Reflection from Fr. Taylor: October 30, 2016, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 11:22-12:2 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2 Luke 19:1-10

Perhaps all of us have heard the saying about people who take risks.  We like to say that they have gone out on a limb. This is exactly what Zacchaeus has done in today’s gospel and it changed his life forever.

But why did he go up in the tree in the first place? The gospel tells us that he was a small person and he heard that Jesus was around and this was an opportunity for him to be in the presence of a healer that he really needed at this point in his life. He himself was a hated person, no doubt he had made a very good living out of taking advantage of other people. This in turn made him an unhappy person. He knew that he had to change his way of living. He felt that he really had to take this risk because maybe if he could be in the presence of Jesus that he could make a major turn in his life.

Many of us have understood this in our own life. We get a revelation that no matter how good things might be our life is going in the wrong direction. We need somehow the presence of God and others to turn us around. Remember that Saint Paul had a revelation that he was persecuting the church, and God gave him an ability to turn his life around. Indeed no one can turn our lives around like Jesus.  But at the beginning we have to be open to this. The Lord will not turn us around unless we are open and want this to happen.

When Zacchaeus found out that Jesus would even invite him to dinner, he simply could not believe this and thought this was indeed the first day of the rest of his life. Jesus says “I have come to save the lost.” The lost could very easily be you and me. It’s not necessarily that our life is completely in shambles, but that we need a new way and a new direction. Zacchaeus had lost his way in life. He had made his fortune by cheating others and found himself not only out of place among his neighbors, but he was also out of touch with his God.  Jesus helped him find his way back.

Isn’t it easy for us from time to find ourselves in the wrong place? We could easily get into habits, ways of acting, and doing things that do not bring meaning in our life and  help others. Making changes in our life is not always an easy thing. We have others to deal with and also friends neighbors, and family who may not like this new us. We need all the help we can, but fortunately Jesus is always there to give us the support. All we  have to do is ask.

 

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