Daily Readings for Mass.
(Liturgical Calendar for Ireland, 2019)

03 November. 31st Sunday (C)

1st Reading: Wisdom 11:22-12:2

Wisdom makes us humble in God's presence

In your sight, Lord, the whole world is like a grain of dust that tips the scales, like a drop of morning dew falling on the ground. Yet you are merciful to all, because you can do all things and overlook men's sins so that they can repent. Yes, you love all that exists, you hold nothing of what made in abhorrence, for had you hated anything, you would not have formed it. And how, had you not willed it, could a thing persist, how be conserved if not called forth by you? You spare all things because all things are yours, Lord, lover of life, you whose imperishable sprit is in all. Little by little, therefore, you correct those who offend, you admonish and remind them of how they have sinned so that they may abstain from evil and trust in you Lord.

Psalm 144:1-2, 8-11, 13-14

Response: I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God

I will give you glory, O God my King,
 I will bless your name for ever.
I will bless you day after day
  and praise your name for ever. (R./)

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
 slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
  compassionate to all his creatures (R./)

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
  and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
  and declare your might, O God. (R./)

The Lord is faithful in all his words
  and loving in all hid deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall
  and raises all who are bowed down. (R./)

2nd Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:11--2:2

Warning against being too alarmed about the Day of the Lord

We always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here.

Gospel: Luke 19:1-10

Jesus dines with Zacchaeus, searching for what was lost

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner." Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much." Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."


Letting Jesus find us

There is a powerful saying in today's Gospel explains what Jesus was about and throw light on many other stories about him. His goal and purpose was always "to seek out and save what was lost." Applying this to ourselves, the best way to be saved is to trust in him, and let ourselves be found by Jesus, just as Zacchaeus was.

To be found by Jesus meant that the wealthy tax-collecter, Zacchaeus, had to lose much of his self-importance. He set aside his dignity by climbing up the sycamore tree, and then promised to hand over much of his wealth in order to pay back those he had defrauded. On the other hand, Jesus set aside his dignity as rabbi and a man of God by going to dinner with such a notorious sinner. Zacchaeus, after all, was chief tax collector in that city, and had made himself very wealthy at the expense of the pilgrims who passed through Jericho on their way to festivals at Jerusalem.

When Jesus came to the sycamore tree, he looked up and called Zacchaeus, "Hurry on down!" -- for he had seen that the man was ready for a change of heart. Indeed, the conversion of Zacchaeus brought such joy not only to himself but to everyone around him, that Jesus could regard his visit to Jericho as a great success. Truly, "the Son of Man has come to search out and save what was lost."

Found by Jesus

Whatever faults Zacchaeus may have had, he certainly took trouble to look for Jesus. This wealthy tax-collector from Jericho wanted to see what kind of man Jesus was. In this search, he was prepared, quite literally, to go out on a limb, the leafy branch of a tree. This would have been a rather undignified situation for a man of his status. Zaccaeus goes to extravagant lengths to see Jesus, to come to know him. In the process he discovered that the one he was searching for was also searching for him. "Come down, for I must stay at your house today," said Jesus.

From his perch in the sycamore tree, Zacchaeus was amazed to be called to share a dinner with Jesus. When he opened his house to Jesus and spoke of reforming his life, he received a greater hospitality in return, a welcome back to community. "Today, salvation has come to his house, because this man too is a son of Abraham." There was room in God's house for Zacchaeus, as there is for all of us. Jesus welcomed him, in spite of his past. As in the case of Zacchaeus, our searching for God is preceded by God's search for us. Whenever we seek the presence of Jesus, he is already there, willing to share and dine with us.


Saint Malachy of Armagh, bishop

Máel Máedóc or Malachy (1094-1148) was the first native born Irish canonised saint. He became abbot of Bangor, in 1123, later bishop of Down and Connor, and primate of Armagh (1132). In 1139 he journeyed to Rome, visiting Saint Bernard at Clairvaux, where he found monks for the first Cistercian Abbey in Ireland, (Mellifont, 1142.) In 1148 Malachy set off for Rome a second time, but fell ill at Clairvaux and died there. Portions of his relics were sent to Ireland in 1194 and kept at Mellifont and other Cistercian abbeys.