Monthly Scripture Reflection
“To see who Jesus was.”
In November’s first Sunday reading, Zacchaeus wanted to know about Jesus. He really wanted to know. So, he climbed a tree so he could at least see him passing by. What would we do to know Jesus better?
But, of course, we already know Jesus. He’s the Son of God, our Redeemer who died for our sins, and—and—and. Oh yes. He taught and he preached and he healed—and he loved his friends—and he ate with sinners. Zacchaeus was a sinner, who met Jesus and wound up giving half his vast possessions to the poor. And to those he had cheated in any way he would repay fourfold. Is that what comes from really knowing Jesus?
Well, yes. Remember that Jesus started his first Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, a new way of examining our behavior. As the church year ends, how are we doing? Because we read now that difficult times are coming. St. Paul in his Epistle to the Thessalonians alludes to “the day of the Lord” as a judgement time to dread. Jesus himself sounds warnings to his apostles as he knows his time with them is coming to an end. In St. Luke’s Gospel he alerts them to beware deceivers who claim to speak in his name. Then there will come wars and insurrections, plus earthquakes, famine and plagues. People will hate you, and there will be persecutions. Our beliefs will be challenged, but Jesus promised to give us “wisdom in speaking,” so that adversaries cannot win against us. ”By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” On All Saints Day we hear again in St. Matthew’s Gospel what we have to do to be included among those whom Jesus called “Blessed are they . . . .” We find out from Revelation that the multitude of saints are from “every nation, race, people and tongue.” And on All Souls Day we learn that they achieved heaven because “God tried them and found them worthy.” In St. John’s Gospel Jesus promised, “I will not reject anyone who comes to me.”
All this leads us to the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe. 2nd Samuel relates how Jesus’ forbear David was chosen by the Lord to “shepherd my people,” and the elders anointed him King of Israel. Now Paul in Colossians tells us to thank the Father for accepting us as “fit to share in the inheritance” and transferred us “to the Kingdom of his beloved Son.
So, will we be found worthy? Are we “poor in spirit,” knowing that all we have comes from God as Wisdom reminded us the first week? Do we respond to the needs of our neighbors—being comforting, kind and merciful, seeking peaceful relationships and loving our enemies, sharing of our abundance? What would you need to “climb” to get to know Jesus better—-and to act like it? To be a good fit in his Kingdom?
“The Lord shall be their King forever.”
Wisdom 3: 8
Terry Schulte, MASL