Wednesday 30 October 2013

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Some people are physically short. When they talk to others, they often need to look up so that the other party can not only hear what they have to say, but also get cues from their facial and bodily expression. Some people are emotionally short. They feel as if they are not good, not important, not capable, etc., and they try to attain wealth and power to compensate their low self-esteem. Other people may be spiritually short. They feel as if God is not caring or loving enough, and some think God has abandoned them, especially when prayers are continuously unanswered or when they are faced with a crisis.

Zaccheaus in today's Gospel appears, to a certain extend, to fit in these 3 categories. He is not only physically short, but possible feeling small both emotionally and spiritually, on how he sees himself and how he perceived others seeing him. Zaccheaus climbed the sycamore tree so that he could see Jesus. By doing so, he thought he could place himself at a same or higher level with others. We too may have done this at times through various means, hoping that people would accept and respect us. But by doing so, like Zaccheaus, we may only experience more rejection or alienation.

People did not bother about Zaccheaus, but Jesus did. Jesus called Zaccheaus to come down from his tree of insecurity and unites him back to the community. By doing so, Jesus helped Zaccheaus to experience God's love and restore his dignity. When we sin, we may feel that we have lost our dignity and acceptance in our community. We may feel ashamed and inadequate, and may have made and continue to make mistakes. But God still love us, and wants us to come back to Him. The question is: are we willing to humbly and joyfully accept and dwell in His love?

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