Lectionary Reflections: Thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time [c] October 30, 2016

Engaging Faith | Thu, Nov 17, 2016

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Education for Justice

Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]

October 30, 2016


Wisdom 11:2-12:2

2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2

Luke 19:1-10



October 31: Halloween

November: Black Catholic History Month

November 1: Feast of All Saints

November 2: Feast of All Souls

November 2: International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

November 6: Daylight Savings Time ends in most places in the U.S.

November 8: Election Day in the U.S.



There is a growing awareness of the sublime dignity of human persons, who stand above all things and whose rights and duties are universal and inviolable. They ought, therefore, to have ready access to all that is necessary for living a genuinely human life: for example, food, clothing, housing, ... the right to education, and work... 

— Vatican II, The Church in the Modern World, 26

Because God is the creator, redeemer, lover of the world, God’s own honor is at stake in human happiness.  Wherever human beings are violated, diminished, or have their life drained away, God’s glory is dimmed and dishonored.  Wherever human beings are quickened to fuller and richer life, God’s glory is enhanced.  A community of justice and peace (thriving among human beings) and God’s glory increase in direct and not inverse proportion.

— Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J., She Who Is, 14

Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity. 

— Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 240

At this time of crisis, it is important not to become closed in on oneself, but rather to be open and attentive towards others.

— Pope Francis, 25 April 2013

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.

— Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 246


Thoughts for Your Consideration

Today’s reading from the Book of Wisdom reminds us that God’s “imperishable spirit is in all things.” Catholic Social Teaching affirms the dignity of every human person.  “Every human person is created in the image and likeness of God and has an inviolable dignity, value, and worth, regardless of race, gender, class, wealth, or other characteristics.”   Catholic Social teaching affirms the goodness of all the creation and our commitment to respect that creation.

In the gospel today, Jesus affirms the worth and goodness of God in a concrete human person, Zacchaeus of Jericho. 

As a tax collector for the Roman oppressors, Zacchaeus makes lots of money but understandably seems to be respected or honored by no one in the town.  Jesus does not ignore this man whom so many people dislike. Jesus does not start out by condemning his behavior.  Jesus does not start out by exhorting him to change his behavior.  Jesus simply begins by treating him as a human being – by acknowledging his existence and coming to his house for dinner.  The next thing we know, Zacchaeus is changed.  He returns money to those who have been cheated.  He gives to the poor.  Salvation comes to him and his household.

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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