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Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

29 October 2022

Reflecting on Lk. 19:1-10

It’s that gorgeous time of year again, and our street is the most jaw-dropping parade of golds and reds in town. This morning, without thinking, I just stopped walking and looked up into this shimmer of yellow. I don’t know how long I stood under that tree. It’s as if I were hypnotized by color. I sang to myself the beginning of Psalm 19: The skies declare the glory of the Lord, and the earth proclaims God’s handiwork. Day by day they pour forth speech to declare the knowledge of the Lord.

I  don’t suppose they had the kind of autumns in Jericho that we have, given that it’s not only the oldest city on earth, but, at an elevation of 864 feet below sea level, also the lowest. But the sycamore-fig tree that Zaccheus climbed was probably rich in fruit, which made it a popular destination for the whole city. But it wasn’t the fruit that caught Jesus’ eye, but the tenderness of someone so broken, and so longing, that he had shimmied up a tree to see him whom his heart already loved.

There’s a connection here, I think. In gazing at our silver maple trees this time of year we are gazing at death, in its stunning disguise of cherry-red leaves. Zaccheus, his pockets lined with gold, was dying too. But some lifesaving instinct made him climb that tree. He turned his eyes upon Jesus, and when Jesus invited himself for dinner, he immediately changed his life. Yes, he was watching for Jesus up in that tree. But  you get the sense that Jesus was on the lookout for him from the start, maybe from the beginning of the world.

Was there a moment when Jesus “saw” you that changed your life?

Kathy McGovern ©2022

Ordinary Time - Cycle C

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