Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
October 31, A.D. 2004
Scripture from Today's Liturgy of the Word:
2 Thessalonians 1:11--2:2
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Today's Gospel like last Sunday's, involves a story about a tax collector. It's interesting to look at both tax collectors and see how they are similar and how, at least according to the Gospels, they differ. Both make it clear that they are sinners and humbly acknowledge that they recognize the truth of their condition and need for forgiveness.
In today's Gospel, Zacchaeus the tax collector, says that when he wrongly charged someone, he recompensed that person many times over and then gives part of his earnings to the poor--unlike the tax collector in last week's Gospel who doesn't refer to anything good he might do, but simply beats his breast and says he is a sinner.
While Jesus was quick to chastise the bragging Pharisee in last week's Gospel, today's tax collector who cites what he does to make reparation for his sins, is not viewed by Jesus as a bragger, but is instead praised by Him.
One lesson of these Gospel messages is that Jesus does not disdain those who are sinners and are considered by others to be sinners and that He doesn't reprimand those who speak of their authentic efforts to act justly and with charity, but can't abide with pridefulness even in good works.
May we learn from this that humility is an all-important prerequisite attitude that undergirds our actions and behavior. It is, after all, the truth about who we are before the Face of God.
- Donna Raye Nelson, ocds
(drn3rd at hotmail dot com)
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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