From the Pastor’s Desk | October 30, 2022 | Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Now there was a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.”
~ Luke 17:2-3
Brothers and Sisters,
We’ve all experienced those uncomfortable moments in life. Perhaps we’ve found the perfect seats, with a great view – in the theater, stadium, or maybe even Church. Then a tall person sits right in front of us, blocking our view (and trust me, as a taller person, I’m usually aware of my propensity to block a view. Sometimes, I even slump down in my seat a bit for the benefit of whoever is behind me).
In the Gospel of Luke, before encountering Zacchaeus, Jesus hears a blind man’s plea, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The crowds try to silence the man, but Jesus heals him, acknowledging his faith. Zacchaeus, though is far from innocent. Using blindness as a literary device, the evangelist Luke challenges the reader to see the cause of the tax collector’s spiritual blindness. When Luke describes Zacchaeus as “short in stature,” he is not so much concerned with his physical height but his lack of character due to an excessive focus on flexing his influence and building wealth.
But let’s not overlook the crowd’s obtuse contribution! They don’t have the ability to see clearly, either, missing the possibility of redemption before their very eyes. Let us take this as an opportunity to reflect on our blind spots and where they orgionate. As members of the Body of Christ, we must be a source of mercy, honoring everyone’s intrinsic worth, and helping our neighbors develop a relationship with the Lord that will ultimately restore our shared community. So, let’s recommit ourselves as a parish to be mindful of how our perceptions might place limits on others, not forgetting to praise the Lord for the ways each of us has served as ministers of the Lord and conduits of grace.
As faithful citizens, one way we can be a source of encouragement is by exercising our right to vote. Let us call upon the Holy Spirit that our vote might support the growth of a just and peaceful society. The Maryland Catholic Conference has compiled answers from those running for election at www.mdcatholic.org to assist you in deciding how to vote this election season. Election day is Tuesday, November 8 – although early voting centers are open until Thursday, November 3.
The celebration of All Saints acknowledges whom the Lord calls us to be and promises his help to achieve. Join us for this holy day of obligation as we celebrate the Mass on Monday, October 31, at 7 pm and Tuesday, November 1, at 8:15 am and 5 pm. The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, or All Souls, reminds us as the Body of Christ of the call to intercede for the deceased, both our loved ones and all who are in purgatory awaiting the glory of heaven. Join us on Wednesday, November 2, for Mass at 8:15 am and 5 pm. Our Parish staff and I will be participating in an All Soul’s Novena beginning November 2 and ending November 10; if you would like us to pray for a deceased loved one, please visit https://olphparish.org/all-souls-novena/. And finally, all are invited to join us on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 pm at St. Mary’s Cemetery, located on Ilchester Rd, a short distance from the Parish, as we offer a special blessing for those laid to rest under our care.
In the Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett