Theme of the Sunday: Those Who Are Themselves Loved Can Love Others. All that God has created is good. The first reading says that God loves all his creatures, otherwise he would not have made them. How then can we hate anything? The gospel brings before us a man who, according to the thinking of the time, was evil and despised. How Jesus saw Zacchaeus teaches us how we should see people. The gospel gives us the image of a God as a Father who sent his Son “to seek out what was lost.” What went on in Thessalonica can happen in our communities. False preachers may try to spread another gospel, a gospel of their own invention, a gospel encouraging fear of God. The words of Paul in the second reading put us on our guard against them.
A reading from the Book of Wisdom (Wisdom 11:22—12:2)
You are merciful to all, for you love all things that exist.
Lord, the whole world before you is like a speck that tips the scales, and like a drop of morning dew that falls upon the ground. But you are merciful to all, for you can do all things, and you overlook men’s sins, that they may repent. For you love all things that exist, and you loathe none of the things which you have made, for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord who love the living. For your immortal spirit is in all things. Therefore you correct little by little those who trespass, and remind and warn them of the things wherein they sin, that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in you, O Lord.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 145: 1-2.8-9.10-11. I 3cd- 14 (h. see 1)
R/. I will bless your name forever, my king and my God.
I will extol you, my God and king,
and bless your name forever and ever.
I will bless you day after day,
and praise your name forever and ever. R/.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in mercy
How good is the Loan to all,
compassionate to all his creatures. R/.
All your works shall thank you,
O Lord, and all your faithful ones bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign,
and declare your mighty deeds. R/.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
and holy in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall,
and raises up all who are bowed down. R/.
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 1:11—2:2)
“The name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him.”
Brethren: We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA John 3: 16
Alleluia. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should have eternal life. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 19:1-10)
“The Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”
At that time: Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Zacchaeus is an example of a sinner who desires to draw close to Christ and does something about it. They dynamic of his seeking Jesus and Jesus’ taking the initiative to invite himself to his house signifies that a sinner must show enough interest to turn and get to a place where he or she can be seen by God. One must overcome those obstacles within oneself or created by others, and get into a position where God can discharge his transforming action. Grace is always waiting and watching. Once Zacchaeus climbs the tree Jesus seizes the moment: “Hurry down, I must stay at your house.” What it means is that he wants to enter into Zacchaeus’ consciousness and transform it with his own consciousness. He wants to dwell within Zacchaeus, to shape his mind according to his own. In the presence of Jesus we realize what we are made for. And what we are made for is far better than a life without him. Zacchaeus chooses to put his life in right order. For this he comes to salvation. Encountering Jesus and choosing to put our own life in right order brings us to the same salvation. We are saved who seek Jesus and are open to being sought by him.