Overcoming Obstacles

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Readings for Today

Saint Martin de Porres, Religious—Optional Memorial

Phillip Medhurst

“Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.”  Luke 19:5

Zacchaeus was up a tree.  Why?  Practically speaking, he was up a tree because he was short and he wanted to see Jesus as Jesus passed by.  But the symbolism reveals far greater meaning.

The first thing we must note is that Zacchaeus was a wealthy and well respected man.  In the eyes of the world he was successful.  But despite his wealth, it appears there was something missing.  He heard about Jesus and desired to know Him.  This passage is fascinating because it must have been an unusual sight to see a wealthy and successful man climbing a tree in the presence of a large crowd.  In fact, it was so unusual that Jesus immediately noticed it.

Jesus also noticed Zacchaeus because of something far more significant than a grown man climbing a tree.  Zacchaeus was noticed by Jesus primarily because Jesus was able to perceive the desire and openness of his heart.  Zacchaeus, this wealthy and successful man, was missing something and he was zealous to obtain it.  He longed for Jesus and this desire is fulfilled by the compassion of our Lord.

Regardless of whether or not you are “successful” from a worldly point of view, it’s essential that you, too, recognize the unfulfilled desire of your heart.  That “unfulfilled desire” refers to any way that God is not fully the center of your life.  Some people try to fulfill this desire in many worldly ways.  But those who are like Zacchaeus will realize that Jesus is the answer.  And when someone recognizes this fact, they will go to any length necessary to see Him and be with Him.

Reflect, today, upon a simple question: How far am I willing to go to see Jesus?  Are you willing to do anything you have to so as to see Him, hear Him and be with Him?  It may take an act of humility and you may have to act in a radical way.  Doing so will call out to the heart of our Lord and He will respond to you with much generosity just as He did to Zacchaeus.

Lord, I desire to choose You above all things.  May I never be drawn to the things of this world more than I am drawn to You.  Increase my desire for You and give me the courage I need to be faithful to You always.  I love You, dear Lord.  Please increase my love.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Saint of the Day – Saint Martin de Porres, Religious

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