Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica
DISCOVER TODAY: In our desire to see Jesus fully, we should do everything possible and overcome all spiritual handicaps.
Good News Reflection for:
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 30, 2022
Praised be You, Lord Jesus, because You come to me every day to take me to a new life, renewed in Your endless love. Amen.
Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
2 Thessalonians 1:11–2:2
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
Let nothing stop you from seeing the Lord!
Notice the determination of Zacchaeus in this Sunday’s Gospel reading. His view of Jesus was obstructed, but that didn’t stop him from seeing Jesus. He had an obstacle (the crowd) and a handicap (his short stature), but he refused to allow any of this to prevent him from reaching his goal of getting a clear view of Jesus.
In fact, Zacchaeus was so eager to experience Jesus that he did something drastic: He climbed a tree! Maybe he felt embarrassed hanging onto a tree limb; maybe onlookers thought he was odd. Maybe someone tried to talk him down. Maybe the tree was rough and tore his clothes and scratched his skin. None of that stopped him.
We all have handicaps — prejudices, misconceptions, bad training, spiritual laziness, fears and doubts, and so on — which obstruct our view of Jesus. And we all have short stature: we are much smaller than God and cannot see the goodness that he sees in and beyond our hardships. In our short-sightedness, we conclude that Jesus has abandoned us, and we feel so very alone.
Instead, we should be like Zacchaeus. In our desire to see Jesus fully, as he really is, we should do everything possible to find a way around all obstacles and overcome all spiritual handicaps.
Notice that once Zacchaeus climbed the tree, Jesus zeroed in on him and gave him personal attention and affirmation. How did Zacchaeus respond? He quickly descended from the tree and welcomed Jesus with delight. He had so much enthusiasm that he wanted to quadruple the penance for his sins!
Do you see Jesus in the Eucharist at Mass? If Zacchaeus’ reaction to Christ’s presence isn’t our reaction, it means our view is still partly obstructed. We need to climb higher.
Questions for Personal Reflection:
What are you “short” on? What in your faith life is too small? What is crowding your life and obstructing an enthusiastic relationship with Jesus? And how can you overcome this handicap so that you can see Jesus and recognize his nearness and hear his affirmation?
Questions for Family & Community Faith Sharing:
Name some signs of spiritual determination that you’ve seen in others. Why are we able to see Jesus better when we pray more fervently, sing in Mass more enthusiastically, serve others more eagerly, immerse ourselves in scripture more hungrily, care about others more cheerfully, or donate our treasures more generously?
© 2022 by Terry A. Modica
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