Daily Readings Reflection for 10/31/10

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Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Lectionary for Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010. Wisdom 11:22-12:1. Psalm
145: 1-2.8-9.10-11.13.14. II Thessalonians 1:11-2:2. Luke 19:1-10:

We all have a little of Zacchaeus in us hoping to catch a glimpse of the
real Jesus. Perhaps, touching him and inviting him to a dinner! The truth
is that Jesus desires to see us, touch us with his love, and to offer us
through the Scriptures and the Bread of Life himself. Zacchaeus, being
small of stature, could not see Jesus because of the crowd. What is the
reason why we cannot see Jesus? Are there no more sycamores to climb?
Jesus is seen as the Lord (a post-resurrection title for Jesus) and this is
the way we see and experience Jesus in the liturgy of the Word and the
Eucharist. Zacchaeus was clever not only with taking peoples’ tax money
but also for getting ahead in life. On this occasion he gets more than what
he wants. Jesus himself invites Zacheus to have him come to his house
where he can serve Jesus a meal. After all, the road from Jericho up to
Jerusalem is another fifteen or more miles. Zacchaeus is overjoyed to do
this and expresses how he will repay anyone whom he cheated in exacting
more than the taxes should have been. Zacchaeus knew how to profit in this
life, but he was looking for something greater than building his own barns!

Jesus spots him hanging on a large limb of a tree. Probably not a sycamore
but that was what the translators gave us. Sycamores are tall and sturdy
and their limbs are quite high so a man like Zacchaeeus really could not
have climbed it. Maybe it was a mustard tree–something more mangeable for
Zacchaeus. Jesus’ eyes meet those of Zacchaeus and immediately there is a
moment of ecstasy for the tax-collector. He takes up Jesus’ suggestion to
dine together and there he learns how to pull his life together by making
amends and offering a handshake of reconciliation. Salvation (healing)
comes to him because of the love that Jesus extends to him. He now is a
friend of the teacher Jesus and he is able to join the crowd now and follow
the Lord up to Jerusalem. Palms will appear on the way and soon an
extraordinary celebration will be offered to the Lord who is considered the
Messiah by the crowd and the children. Both leave the very ancient city of
Jericho to mount the road to the new Jerusalem shining in gold and white.
Both are thinking of the holy city which comes down from the heavens
adorned as a bride for her husband. Jesus began humbly coming from
Nazareth in the North and now he leaves Jericho from the South. Jerusalem
is framed by the humble and the proud cities of this earthly land on which
Jesus treads. Jesus is among us. Grace keeps on building on nature even in
a symbolic way in many of our readings. It is time for us to open our eyes
and to look upon Jesus. Maybe we will need to climb a symbolic sycamore.
Amen.

One of the Saints who has something valuable to say that matches what
Zacchaeus experienced is Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a victim of
the Shoah (holocaust). “Things were in God’s plan, in which I had not
planned at all. I am coming to the living faith and conviction that–from
God’s point of view– there is no chance and that the whole of my life,
down to every detail, has been mapped out in God’s divine provicence and
makes complete and perfect sense in God’s all seeing eyes.”

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this interpretation of the readings from Mass. I will meditate on them this week. It reminds me of the song that has the lyrics, “Open the eyes of my heart Lord. I want to see you.” Every Sunday after Mass I try to go over at least the Gospel reading with my daughters. Thank you for posting this.

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