Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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Lectionary: 153
Read the Gospel: Luke 19:1-10

Gospel Summary

Children may know just how Zacchaeus felt in today’s Gospel story. Have you ever lifted your children to your shoulders so they might see over the crowds at a parade, waiting in a long line, or at a local sporting event? Zacchaeus was short and climbed a tree to get a better look at Jesus. Something surely stirred in his heart because it seems that he may have already given some thought to changing. Jesus reached out to Zacchaeus in friendship, and Zacchaeus responded with generosity and true remorse.

Reflection for Families

Among our children’s playmates we may find some who try our patience. It may be that they come from different backgrounds or circumstances than our own family, and we may hold similar reservations regarding their parents. Perhaps today’s Gospel challenges us to encounter those who may be outcasts in a more loving way—as Jesus did.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family

Imagine that Jesus has joined your family (you may even want to set an extra place for him at the table). What kinds of things would you want to talk about with Jesus? Do you have some questions to ask him? Are there some things that you would be willing to change about yourself or your family in order to respond to Jesus as Zacchaeus did? In your discussion, think of some occupations in our own time that would be hard to have and still live the way Jesus wants us to.

Discussion Starters

  1. I need to forgive . . .
  2. Someone I know (of) repaid a debt like Zacchaeus when . . .
  3. Someone I need to reach out to even though he/she is different from me is . . .