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The Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Word About The Word

Growing up in the 1960’s I was enthralled with our space program. Many times I would gaze up into the night sky and think about how many galaxies there are and how the Earth is this little blue speck floating in the heavens. It makes you feel quite small indeed and humble as you fathom the expanse of the universe. In today’s first reading the writer of Wisdom focuses in on this very point, only he takes it one step further. While contemplating the smallness of the world, the author reflects on how much God loves us and has mercy on us. That God would care about you and me individually is a profound concept. He knows us and He loves us. St. Paul picks up on this and reminds us of our “calling” to Christ. Sometimes we need to be reminded who we are in the Lord. Each of us has a mission that only we can do. That is why we need to offer our jobs, activities, and all we do to the Lord. If we do this, then it becomes a prayer, and not only will we get things done, but our spiritual life will be enriched as well. St. Paul also tells us not to get caught up in when the Second Coming may happen or in “end times” dates or times. Instead, he wants us to focus on ourselves. After all, any day could be our “last day” and so we need to prepare ourselves through repentance and prayer and not worrying about the end of the world. Getting ourselves right with God is more important than anxiety and worry. In our Gospel, we have the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. The story does not give us a lot of detail as to what transpired at Zacchaeus’s home, but one thing is certain. He had an encounter with Christ and was never the same. That is how it should be with us. We encounter Christ in people, in scripture, in prayer, but we substantially encounter Him in the Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. When we receive Communion, we are having an encounter with the God of the universe. Does it change us at all? Are we just going through the motions? Today will you allow yourself to be transformed by your encounter with Christ? Or is it just another Sunday… Something to think about…May God richly bless you always…

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