Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time—C
In today’s Gospel, Jesus literally invites himself to the home of Zacchaeus. Do you find it surprising that Jesus would do this? After all, the two did not know one another, and Luke makes it clear that Jesus had every intention of passing through Jericho without stopping. But he does stop, and he tells Zacchaeus to come down from the sycamore tree because “today I must stay at your house.” He hadn’t even been asked!
However, Zacchaeus—loathed as a wealthy tax collector and considered an outsider by the crowd—wants to see Jesus, and so receives him with joy. With the foot of Jesus in the door, so to speak, Zacchaeus is moved to repent and atone for his sins, and so Jesus tells him, “Today salvation has come to this house.”
It does not take much for God’s mercy to enter into our lives. All that is necessary is a small opening—often arriving in surprising ways and at unexpected times—and a willing reception. God will do the rest. God is good, and all that he has created is good, as the reading from the Book of Wisdom reminds us. So he pursues those who have gone astray “little by little” and slips into any opening he finds. Why? Because you have been fashioned by the “Lord and lover of souls.”
Where might God be inviting himself into your life?