The Jesuit Father Jean Paul Savi introduces us to meditation with the readings for the 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time of liturgical year C.
Dear brothers and sisters, on this 31th Sunday of Ordinary Time, we are invited to meditate on the gaze that God places on each of us. The first reading is the prayer of one who has experienced God’s mercy. This experience made him discover that God is love, understanding, patience, mercy.
In our life, we happen to experience God’s infinite love and mercy. There are times when we become aware of the greatness of God and our smallness. But does this experience affect our lives and our relationship with others? We know that love and forgiveness take much more effort than revenge. But if God, who created us all, shows so much love and mercy for each of us, why can’t we do the same for others? In the second reading, Saint Paul invites us to take this path of holiness resolutely. Because our faith in Christ must transform our existence and improve our relationship with others.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus was walking through Jericho in the company of his disciples. A large crowd rushed towards him. And among this crowd one man stands out: it is Zacchaeus, the publican. On this Sunday, we are also invited to meditate on the three protagonists of this scene: Jesus, the crowd and Zacchaeus. Who could we identify with?
Jesus’ gaze on Zacchaeus surprises everyone. Jesus thus shows us that God cannot reject or hate his creature. Regardless of our faults and how others judge us, God sees beyond our weaknesses and sins. On this Sunday, the attitude of Jesus challenges us. We tend to see only the negative aspect of the conduct of our brothers and sisters. And so we become blind to the good in them. Can we also have this same gaze of Jesus on our neighbours?
The crowd that pressed around Jesus was an obstacle for Zacchaeus. What are our obstacles today? What overwhelms us and prevents us from seeing Jesus who passes through the path of our life? The crowd is perhaps our bad thoughts and our bad judgments; it may be certain friendships, our sins or our past that constantly haunts us. Dear brothers and sisters, let us not be obstacles that prevent others from seeing Jesus. But like Zacchaeus we rise above the obstacles.
Zacchaeus was considered a public sinner. But contrary to what others thought of him, he was more of a man who sought God. And it is striking that Zacchaeus does not speak ill of others. In his personal encounter with Jesus, he speaks rather of himself and his efforts.
Dear brothers and sisters, it often happens that we judge others and even condemn them, without knowing the efforts they make in their lives. On this Sunday, Jesus asks us to rise above our judgments and our obstacles so that he invites himself into our home. For it is in the personal encounter with Jesus that we become capable of evaluating our own life. Like Zacchaeus, in the silence of the encounter with Jesus, we will be able to see what is not working well in our life and the efforts we can make. On this Sunday, Jesus offers us his friendship. Let us welcome it into our lives so that it transforms our outlook. That we can see our life and the life of others according to God’s eyes. Amen!
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Meditation for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time C: “Under the gaze of God” – Vatican News
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