31st Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C
November 3, 2013
The author of the first reading, taken from the Old Testament, wrote some 15 years before the birth of Christ.
He tells of God's great mercy and compassion for the human race.
He expresses God's love for all people and that God always gives a chance for conversion, e.g. to have a change of heart.
In the second reading, Paul writes his second letter to the Thessalonians, many of whom are sitting around idle, just waiting for the second coming of Christ. Paul warns them not to be idle, but to recall that through their baptism they were called to make God present in the world.
They were called to make God's mercy, compassion, and love present in their world. At our baptism we too were called to do the same, to make God's mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and love present in our world of today.
That means for us to go out of our way for the enemy, or for the person that gives us difficulty, or for the person that we just don't care for.
We see Jesus doing the same thing in the gospel, going out of his way for the sinner. Remember that tax collectors were seen as unclean by the Jews, and they saw them as traitors who were not that honest. Tax collectors, when collecting taxes, also took a share of the tax money for themselves.
Zacchaeus was a very short guy, small in stature. He came to see Jesus. What was amazing is that Jesus, a Jew, does not stay way from the rejects, but stops under the tree that Zacchaeus had climbed to have a better view of Jesus who is passing by.
Jesus wants to go to his house, where Zacchaeus had a change of heart and was forgiven for the evil, the cheating, etc. that he had done.
Jesus breaks with tradition and goes out of his way for someone that the society of the time viewed as an undesirable person who would be considered unclean.
But we know that Jesus was always willing to be among the unclean, the sinners. Because of Jesus they were able to experience God's great love and mercy and they had a conversion, a change of heart and life style
Each of us, during this week ahead, needs to look at ourselves and see how are we going out of our way to make God present for others, to show God's mercy, compassion and forgiveness, for that is what our Baptism has called us to do, just as it was for the Thessalonians.
Are we willing to come out of our comfort zone, our tree, and experience the call God has given us at our Baptism?
And if we discover that we want to remain in our tree
with our comforts,
pray for a change of heart,
so that we can truly fulfill God's call to us at Baptism.
Below are my notes from the same Sunday in 2010
Click here to read my reflection from 2010
More Reflection on this Sunday's Readings. Click on link below