The Greatness of the Lord is Mercy on All

Reflection for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Director of Advocacy, Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF

This reflection was originally posted in our October 28th newsletter

I cannot help but wonder what must have been in Zacchaeus’ heart to prod him to make a fool of himself, a grown man, to climb a tree in order to take a glance at Jesus passing by. Don’t we wish sometimes that we too may have the freshness of his enthusiasm for Jesus? Zacchaeus was on the way to conversion. He was moved by what he heard about Jesus and he wanted to see and hear for himself. He was not disappointed; Jesus invited himself to his house, to the utter confusion and disbelief of the people who thought they knew how to deal with a “sinner.”

The reading from the Book of Wisdom this week can help us once more to grasp how God deals with Zacchaeus, with us, and with the whole universe. “Before the Lord the whole universe is as a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.” (Wis 11:22-23)

Pope Francis says, “I think — and I say it with humility — that this is the Lord’s most powerful message: mercy.” To help us reflect on mercy he designated 2016 as the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Mercy is the language that God speaks and Jesus showed it to us. We see it at work with Zacchaeus. Jesus sat at the table with him, and listened to him and the future plans he had for his life, letting salvation flow in him.

How do we deal with sisters and brothers sinners like us? Do we believe that, like for Zacchaeus, there is always a way to redemption, that it is always possible to start anew, to raise ourselves up?

We seem to live in a mean world, a selfish world, where thinking of myself and what I get out of a given situation for my own benefit and self-aggrandizement, look like the norm. There appears to be very little space for mercy, including in our incarceration and immigration systems.

Yet, if we want to live a life worthy to be called life, and live in the kind of nation we proclaim to be, we need to heed to the words of Psalm 145 and use them as our guide: “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.”

Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF
FAN Director of Advocacy

Published in: on October 29, 2019 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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