31st Sunday in Ordinary Time | Bishop Schlert

Gospel Reading
At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
"Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house."
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
"He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner."
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
"Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over."
And Jesus said to him,
"Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost."
Lk 19:1-10

Gospel Reflection
Praised be Jesus Christ!

The Gospel for today recounts the great drama of the spiritual life for it shows how much our human weakness gets in the way of Christ coming into our hearts.

First, we see Zacchaeus. He's heard about Christ and wants to see what He's all about; he wants to see who Jesus is. We can be like this in the spiritual life. We know we want to know Christ, but we keep letting worldly desires get in the way. Zacchaeus was a tax collector, so his life was focused totally on the worldly and sometimes criminal work of collecting taxes for Rome. However, he has a longing for Christ, but doesn't know how to satisfy it. This is our longing, but we sometimes don't know how to go about addressing it.

Then there's Christ. Christ is who we are longing for. Christ wants to be let in. Sometimes, we get so caught up in trying to find Christ or peace in our lives that we truly forget how simple it is. All we have to do is open our hearts. He is already there knocking; we just have to let Him in. He wants to "stay in our house."

Today, let us remember that if we truly want to have a relationship with Christ, we don't have to climb a tree or do any super-human thing; we just have to open our hearts and listen for His call to "come down quickly" to encounter Him.

As always, know of my prayers before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+Bishop Schlert


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