31st Sunday Ordinary Time 2013 Jesus and Zacchaeus

Scripture reading for Sunday's Mass are here.

Stained glass window in the the protestant Chr...
Stained glass window in the the protestant Christ church in Korntal in Southern Germany. “Hurry down, Zacchaeus” (Luk 19:5). HDR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Awaiting the Passage...
Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Awaiting the Passage of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Zacchaeus being called down from the tree. Fro...
Zacchaeus being called down from the tree. From book: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth. Eighty Pictures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Zacchaeus' tree
Zacchaeus' tree (Photo credit: Christyn)
What grasps me most today about reading this Gospel is that real change, only happens through the action of grace, which in turn causes a radical movement of the heart towards action for the good.

 We may spend a good deal of our lives negotiating the different ways we manouevre to get glimpses of God. The crowds often can get in our way. A mixture of internal judgements and shame for past and present failings and external approbation from others can make us feel it is a waste of time to approach God.

But here we see in the story of Zacchaeus, that if we can uncouple ourselves from the destructive ways of the crowds and find a place to sit alone and wait, we do indeed find ourselves moving closer to the source of what matters.

The decision to place ourselves in a vulnerable place is never easy, staying there and waiting is often even harder. We may think we are hidden but Jesus sees us and greets us by name.

"For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost "

Various reflections on the Scriptures from St Louis Centre for Liturgy are here

I like this reflection on the scriptures from Fr. John Predmore S.J. here

My reflection from 2010 is here


Luke's account of Zacchaeus has much meaning and in this fine recording Fr. Robert Barron S.J. explains how this iconic story contains all the dynamics of conversion; what it looks and feels like.

Thanks to my friend Maureen Lamarche for this one !

Click here to listen.

I came across this book titled "Patience With God : The Story of Zacchaeus Continuing in Us." It is written by a Czech Catholic priest Tomas Halik,and follows on Robert Barron's idea that it is those most opposed to God who often have the deepest hunger.

Reading the samples and the comments reviews are interesting. Here's one synopsis of the book below.

" For all the debate about belief and nonbelief in today’s world—and how everyone becomes pigeonholed by one or the other— Tomáš Halík teaches that God requires us to persevere with our doubts, carry them in our hearts, and allow them to lead us to maturity. For Halík, patience is the main difference between faith and atheism. 

Faith, hope, and love are three aspects of patience in the face of God’s silence, which is interpreted as “the death of God” by atheists and is not taken seriously enough by fundamentalists.

Using the gospel story of Jesus’s encounter with Zacchaeus, Halík issues an invitation to all people who stand (like Zacchaeus did) on the sideline—curious but noncommittal. The fact that Jesus gravitated to the poor and the marginalized means that he also has a special place in his heart for diligent seekers on the margins of the community of believers. 

Click here for another enticing review.

Click here for the live link to see inside, not on the photo !
 Patience with God: The Story of Zacchaeus Continuing In Us

Well,  that's yet another book for the wish list and makes me interested in Halik's other works too, like this one. 
Click here for a review of this one which appeared in America magazine earlier this year by John Martens.

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