Liturgy of the Sunday

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Thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time


First Reading

Wisdom 11,22-12,2

The whole world, for you, can no more than tip a balance, like a drop of morning dew falling on the ground. Yet you are merciful to all, because you are almighty, you overlook people's sins, so that they can repent. Yes, you love everything that exists, and nothing that you have made disgusts you, since, if you had hated something, you would not have made it. And how could a thing subsist, had you not willed it? Or how be preserved, if not called forth by you? No, you spare all, since all is yours, Lord, lover of life! For your imperishable spirit is in everything! And thus, gradually, you correct those who offend; you admonish and remind them of how they have sinned, so that they may abstain from evil and trust in you, Lord.

Psalmody

Psalm 144

Antiphon

Let us praise your name, O Lord, for ever and ever.

I will give you glory, O God my King,
I will bless your name for ever.

I will bless you day after day
and praise your name for ever.

the Lord is great, highly to be praised,
His greatness cannot be measured.

Age to age shall proclaim your works,
shall declare your mighty deeds,

shall speak to your splendour and glory,
tell the tale of your wonderful works.

They will speak of your terrible deeds,
recount your greatness and might.

They will recall your abundant goodness;
age to age shall ring out your justice.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.

They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God,

to make known to men your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.

Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age.

The Lord is faithful in all in words
and loving in all his deeds.

The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all creatures look to you
and you give them their food in due time.

You open wide your hand
grant the desires of all who live.

The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all his deeds.

He is close to all who call him,
who call on him from their hearts.

He grants the desires of those who fear him,
he hears their cry and he saves them.

The Lord protects all who love him;
but the wicked he will utterly destroy.

Let me speak the praise of the Lord,
let all mankind bless his holy name
for ever, for ages unending.

Second Reading

2 Thessalonians 1,11-2,2

In view of this we also pray continually that our God will make you worthy of his call, and by his power fulfil all your desires for goodness, and complete all that you have been doing through faith; so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in him, by the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. About the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, brothers, and our being gathered to him: please do not be too easily thrown into confusion or alarmed by any manifestation of the Spirit or any statement or any letter claiming to come from us, suggesting that the Day of the Lord has already arrived.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 19,1-10

He entered Jericho and was going through the town and suddenly a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance; he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man. He kept trying to see which Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd; so he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him, 'Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I am to stay at your house today.' And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully. They all complained when they saw what was happening. 'He has gone to stay at a sinner's house,' they said. But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, 'Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.' And Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of man has come to seek out and save what was lost.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

Zacchaeus, intrigued by the enthusiasm of the crowd, would like to see Jesus passing through the city. But, being small in stature, because of the crowd he could not see him. Perhaps the Gospel was not just talking about his physical stature. The crowd, or rather the convulsive and confused climate of the city, does not help to see Jesus. And Zacchaeus is not above this crowd, just as we all are not above or outside the common mentality of the majority. We are all too much on the ground, too preoccupied with ourselves, with our things, to be able to see Jesus passing by. Nor is it enough to just stand on tiptoe, staying where you are. Zacchaeus had to run ahead, get out of the crowd, and climb a tree. And the crowd is not just the one that is outside of us; many times our heart is crowded with thoughts and worries that do not let us go out of ourselves, rather they keep us dominated by and slaves of our self. Yes, there is a crowd in the heart of each of us from which we must leave. When Jesus passed, he looked up and saw Zacchaeus. He immediately said to him: "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today" (v. 5). Zacchaeus "hurried down and was happy to welcome him" (v. 6). The Gospel is in a hurry; in a hurry for the world to change; the Gospel is in a hurry for each of us to live better; it is in a hurry for happiness to expand; it is in a hurry for the weak and the sick to be helped. And if someone says, "But it is hard to change," or "It is almost impossible to transform life around us," Zacchaeus offers us an example. After the encounter with Jesus he changed his attitude and said: "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor" (v. 8). It is a very real trait; he did not say "I will give everything", but "half of my possessions"; that is, it decides a measure and respects it. We could say that he indicates the path of realism in evaluating one's own condition and deciding to start from there to change it. We too, ordinary people, can find our concrete measure and observe it. In this way salvation can enter our life.