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Bulletin: October 30, 2022

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is difficult for us to comprehend God’s mercy. We are constrained by own experience of and often-limited willingness to be patient and forgiving. God loves all of creation and desires that we fulfill our call, glorifying our Lord in all we do. Yet we often fall short of this great purpose. We get lost in the pursuit of worldly things and lose sight of what really matters. Then, when we realize our failings, we falter, uncertain that we can really be forgiven. Today’s readings invite us to deepen our trust in God’s great kindness with the assurance that, as Jesus did with Zacchaeus, God waits with open arms when we turn away from our sinfulness. Let us grow in belief in Christ who came to seek and to save what was lost.


Zacchaeus was a tax collector and a wealthy man; it is likely he had amassed his wealth by charging more taxes than were due. While materially wealthy, he was derided by his fellow Jews, known as a sinner, isolated from the company of his people. He had become curious about Jesus. So much so that he climbed a tree to see Jesus as he passed by. And from that vantage point, he saw his weaknesses and failings clearly. When Jesus called, he responded, a changed man. Are we ready to go up in a tree of prayer and reflection, peer into our hearts and lives, and grow in readiness to change?


“Come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” Jesus’ call to Zacchaeus was likely as surprising to Zacchaeus as it was to those who watched this encounter. The Gospel story is not only about Zacchaeus’ change of heart. It is also about Jesus’ eagerness to bring Zacchaeus into the fold, to show him mercy and forgiveness, to “seek and to save what was lost.” Jesus calls us out of our sinfulness, too. He is ready to forgive and to stay with us, to be near to us as we embrace new life as his disciples. Zacchaeus claimed his sinfulness and named what he would do to repair his relationship with God and others. This is what we do in the sacrament of Reconciliation—we name our sins, make a promise to do penance, repair our relationship with God and others, and receive forgiveness, restored in our relationship with Christ. Reflect on Zacchaeus’ example: what failings and sinfulness to you need to claim? Are you ready to hear Jesus’ call to you? Come down quickly. Receive the mercy of the Lord and know that salvation can be yours.

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