Jesus’ astonishing mercy

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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Nov. 3, 2013
Wis 11:22–12:2; Ps 145; 2 Thess 1:22–2:2; Luke 19:1-10

Our Lord Jesus can be very direct! And what we hear in the Gospel reading today is one of those examples. The people in Jericho are upset—and not just the Pharisees and the scribes this time but, it seems, everyone!—because Jesus has gone to stay in the house of a sinner. And how does he respond? “No, no, it’s not the way it seems… I didn’t mean it that way… I’m just, you know…” No! He says: “Well, of course! That’s the point! The Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost. Haven’t you crowds been listening to the Gospel readings the last few weeks?!” (more…)

Zacchaeus and freedom from pornography

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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: October 31, 2010
Wis 11:22–12:2; Ps 145; 2 Thess 1:11–2:2; Luke 19:1-10

I don’t think anyone would have dressed up as Zacchaeus for Halloween as their hero—if they had had Halloween in Jericho in the 1st century! Because Zacchaeus the tax collector was nobody’s hero.

Like the other tax collectors in the Holy Land in that century, he was seen as a traitor to his people because he was collecting taxes for the occupying Roman government; and he was seen as a sinner because of all the contact that he was regularly having with Gentiles. And, like many of the tax collectors of his time, he could use his position to extort payments from people to make himself rich; (more…)