31C19. Wisdom 11:22-12:2. Realize how infinitely awesome is our God. Our reading says, “Before the Lord the whole universe is as a grain from a balance.” One might expect anyone that almighty, would be scornful to those so lowly before him, but NO!! Our reading says of him: “For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made.” And going on it says: “Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little.” And yet further on it says, “that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O Lord!” Just as he is infinitely almighty; so too he is infinitely all-loving. He made us so that he may share his love with us for all eternity. However, he can only share his love with those of us who have shown that we value his love for us to the point that we love him in return. Our life is the opportunity given to us to do just that: to grow spiritually, despite our material nature to value his love for us each day more and more and to become love as our God is love so that we love him in return each day for all of eternity.
Luke 19:1-10. Because Zacchaeus was a tax collector who took money from the Jews to give to the pagan Romans, he was expelled from the temple and considered a terrible sinner. For the Jews, only the Jews had the right to rule Israel because it had been given to them by God. The Romans were considered to be an alien unacceptable obnoxious force, who, not only had taken from them the land God gave them but also were taking the money that belonged to God’s Chosen People.
In Luke 16:19-31 we read of the rich man who was burning for eternity in his earthly rotten wealth. In Luke 18:18-23, Jesus said to the rich man: “Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And when he had heard this he became quite sad, for he was very rich.” How is it that Zacchaeus saw the poverty of his riches that cut him off from God yet the other rich men we read about were blinded by their wealth? I personally believe that the Holy Spirit is to be understood as having been at work in the lives of all the rich men mentioned above. However, only Zacchaeus opened himself with the Spirit’s help to see that the spiritual life that Jesus was to give to him, was infinitely superior to the material riches he had. Salvation is ours but we must respond to the grace that enables to realize what is truly a treasure and what is not.. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” Growing each day to value from the depths of our being, to cherish the love that God has for us in a world that only values what is material is a daunting, but inviting challenge.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2. Paul speaks to those chosen by God to spread the faith, empowered by God’s grace to make him known and glorified. He asks the disciples to remain faithful to the truth that they had been taught, despite the fact that the devil was working diligently to mislead and confuse them. The world we live in tries to envelope us into its ways of thinking and feeling. Without accepting God’s help, we will succumb and rot for eternity.