By Fr. Andrew Kelly
THIRTY-FIRST SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – NOV. 3, 2013
The short-statured Zacchaeus, whom Luke tells about in Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 19:1-10), became rich because Zacchaeus was a tax collector, and therefore a sinner. In the eyes of the people, Zacchaeus was degenerate, despised and definitely not a candidate for salvation.
But Luke’s Gospel is filled with surprising reversals. Zacchaeus is up a tree looking down and Jesus is at the foot of the tree looking up. Apparently Jesus wanted to see Zacchaeus just as badly as Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus.
Thus Zacchaeus’ conversion and transformation begins. Jesus invites Zacchaeus to come down from the tree as Jesus wishes to stay in Zacchaeus’ house.
The sign that conversion and transformation are happening is that Zacchaeus begins to dispossess himself of all his possessions:
“Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.”
The same Jesus who stayed in Zacchaeus’ house now stays in the believing community’s house. There are questions: Does the community still wish to see Jesus? Is Jesus still welcome? Is Zacchaeus’ conversion and transformation taking place? Is Jesus still proclaiming: “Today salvation has come to this house…”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Nov. 3-10
2 Thes 1:11-2:2
Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17
2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14
2 Thes 2:16-3:5
Lk 20:27-38 or LK 20:27, 34-38