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The Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

‘The Goal of Personal Salvation”

October 30, 2016



Sometimes we feel as if we just don’t know what to do.  Problems seem insurmountable - problems at work, family problems, financial problems, health problems - and we just can’t find the answers that will make everything all right.  We don’t even know where to start!


Perhaps we cry out to God and say, “Lord, I need some direction!  Show me what to do!”  Maybe it is out of faith, or maybe out of desperation.  Actually, it doesn’t matter.  The Lord promises to hear our cries, wherever they come from.  And He promises answers to those who seek them.  “You will find Me when you search for Me with your whole heart.”  (Jeremiah 29: 13) 


This is the starting point to finding answers from the Lord, the first thing we can know to do: to look to Him, to try and see Him.  We learn this from today’s Gospel reading, the story of Zaccheus, the man who was wealthy from ill-gotten gains.  In spite of his riches something was still missing from His life, for he resorted to extreme action, risking humiliation and even injury, to achieve his goal of seeing Jesus.  Obviously money had not satisfied his desires in life, and he wanted to know why!


Immediately he learned something very amazing: that Jesus knew him, his situation, and the answer to his problem; for Jesus called him by name, even though He was not a frequent visitor to Jericho, and had probably never met Zaccheus personally.  Imagine what effect this realization had on this tax collector!  Imagine further, when Jesus invited Himself to Zaccheus’ house for lunch!


And it is at this point where Zaccheus found that he knew what he needed to do.  He, the lost son of Abraham, needed to take action, change, and make payback.  Jesus never told him that this is what he should do; it came from the mouth of Zaccheus.  Once the Lord revealed Himself to Zaccheus, the answers came right away!  He knew within himself the path to take, the right thing to do, the way to correct his situation.


And so it is with us.  When we are experiencing a drought of answers and solutions, as we turn to the Lord we receive His comfort given through the prophet Isaiah, “And your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.’”  (Isaiah 30: 21)


We, like Zaccheus, can know with assurance the right response to our situations, for the answer was right there with Jesus the whole time.  Once we see this, salvation is on the way to our house!


Marilie Thurman

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