“You love all things that are and loathe nothing that You have made; for what You hated, You would not have fashioned.
Reflections on the readings for the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 30, 2022): WIS 11:22-12:2; PS 145:1-2,8-9,10-11,13,14; 2THES 1:11-2:2; LK 19:1-10
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
… But You spare all things because they are Yours, O Lord and lover of souls, for Your imperishable spirit is in all things!” (Wisdom 11:24-12:1)
God loves all His children. Each and every one of us is precious to Him. That was true for the sinner Zacchaeus who found redemption in Christ’s compassion and who responded with contrition and a real desire to amend his life. Neither the thieving tax collector nor any of those in that crowd, not any of us today are worthy of salvation on our own. It is a loving gift from God. And seeking the Divine will and following in the way of Christ should be our grateful answer. The second reading today calls us to respond in word and deed and so revealing our fidelity to our Savior, the Son of God. “We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every good effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in Him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
The early followers of Jesus, those taught by His Apostles, and the generations since, understood they had to be open to all that He asks. It means living according to God’s will and through His grace. It means sharing His love with others by loving them for His sake. When we cooperate with God’s mercy we do not just change our own lives, we also contribute to changing the lives of those around us. In the 16th century, St. Thomas More, who was martyred because he put the will of God before his own life, commented on today’s Gospel: “Look at Zacchaeus, who climbed up a tree in his desire to see our Savior. He was filled with gladness and deeply touched with a special grace, to the great profit of his soul when Christ called out loud to him. … It is good always to be doing some good thing right now, while we are thinking about it. When we do this, grace more solidly take hold in us, and it also increases, so that we can then go on to do some other good thing.” We need to be willing to do some good thing right now -- and willing to do another after that. For the love of God.
Suggested missionary action: Let us make a daily effort to be Christ’s true disciples, praying that we may “worthy of His calling” as members of His Church.