Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

 The gospel story proclaimed today makes for good drama. You can imagine the scene; an overweight man struggling up a tree to see Jesus, the subsequent crowds clamoring around Jesus and then Jesus’ call to Zaccheus informing him that he was going to have dinner with him that evening.

Luke recounts the amazement of the crowd. No doubt Jesus received several invitations that evening, all of them no doubt from good and holy people, persons know who were benefactors to various good works expecting perhaps a little recognition for their generosity.

 Instead, Jesus spends time with someone who took more than gave, whose greed no doubt outweighed any possible amount of generosity. And yet a simple act of recognition kindled in a heart long cooled for whatever reason, a fire which flamed up to ignite generosity and service.

The reasons why so many human hearts are chilled to love are as countless as those many hearts. There seems to be but one fire to warm those hearts and that is the recognition of a common humanity in each of those seemingly ugly faces.

So often the Jesuit missionaries wrote in their reports describing the different men and women with whom they lived and worked. But overriding all these differences they called these strangers brothers and sisters since they too were loved and saved by Christ.

November 19th, 2013