
“One first step of this love is shown when your eyes do not pierce. For the eyes mirror your soul.
Mirror Me. Thus, it allows Me to touch and reach them even faster as you cooperate with Me, My loved ones. I can teach you and grant you the grace for this, only ask and yield to My Spirit who interceded for them as I do intercede for you before our God and Father, that ALL should be saved and not one to be lost. From among them, those who belong to Me, hear My voice and they gradually awaken and follow it. I know My own. In whatever place they have been lost into.
“Take heed, My loved ones, and come with Me.” [Follow His lead]. “Do not judge them, for they could turn out to be even greater saints then you even imagine once they turn to Me.” [Mary Magdalene, and Maria Egyptian]
“That would be it for today.” He smiles to me with His eyes.
Thank you, Lord. Help us truly imitate Your example and grant us Your heart, please! Amen.
Before the Supper had even started, I caught sight of a testimony on the YouTube feed, titled, “I was a Stripper until JESUS showed me Hell!”
Truly, no matter where the black sheep had been lost, whatever valleys, mountains, or ditches – HE FINDS THEM. And once found, who can point the finger at them, when Jesus came?