Fr. John Ehrich Podcast

The Man In The Tree - 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time

November 3, 2019

A pervading message in our minds is the phrase, "not good enough." A phrase that pops up in our thoughts about other people and especially ourselves. "I am not good enough." It is a damaging thought that can pervade our mentalities due to upbringing, culture, or just our own standard of evaluation. But God has not created anything that is not good. We cannot fully rely on our own judgement about ourselves because the reality is that Christ loves us in all that we are. If we exist, we are loved. We are enough.

The famous "little and despised," Zachaus, a tax collector and an enemy to many people, encounters Jesus in the gospel reading today. It is well-known that because of his job title, many would think very little of him in character and moral standards, because he would have profited personally from the funds he would collect. Though we do not know exactly how Zachaus might have truly viewed himself, we can deduce that he still has an interest in the Messiah - so much so that he climbs a tree to get a better view. It is interesting that Jesus has a mission with Zachaus. He meets Zachaus immediately in friendship, even before Zachaus professes his need to change. He does ask or demand change beforehand. He simply wants to eat dinner with him, (a sinner). What we can take from this interaction is that Christ seeks each of us out personally and independently of what we think we deserve or should be. Despite our limited view, whether we think we are "not enough," or even the worst, God loves us entirely and sees what we can be. Like a loving parent, Jesus is patient and deeply knowing of who we are at our deepest level. We can rest in that love. A love that always abides and even challenges us to invite Christ into our homes and our hearts.