October 30, 2016

31st Sun., Ordinary Time

October 30, 2016:  Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • 'Balance' pin:  "Before God the universe is as a grain from a balance..." (1st reading)
  • '[Blood] drop' pin:  "...or a dew drop come down" (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "O my God and King" (psalm)
  • 'Clocks' tie and suspenders:  Don't be 'alarmed' about the Lord's coming (2nd reading); countdown to end of liturgical year and Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy
  • 'Letter' tie bar, 'hand' tie pin:  Don't be shaken by a 'letter' allegedly from us saying the day of the Lord is at 'hand' (2nd reading)
  • 'Tree' pin:  Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Listen



  • Upcoming (just-written sheet music)
Pope Francis Angelus
Imagine the amazement of Zacchaeus at Jesus' response!  Jesus’ mission of salvation, the Father's mercy, includes everyone, even dishonst, despised Zacchaeus.  Jesus' gaze goes beyond sins and prejudices to see future good; he doesn't stop at appearances but looks into the heart. So too with us, God overcomes sin with love so we desire good.  God finds good in each person. 
Sometimes we try to correct and convert sinners by rebuking them, but Jesus shows us another way: helping them to see their worth as God does and so help them grow and change.  May the Virgin Mary help us see the good in the people we encounter each day, so they might be encouraged to bring out the image of God impressed on their hearts.  May my upcoming voyage to Sweden to commemorate the Protestant Reformation usher in a new stage in the journey toward full communion.  Live video (in Italian)
Read
Come down from the sycamore!
(Animate)
  • Wis 11:22-12:2  Before You the universe is a grain, a dewdrop.  You have mercy on all, overlook sin so we may repent, love all, loathe nothing, spare everything, warn gently.
  • Ps 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14  "I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God."  The Lord—merciful, kind, compassionate, faithful—raises the falling.
  • 2 Thes 1:11-2:2  May God fulfill you.  Don't be alarmed about the Lord's coming.
  • Lk 19:1-10  Zacchaeus climbs a tree to see Jesus.  "Zacchaeus, come down; I must stay at your house."  "I'll give to the poor, make restitution."  "Salvation has come to this house.  The Son has come to seek and save what was lost."
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Zacchaeus used his position to exploit people, but his encounter with Jesus led to a change of heart.  He was ready to climb a tree to "see who Jesus is."  This story comes just after "accept the kingdom like a child," the official blinded by his wealth, and Jesus' healing of a blind beggar who knows he needs healing.  Zacchaeus, though rich, is sufficiently childlike to scamper up a tree; his openness makes him ready to be healed of his greed and his readiness to exploit.  May we seek the truth with childlike openness and be ready to encounter and respond to the Lord.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The return of the penitential people":  When we repent, we'll want to do penance and help repair the damage we've done, as Zacchaeus did.  Sin does extensive damage.  Zacchaeus is a patron of reparation and penance....
      Christ and Zacchaeus/ Larsen Stevns
    • Passionist:  The crowd sees Zacchaeus, tax collector and wealthy man, as a sinner, but he converts from selfishness to generosity.  Jesus didn't work a miracle for him, but his time with him was enough to turn him around.  In The 5 Love Languages, Chapman identifies giving “quality time” as a language of love.  Jesus did that:  he gave Zacchaeus attention, affirmation, and a non-judgmental attitude; he listened and enjoyed his company; he nourished his spirit by a loving attitude.  “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own” (Disraeli).  Make the effort to be present to another, and see their goodness pour forth.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully":  Jesus often "dropped in" and visited the "uninvited":  the poor, the lame, even public sinners like Zacchaeus.  Tax collectors were treated as outcasts; they accumulated wealth at others' expense.  Everybody hated chief tax collector Zacchaeus.  When Zacchaeus came to Jesus, he found more than he thought possible.  His repentance included giving to the poor and making restitution; his change of heart resulted in a change of life.
      "Zacchaeus saw Jesus, unimpeded by the crowd.  The crowd laughs at the lowly, prevents Jesus from being seen, boasts when it can get back what it owns, and blocks the sight of the one who said, 'Father, forgive them...'  Ignoring the crowd, Zacchaeus climbed a tree of 'silly fruit.'  'We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews, but folly to the Gentiles.'  The wise of this world laugh at us about the Cross.  'This world's wisdom is folly with God.'  Climb the sycamore tree and see Jesus; if you're ashamed to climb it, you won't see him.  Let Zacchaeus grasp the tree, and let the humble climb the cross.  Don't be ashamed of the cross but fix it on our forehead, the seat of shame.  You make fun of the sycamore, but that's what enabled me to see Jesus.  'God's foolishness is wiser'" (Augustine, Sermon 174.3, paraphrased; cf. CCEL).
      The Lord is always ready to make his home with each of us. Do I make room for Jesus in my heart and every area of life?
          • St. Marcellus, martyr, proclaimed his Christian identity and refused to worship Roman gods
          • Blessed Martyrs of Winchester:  Roger Dicconson, “undercover priest”; John Slade, schoolmaster; Ralph Milner, convert; Laurence Humphreys, convert, catechist; James Bird