Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 30, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we have three wonderful readings to enrich our prayer.
In our passage from Wisdom, we can picture the pray-er sitting down with God to express admiration, thanks and love.
Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and 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.
In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul prays a beautiful blessing over the community – a blessing which, by grace, transcends through time to us:
We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus meets a height-challenged scribe who is intensely interested in seeing the rumored Messiah:
Zaccheus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
Notice that Jesus doesn’t just wave or look at Zacchaeus with a wry smile at his perch. Jesus incorporates Zacchaeus into the embrace of salvation.As Wisdom says, Jesus “loves all things that are..” And as Paul says, “powerfully brings to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith…”
I think there are times in every life when we need to stretch to find God. We may need to climb faith’s tree and dangle over the confusions of life in the hope of grasping grace. Friends, all of us, no matter how tall we might be, have been Zaccheaus! Am I right? When we are, let”s listen for the One Who calls our name!
Poetry: Zacchaeus – George Macdonald (10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of modern fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll.
To whom the heavy burden clings,
It yet may serve him like a staff;
One day the cross will break in wings,
The sinner laugh a holy laugh.
The dwarfed Zacchaeus climbed a tree,
His humble stature set him high;
The Lord the little man did see
Who sought the great man passing by.
Up to the tree he came, and stopped:
“To-day,” he said, “with thee I bide.”
A spirit-shaken fruit he dropped,
Ripe for the Master, at his side.
Sure never host with gladder look
A welcome guest home with him bore!
Then rose the Satan of rebuke
And loudly spake beside the door:
“This is no place for holy feet;
Sinners should house and eat alone!
This man sits in the stranger‘s seat
And grinds the faces of his own!”
Outspoke the man, in Truth‘s own might:
“Lord, half my goods I give the poor;
If one I’ve taken more than right
With four I make atonement sure!”
“Salvation here is entered in;
This man indeed is Abraham’s son!”
Said he who came the lost to win-
And saved the lost whom he had won.
Music: He Called Me by My Name – Fr. Christopher Cuelho, OFM