31st Sunday READINGS

Mass Readings

First reading Wisdom 11:22-12:2 ©
In your sight, Lord, the whole world is like a grain of dust that tips the scales,
like a drop of morning dew falling on the ground.
Yet you are merciful to all, because you can do all things
and overlook men’s sins so that they can repent.
Yes, you love all that exists, you hold nothing of what you have made in abhorrence,
for had you hated anything, you would not have formed it.
And how, had you not willed it, could a thing persist,
how be conserved if not called forth by you?
You spare all things because all things are yours, Lord, lover of life,
you whose imperishable spirit is in all.
Little by little, therefore, you correct those who offend,
you admonish and remind them of how they have sinned,
so that they may abstain from evil and trust in you, Lord.

Psalm Psalm 144:1-2,8-11,13-14

Second reading 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2 ©
We pray continually that our God will make you worthy of his call, and by his power fulfil all your desires for goodness and complete all that you have been doing through faith; because in this way the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in you and you in him, by the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
To turn now, brothers, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we shall all be gathered round him: please do not get excited too soon or alarmed by any prediction or rumour or any letter claiming to come from us, implying that the Day of the Lord has already arrived.

Gospel Luke 19:1-10 ©
Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town when a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance: he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man. He was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him: ‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’ And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully. They all complained when they saw what was happening. ‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house’ they said. But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, ‘Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.’
Zacchaeus felt very small before the Lord. And he accepted it. But his being little didn’t stop or hinder him to do something quite strange, especially for him, who is a senior tax-collector. People should have esteemed him, if nothing else, just because of this attribute- as senior tax-collector. But no. He didn’t care. All he cared for was to see Jesus, maybe because out of curiousity or what, but he just desperately wanted to have a glimpse of Him. So, forgetting himself and his standing in the society, he ran ahead and climbed a tree so as to see Jesus passing by. Jesus saw him. He might have noticed his effort or initiative to see Him in person, so Jesus looked at him, and stayed with him in his house.
Lesson: Sometimes, we feel very little and helpless. But like  Zacchaeus, Jesus wishes to dine with us, as long as we would not lament or belittle our being small before the eyes of others and of the Lord. So our gospel today calls us to cherish our being little in the eyes of the Lord yet to do something out of this littleness, something that will lead us to see and dine with our Lord. God bless us all.

2 comments on “31st Sunday READINGS

  1. Hi John,
    When I was in the Holy Land last year, I had a chance to go to Jericho. We saw the Sycamore tree that was believed that Zacchaeus was climbing wanting to see Jesus. It is a huge tree with lots of lower branches and this time of the year plenty of leaves.

    Reading today’s gospel makes me wonder what kind of a man is Zacchaeus. I believe he was a short fellow in physique. It seems he heard alot about this person named Jesus where he felt this strong urge to have a glimpse of ‘seeing him to believe, to hear what He is talking about’. Zacchaes seems felt obsessed with the knowledge of Jesus but his ‘little’ confidence, ‘fear’ within himself, ‘shame’ of his status in society, as a senior tax-collector to stand face to face with Jesus. He need affirmation of what he knows about Jesus.
    I believe that Jesus saw Zacchaes before he ‘climb up in the sycamore tree’. Again, Jesus in His own loving, forgiving and subtle way of letting himself known to Zacchaes gently as a ‘friend’ greeted him and inviting him to share a meal with Him.

    Let us pray for confidence, trust and open minded for our selves that even in our ‘littleness’, fear, shame, physically unattractive and our short coming ‘climbing up on a leafy tree to see and maybe to hide in the leaves’ we still want to befriended with Jesus, share meals with Him, our faithful and a loving friend.

  2. Interesting read, perhaps the best article iv’e browse today. We learn everyday cheers to you!

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