Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 WIS 11:22-12:2
Today’s first reading comes again from a very Catholic book of the Old Testament not typically found in Protestant bibles. I find a lot of beauty in this reading that places its focus on God’s intention for all creation and His will to bring good from everything. It sounds like the writer is speaking to God, but his words are intended for the readers.
This was written in the time of a well educated Alexandria. This reading address the question of evil in an indirect way. The writer of the book of Wisdom counters the argument that there shouldn’t be bad if God is good, by reminding us how good God is to us every day. It is by His love that He never stops willing us into existence and constantly creating us.
God desires good for all, and it is by our sins that we choose to separate ourselves from Him, and this reading from Wisdom reminds us that our God is often gentle in His rebuke.
Our God is good and merciful.
Responsorial Psalm PS 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14
R. (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
Reading 2 2 THES 1:11-2:2
The letter from St Paul to the Church in Thessalonica is one of the first written from the New Testament. At the time, many Christians expected Jesus to come very soon, so soon that they thought they could live without much consideration for the future.
St Paul warns that there are some going around preaching incorrectly, and calls them to be on guard. They can’t quit their jobs and go without a plan. Yes, live as if Jesus is coming today, so be accountable for yourselves, but plan to continue seeking holiness and evangelizing.
Gospel LK 19:1-10
This Gospel from St Luke is a popular story from the New Testament. There are few people Jesus calls out to by name, and here we see the short Zacchaeus resort to climbing a tree so that he might see Jesus as He passes by. We know that tax collectors were associated with the Roman empire and generally disliked by the public, so everyone is surprised when Jesus wants to stay with him, a well known sinner.
Here though, we see a trademark of Jesus’ ministry, He pursues those that need salvation, and Zacchaeus responds by amending his ways and making good with the people he has wronged. All will ask, “What could have changed someone so drastically so quickly?” Only a true and personal encounter with God. The moment Jesus calls out to him by name, it’s as if Jesus reaches in to Zacchaeus’ soul to show him he is recognized as a child of God. This encounter is so personal and moving that he is reminded of his original purpose and intention for good.
Our God is good and generous.
Question for Reflection
Where can you be more generous with God’s goodness? How can we do better at praising and remembering the good in others around us?
Reflection done by Cristobal Almanza – @SoulPainter
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