November 15, 2022
by Tamora Whitney
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 498

Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22
Psalm 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5
Luke 19:1-10

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Preparing for Advent
Praying Advent Home Page

I know today’s first reading is talking about the church. The church looks like it is alive, but if the people are not active and engaged, if they do not have the Holy Spirit, even if the church looks alive it is really dead. But I want to talk more personally about life and death today. I’ve talked here before about how I’ve taken care of my mother since she had a debilitating stroke several years ago, and she died last month.

After her stroke she was paralyzed on her right side and she couldn’t walk and, more frustrating, she couldn’t talk. The doctors said then that she would not live long since the stroke was so severe.  She was bedridden and housebound and she couldn’t really communicate. But she was not dead then. She was alive and knew everything and knew what she wanted, but she couldn’t express it. She lived for an amazing twelve years like that. Jesus says, “I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.” Even after Mother went into home hospice, last year, and we thought it might be any time, it was ten months after that when she died. We do not know the hour, even when we think we do. I was very glad I had more time with my mother than expected. I am also glad she died peacefully in her sleep and now is no longer in pain and is whole again.

In the Gospel a short man called Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus, but he is too short to see over the crowd. I can relate to that. I too am short of stature and can never see the parade or the movie when there are tall people in front of me. Zacchaeus climbs a tree and gets the attention of Jesus who changes Zach’s life in this encounter. Jesus calls to him, and Zacchaeus answers the call. He welcomes Jesus into his home and more importantly into his heart. The churches need to answer the call and the people need to answer the call before it’s too late.

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