Year C: 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Wisdom 11: 22 - 12: 2
The link between the First Reading and the Gospel is the infinite mercy of God.
To God, the whole earth is like no more than a grain of dust - a drop of morning dew - and yet, it exists because God loves it. Had God not loved it, He would not have made it.
This seems obvious - but it is very easy to forget especially when we are dealing with Godís judgement and correction. Then, it is very easy to fall into the trap of believing in a vengeful God - with a big black book in which He records our every sin - with a view to exacting punishment. The fact is that God made us because He loved us. If God did not love us, He would not have made us. But God made us for perfection - and our own selfishness and stubbornness often lead us to look after our own interests with little thought about how it accords with Godís Law or about how it affects other people.
We need to be reminded of these things - and brought back to an awareness of what we are doing. As it goes against our own desires, we feel it as punishment - and, like children, think it is unfair. Why should we behave better than anybody else? Why canít we do what everybody else does? As many parents will have said - and many children will have heard - that may be alright for everybody else - but itís not how we expect you to behave - you know better.
Even as adults and even when it is God reminding us that we know better, we donít generally respond to that any better than children! But like good parents with their children, God perseveres with us. Like Jesus with Zacchaeus, God knows the good in us and seeks to draw it out - and His correction is for our perfection.
What does it mean for me?
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