Saturday, 3 November 2007

"Winebibbing with Zacchaeus" John Henry Newman - 31st Sunday of the Year (C)


It seems sensible to put these excerpts from Newman's sermons on the day before the Sunday or feast day, in preparation. This Sunday, in the forma ordinaria, we hear about Christ at the House of Zacchaeus (Lk 19.1-10).

Newman:

'And, first, let it be observed, from the beginning, the greatest rite of religion has been a feast; the partaking of God's bounties, in the way of nature, has been consecrated to a more immediate communion with God Himself. For instance, when Isaac was weaned, Abraham "made a great feast," [Gen. xxi. 10.] and then it was that Sarah prophesied; "Cast out this bondwoman and her son," she said, prophesying the introduction of the spirit, grace, and truth, which the Gospel contains, instead of the bondage of the outward forms of the Law. Again, it was at a feast of savoury meat that the spirit of prophecy came upon Isaac, and he blessed Jacob. In like manner the first beginning of our Lord's miracles was at a marriage feast, when He changed water into wine; and when St. Matthew was converted he entertained our Lord at a feast. At a feast, too, our Lord allowed the penitent woman to wash with tears and anoint His feet, and pronounced her forgiveness; and at a feast, before His passion, He allowed Mary to anoint them with costly ointment, and to wipe them with her hair. Thus with our Lord, and with the Patriarchs, a feast was a time of grace; so much so, that He was said by the Pharisees to come eating and drinking, to be "a winebibber and gluttonous, a friend of publicans and sinners." [Matt. xi. 19. Luke vii. 34.]'

1 comment:

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Living in the Oratory Parish..i just love anything Newman..