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But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
Thirty-Third Week of Ordinary Time: Nov.17 - 23, 2013
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Thirty-Third Week of Ordinary Time
Being prepared for the coming of the Kingdom and not being side-tracked by false claims of Jesus' presence are keys to Luke's Gospel for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. Jesus says, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.
Thursday is the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Friday is the Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr.
In this next to the last week of the Liturgical Year, we read from the First Book of Maccabees. These books are about the revolt against Jewish persecution a little over a century before Christ. The Maccabees are presented as a family that is faithful to the law in the midst of this persecution. Their witness is inspiring today.
We have wonderful stories from Luke’s Gospel this week as Jesus moves toward and enters Jerusalem for the end of his ministry. Jesus heals the blind beggar near Jericho. The man immediately “followed him, giving glory to God.” Then Jesus meets Zacchaeus who is up in a tree - because he was short, but probably also because he’s a tax collector and was nervous about being caught in a zealous crowd. Jesus transforms him by inviting himself to Zacchaeus’ house for dinner. Near Jerusalem, Jesus tells a parable of a rejected king and servants who use the gifts given them faithfully. In Jerusalem, Jesus weeps over the city, foreseeing the destruction that is coming, “because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Entering the temple, Jesus drives out the old way of doing business and begins his ministry. He silences the Sadducees, over their doubt about resurrection from the dead.
Sunday is the Thirty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time and the last week of the liturgical year. As always on this last Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. The readings remind us of God's faithfulness to us as he promises to shepherd the people of Israel. In Luke's Gospel we are taken to the crucifixion and Jesus being mocked as “King of the Jews.” The man crucified next to him asks Jesus to remember him when he gets into his Kingdom. Jesus replies, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Daily Prayer This Week
We can easily spend this week asking for the grace to use the gifts we’ve been given. We want to recognize that we have gifts, and that they are, in fact, gifts. We didn’t “earn” them; we were entrusted with them. We can reflect upon the potential each gift has and how we might develop and use each gift we have more completely - in loving, in making a difference on behalf of the poor in our world.
Each morning this week, as soon as our feet hit the floor, and while we are washing up and getting dressed, we can have our own version of the following brief conversations with our Lord. These simple prayers can shape our desiring throughout the day, as these longings in our heart grow deeper and interact with the events, encounters and opportunities in our lives.
“Dear Lord, throughout this day, help me count the ways you love me.” “Lord, thank you for being so generous to me. I forget the gifts you have given me. Be with me today, so that I might be grateful and use my gifts well.” “Loving Father, today I’m grateful for my parents, for the opportunities I’ve had up to this day, and for the special privilege this day brings to serve my family and to try to make a difference in this world. Be with me and keep me hopeful and patient, generous and free today.” “Dear Jesus, I spend too much time in a tree, above the conflicts, keeping myself pretty safe. Give me the courage of your presence with me today, so that I might take more risks in loving. There are going to be some hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and imprisoned people crossing my path today. Guide me in loving better. The cry of the poor in our world seems so overwhelming. Help me listen better and imagine what I might do to make a difference, with your help.”
Each night, with these prayers in our hearts all day, we can easily give thanks for the experience we were given of intimacy with our God in the midst of our busy days.
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