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Ordinary Time: October 30th

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

MASS READINGS

October 30, 2022 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time: Almighty and merciful God, by whose gift your faithful offer you right and praiseworthy service, grant, we pray, that we may hasten without stumbling to receive the things you have promised. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

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Entrance Antiphon, Cf. Ps 38 (37):22-23:

Forsake me not, O Lord, my God; be not far from me! Make haste and come to my help, O Lord, my strong salvation!


Gospel Verse, Year C, Jn 3:16:

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.


Gospel Excerpt, Lk 19:1-10:

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, “Zaccheus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy.


Communion Antiphon, Cf. Ps 16 (15):11:

You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, O Lord.


Sunday Readings, Year C:
The First Reading is taken from the book of Wisdom 11:22, 12:2. The author of Wisdom says that although the whole universe is like a grain of dust compared with God who created it, yet he loves all the things which he has created. It is he who preserves all creation, he who forgives the sins of men, his spirit is in every creature.

The Second Reading is from the Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians 1:11, 2:2. Having encouraged the Thessalonians to persevere in their Christian faith, thus giving glory to God and Christ, St. Paul tells them not to consider that the end of the world and the second coming of Christ in glory to judge the world, is near at hand. This idea had in some way become fairly widespread among the converts and some of them just sat idly waiting for Christ's coming, refusing to do any work. Such behavior was condemned by Paul who told the offenders to work and earn their daily bread.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 19: 1-10. Zacchaeus's interest in seeing what Jesus was like was caused by something more than idle curiosity. Unknown to him, the grace of God was working within him. He thought that he just wanted to see what Jesus was like. Jesus knew already what Zacchaeus was like and intended to see him and save him from his downward rush after earthly wealth. He would offer him eternal riches. This is exactly what happened. Jesus entered the home and heart of Zacchaeus that day, and not only the home and heart of Zachaeus, but of his whole household. From that day Jesus had devoted followers in Jericho, and Christianity had a strong foothold in that ancient city.

We cannot have the slightest doubt that God wants us all in heaven. Neither can we doubt that he is sending out calls to us when we wander foolishly off the right road. Unfortunately for ourselves, we can refuse to listen to these calls. We can turn a deaf ear to God's offer of mercy and grace. If we do, one of our greatest sources of sorrow and regret in our future life, will be that, while we still had a chance to repent, our stupid stubbornness made us refuse to listen to our loving Father's calls to repentance.

Zacchaeus was not so stubborn or so foolish. The story of his conversion is put before us today, not as a matter of historical interest, but as a matter of vital spiritual interest. We are all sinners to a greater or lesser degree. Jesus is approaching each one of us today by means of this very lesson which we have read. Let each one of us try to see what Jesus is like. He is a loving brother who died that we might live, a fellowman who suffered tortures that we might have eternal joy. He was also the Son of God, the God of infinite love. At the same time, let Jesus see us as we really are. Let us expose and confess to him all our earthly weaknesses and injustices against God and neighbor. He will find a remedy for us. He will put us back once more on the straight road to heaven. Today, salvation will come to us and to our house. We will become again true sons of Abraham, true heirs to heaven.

—Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.