A REFLECTION FOR THE 31ST SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIMES BY DEACON TONY MARTUCC!
“...Come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” Lk. 20:5
This invitation is not meant only for Zacchaeus, or the Apostles or the early Christian. Jesus offers this invitation to every one of us. We are not to be Christians only when we are in Church for an hour each week. We are to bring our faith into every word and action of our lives. Christ wants to be a part of our lives. At our Baptism, God calls us to be holy, that is, to be on a journey to becoming saints. Holiness comes from our giving Christ complete access to every aspect of our lives.
Christ calls us to be missionaries, sent in unexpected ways to give witness to the unconditional love of God. At school, or work, in our homes and in our leisure time we are to show Christ to others by our actions and our words.
Many of us think that the act of being a missionary belongs to the priests, sisters or deacons, but you and I can go places that they cannot, or do not go. You may be the only Bible that some people may ever see.
Think of the impact that you may have on your friends or family by what you say or do. A kind word or an act of compassion can bring immense joy or comfort to others, and it costs you nothing. I look at the political climate, or even the world around us and see hatred, bitterness and cruelty. That is not the world that God created. In Genesis we read, “God saw what He created and He said, “That is good.” Christ came to restore the goodness and gave His life for us. Before He died, Christ gathered His disciples around Him and taught them about the love and the mercy of the Father. He charged them to teach others about the Kingdom of God.
That command has travelled the centuries to every Christian who has ever lived and it is now a charge given to us in the 21st century. We don’t need to go out to preach on street corners, or to quote scriptures to others. We don’t need to be like the Pharisees who read the scriptures but failed to live by them. We simply are to bring Christ into our circle and to make the world more holy, kind and human.
Two men were in a hurry to get home from work to enjoy a long weekend with their families. They were running late and needed to catch a train out of the city. As they ran down the stairs and across the platform, they saw their train. In their haste, they bumped into a table containing newspapers and magazines being sold by a young boy. The table fell and the magazines and newspapers flew off. One of the men stopped, picked up the table and placed the newspapers and magazines back on it. He watched as the train left the station.
The boy looked at the man and asked, “Mister, are you Jesus?”
Zacchaeus hurried down from the tree, and not only physically welcomed Jesus into his home, but also offered Christ every aspect of his life. This openness lead to changes in his business practice, home life and public image. Jesus calls us to deepen our discipleship by surrendering every aspect of our lives to Him.
Jesus wants us to bring fulfillment, mission and holiness into our work life; to bring reconciliation, new life and salvation into our family life; and to be His witness in our social life.
We are not just Sunday Catholics for one hour a week. We are the New Disciples sent to bring the Good News to the world, to set it on fire with Faith. Christ is counting on you. Are you ready to answer His call?