Faith · Religious life · spirituaility

October 30th – Receive with Joy

Scripture Refection . . .

First Reading: Wisdom 11:22-12:2

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145

Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2

Gospel: Luke 19:1-10

The Gospel recounts Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus. Zacchaeus, being “short in stature” climbs a tree so he can catch sight of Jesus amidst the crowd. Zacchaeus is also described as a “chief tax collector.” So I guess you could say he had 2 things against him, being short and having a despised profession. However when Jesus calls him down out of the tree, Zacchaeus didn’t shrink back in shame or fear but rather he “received him with joy.”

Perhaps Zacchaeus is more acutely aware of the God we read of in the Book of Wisdom then we might think him,”Before the Lord the whole universe is as a grain from a balance or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.”

In his encounter with Jesus Zacchaeus must have experienced such an overwhelming sense of love and mercy because the next thing we know he is vowing to give half of his possessions to the poor and to repay four times anyone he has swindled.

God longs that we have fullness of life and lovingly and compassionately draws us towards this fullness. In the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul prayers “that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose. . .”
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Like Zacchaeus let us believe this Good News of God’s unconditional love and mercy so we can receive God into our lives with joy rather than fear or shame.

In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer . . .

This past week we experienced joy as we participated in the blessing of a new ministry in what was once our main headquarters in the. United States. We celebrated the transformation of a building and the coming to reality of a vision.

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Several of our older Sisters received a bit of joy with a little Oktoberfest celebration featuring German food, music, and surprise guests (Sr. Ana and Redeemer Ministry Corps member Anna). The joy was reciprocated.

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Local Second Grade students visited our school garden for the last time this season. Their openness and wonder fills us with joy.

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Sr. Maryanne and several Redeemer Associates attended a local gathering with Associates of several other religious congregations. They returned with much joy over the good news received.

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Finally, receiving joy as our three Redeemer Ministry Corps members hosted a Halloween party as this weekend comes to a close. Thank you!

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In Your Life . . .

This Gospel reading provides an opportunity to use your imagination in prayer – a form of prayer made popular by St. Ignatias of Loyola.

Read the passage over slowly – out loud if it helps. Then allow yourself to imagine the scene: the location, the crowd, the tree, Jesus, Zacchaeus. Imagine you are part of the story. Who are you? Someone in the crowd? Zacchaeus? Jesus?

allow yourself time to be there – to notice, to listen.

What insight have you received? What does God want to share with you?

Receive it with joy and gratitude.

Blessings on your week!

 

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