31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, 30th October 2016

The Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost

The readings this Sunday are full of encouragement. Our compassionate God loves us so much that he looks beyond our sins to see the people we can become. However unworthy we may seem, God seeks us out and calls us to him.

The First Reading celebrates God’s compassion and mercy for the whole of creation. Everything belongs to him in love, and his desire to spare us helps us make amends for our misdeeds.

In the same way, the Psalm helps us to praise our God who is slow to anger, lifting us up when we fall.

In the Second Reading, the Thessalonians are encouraged to focus on their call in the here and now, rather than becoming distracted by rumours about the Second Coming. The author’s constant prayer is that the name of Jesus might be glorified in them.

The familiar Gospel rejoices in salvation of the lost. Jesus actively seeks out the unpopular tax collector Zacchaeus, branded a sinner by others. Zacchaeus responds with joy to Jesus’s urgent call, eagerly seeking to make amends for his former life.

This week, then, I might pray to become ever more aware of God’s compassionate gaze on me, a loved sinner, and to hear and respond to his call with a joyful heart.

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