Sunday, October 31, 2010

Worthy of His Calling

October 31, 2010
Thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

Indeed, before you 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 the sins of men that they may repent. Wisdom 11:22-23

To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. Luke 19:5-6

“Zacchaeus, come down” is an invitation of the Lord to all of us. The Lord sees every effort we put out to find him. I imagine Zacchaeus as a very dignified man. A tax collector has a position of responsibility. He is disliked because of his job to collect taxes for Rome. He is considered a traitor to his people because he is working for the oppressors. Yet he wanted to have a clear vision of Christ. He is small of stature and thus not able to see over the heads of the crowd. Jesus intended to pass through the town until he saw the effort Zacchaeus put on to be able to see him. Jesus comes to Zacchaeus just as he would come to us for the efforts we put out to be close to Christ. What I do in my life that might seem foolish to my world come alive with meaning if that is how I am searching for Christ. Christ makes a big thing out of the littlest thing I would do to be closer to him.

We study how to be closer to Christ each day of our lives by the Examen of Consciousness of Christ ( in our days. The practice is called the Examen. We check out before we go to sleep what God was doing in our lives through Christ. Christ is the deeper level of meaning in everything we do in our love for one another. Our piety is how we live our lives in Christ. Our study of how Christ is in our day reveals the mystical of our day. How Christ is in everything we do can never be taken for granted. We find more of his presence in our lives by looking for him. When we see movements of his closeness we offer gratitude to the Lord. Then we look for ways to improve our awareness of what he is doing for us. Seeing him there makes us move heaven and earth to come closer to him. We regret the moments we missed him. We promise to do better. How we plan to do better is the particular Examen.

The best of all our actions of the day is our prayer. Prayer is more than words. We are Contemplatives in Action when we realize that everything we do is for the Lord. Christ came to spread the good news that God loves us. We identify with the love of Christ when we are reaching out to the last and the least of our fiends. What we do for the needy Christ takes as done for himself. How we love the Christ that is in the hungry, the naked, the sick, the prisoner, the homeless is found in anything and all that we would do to alleviate the suffering of the unfortunate in our world. It might be just a prayer that someone else reach out to the person we are unable to help. Christ comes to save the lost. What we do in his name makes us Christ to our world. Thus the name of our Lord Jesus is glorified in us and we in Christ in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.