ROUGH CUTS| He came to find and save the lost

TODAY is Sunday, the 30th day of the month and the 5th Sunday for October. It is also the beginning of the 31st week of the ordinary times of the Roman Catholic Church calendar.

     The First Reading for today is taken from the Wisdom of Solomon (WS) Chapter 11:22-12:2. Meanwhile, today’s Gospel is culled from Luke Chapter 19:1-10.

     Under sub-caption God Is Powerful and Merciful the First reading says:

     22 In your sight the whole world is a grain of sand, barely heavy enough to tip a pair of scales, a drop of dew on the ground in the morning.

     23 You are powerful enough to do anything, but you are merciful to everyone; you overlooked our sins and give us time to repent. 24 You love everything that exists; you do not despise anything that you have made. If you had not liked it, you would not have made it in the first place.

     25 How could anything last, if you did not want it to? How could it endure, if you had not created it? 26 You have allowed it all to exist, O Lord, because it is yours, and you love every living thing.

     Proceeding to Chapter 12 it adds:

     1 Your immortal spirit is in every one of them, 2 and so you gently correct those who sin against you.

You remind them of what they are doing, and warn them about it, so that they may abandon their evil ways and put their trust in you, Lord.

     Meanwhile, today’s Gospel from Luke Chapter 19 under caption Jesus and Zacchaeus says:

     1 Jesus went on into Jericho and was passing through. 2 There was a chief tax collector there named Zacchaeus, who was rich.

     3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was a little man and could not see Jesus because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way.

     5 When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to Zacchaeus, “Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today.”

     6 Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed him with great joy. 7 All the people who saw it started grumbling. “This man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner!”

     8 Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Listen, sir! I will give half my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times as much.”

     9 Jesus said to him, “Salvation has come to this house today, for this man, also, is a descendant of Abraham. 10 The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”


     And lifting from a compilation of biblical quotes by our good friend Mong Robillo he has these from Mathew which we find relevant in today’s Christian society.

     For all their posturings and pedantry the Pharisees and Scribes combined were no match for our Lord. They were exposed by Jesus for what they really were – just a bunch of hypocrites who served no other purpose than being a burden on the people.

     Our Lord however, did not employ His wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures to discredit the Scribes and the Pharisees. Even if it was clear to all that He had the moral ascendancy over them. He still exhorted the people to accord them the obedience due their office saying, “The Scribes and Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you…” but in the same breath our Lord cautioned them, “…but do not follow their example.” Why? Because according to Jesus, they did not practice what they preached. “All their works are performed to be seen.” And then Jesus gave one of the most beautiful words of divine truth in the Holy Scriptures: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

     As a reflection on these prior quotes from Mathew by our good friend Mong “speaks eloquently about many things that leaders of our community may find very useful in the course of their service to the Lord.”

     They have to ask themselves whether they lead by example; and who are they trying to please? Or are they only after the recognition of their talents?

     To summarize it all:

     If we seek life’s recognition

     We’ll forfeit God’s invitation;

     What we invest in charity

     We shall reap in eternity.

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