Pastor's Desk: 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Welcome everyone and today we have a very inspiring and encouraging Gospel from Luke. In today’s passage he tells the story of Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a Jew but worked as a Tax Collector. That meant he was hated by his fellow Jews and treated as an outcast. Now the reason tax collectors were despised so much is because they were corrupt and worked for the Romans who were the occupying power. The Romans told the Tax Collectors how much they expected from them and if they could wring out more from the poor people, well all the better for themselves, they could keep it. Needless to say, this meant the weakest and most vulnerable in the community became prey to the tax collectors as they made sure they had plenty of money for themselves and at the same time kept the Romans happy. They had no care for the suffering they inflicted on the poor.
Zacchaeus hears that this preacher who he has heard so much about is coming to his village and he is curious to see him. Being a man of small stature he climbs a tree for a better view. To Zacchaeus’ surprise, Jesus calls out his name and says he must visit his home this evening. This is a big no for the Jews of Jesus’ time. As a public sinner, tax collectors are to be shunned and anyone who mingles in their company is also made “unclean” and therefore unable to take part in Jewish rituals. For the people gathered to hear Jesus, this is a sign he is not a prophet because he should know who this man is and his reputation.
But something strange happens; Zacchaeus seizes the opportunity to change the direction of his life and declares: “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.” Jesus tells the crowd that salvation has come to his house this day.
The experience of Zacchaeus is a reminder to all of us that it is always possible to turn our lives around. We have the freedom to change and become better people if we wish to do so. So those aspects of our personality we dislike; our anger to our loved ones, dependency on drink or drugs, living a life of crime, can all be changed and left behind. Jesus offers us the same opportunity he offered to Zacchaeus.
Have a great week.
Church Notices: 31st October 2010
- Tomorrow Monday, 1st November, is the Feast of ALL SAINTS. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Please note carefully the Mass times for the Feast are 10.00am, 12.30pm and 7.30pm. Please note: The Parish Office will be closed on Monday for the Holy Day and also there will be no Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
- Tuesday is the Feast of ALL SOULS. Whilst it is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is still a very important feast when we pray in our Mass for our deceased loved ones. Mass will be at the usual weekday time of 10.00am.
- The Altar List of the Dead: All names on the Altar List will be remembered at our Masses during November and at all Masses on the First Friday’s right through the year. There is a special box in which to place your Altar List at the top of the church near the Sacristy door. Spare Altar List envelopes are available at the doors of the church.
- Our Annual Mass of Remembrance for all those who died in the parish this past year will be celebrated this coming Friday, 5th November at 7.30pm. All are invited to attend but a special invitation has been sent to all the bereaved families.
- The new boxes of envelopes for the Family Offering Collection begin next weekend. Collectors should call to the Sacristy today to take away the boxes for their area.
- The annual clothing appeal on behalf of the St. Vincent DePaul takes place over these weekends. Plastic sacks are being distributed after all Masses today. They will be collected after all Masses next Sunday.
- Focus Ireland Gate Collection takes place this Sunday to help prevent people becoming, remaining or returning to homelessness through the provision of quality services, supported housing and advocacy.
- Howth Cemetery Mass will take place in Church of the Assumption, Howth next Sunday 7th November at 3pm followed by the Annual Blessing of the Graves in St. Mary’s & Old Abbey Cemetery.
- If your group has an article for the next edition of Trinity News or you would like to advertise in the Newsletter, please contact the Parish Office this week.