Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 4, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14
2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2
A reflection on today's Scripture:
It's a good thing that God doesn't leave to us to decide who is worthy of heaven and who isn't. We'd make a mess of it!
Today's Gospel shows what poor judges we would make. The crowds had been witnessing Jesus' miracles with growing enthusiasm, and then the cheers turn into jeers. Why?
A few in the crowd noticed this little man standing on his tip toes, trying to get a glimpse of Jesus. Most recognized him as the hated chief tax collector of the area, a very rich man named Zacchaeus. A few avoided contact as he suddenly dropped his dignity and ran to climb a nearby sycamore tree. He wanted a better view!
As Jesus passed underneath, He glanced up and spotted the man. Jesus' glance penetrated into the heart of Zacchaeus, and contritely he stared back at Jesus.
"Zacchaeus, come down quickly," Jesus said, "I want to have dinner with you today." The crowd gasped in disbelief and revulsion that the Healer would have anything to do with this despised sinner.
As the delighted little man explained to Jesus how he meant to make up for his many sins, Jesus turned and explained to the crowd, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."
What beautiful words that so harmonize with what we heard in today's first reading from the Book of Wisdom!
There, the writer extols both God's power and God's mercy. After declaring that the whole universe is like a small grain in the scales, or like a drop of morning dew compared to God's greatness, he praises God for His mercy in searching out sinners in order that they may repent of their sins and be justified in His sight.
That's exactly what Jesus, the Son of God, was doing that day in Jericho when he sought out Zacchaeus. And that's just what the message is for us. No matter what we've done in the past, the mercy of the Lord can search us out, inspire us to repentance, and then embrace us as His own.
God never gives up on those the world has condemned as hopeless, for, as the first reading proclaims, He is "a lover of souls" and He alone will decide who gets into heaven and who doesn't!
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore |
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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