The Sunday Gospel for 03.11.19

This is the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time in Year C of the three year liturgical cycle.

It’s a well known story about Zacchaeus (the unpopular tax collector) who was short in stature but who climbed up a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus! Jesus notices him and. interestingly, seems to know his name. Jesus decides he wants to spend time with Zacchaeus which causes some grumbling among some of the crowd who maybe felt Zacchaeus was an unsuitable person to be in the company of Jesus!

Perhaps those people had a point! Zacchaeus was almost certainly no angel, but when he met Jesus, he was overcome and decided to turn his life around. It’s good to reflect on who we might be in this story:

  • one of the crowd who’s come to get a glimpse of Jesus to see what all the fuss is about;
  • one of the crowd who grumbles at someone else being chosen;
  • an onlooker who gets it that Jesus has come for everyone – sinners included;
  • Zacchaeus – who wants to turn his life around and acknowledged this in front of others;
  • Jesus who publicly accepts Zacchaeus – warts and all.

An invitation to prayer

Loving God, my attempts to catch a glimpse of you are so often shallow and brief.

Help me to be like Zacchaeus who made the effort to experience you.

Like Zacchaeus, help me be more willing to acknowledge my failings and be willing to put things right with those who I have hurt.

Help me realise that you call me by name and want to spend time with me.

I pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN