2 Thes 1:11-2:2
Seeking God’s Mercy with Humility
A frequent theme in the gospels is that of Jesus seeking out the lost or those who don’t fit the norms of the time. The gospel for this week is a good example. It is the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector who is seeking out a view of Jesus as he comes by. Being short of stature, he climbs a tree to get a good view of Jesus. To his surprise, Jesus stops and invites himself to the home of Zacchaeus. Immediately, some of the crowd begins to complain because Zacchaeus is an enemy of the country as a tax collector and as a collaborator of the Romans, a sinner to the religious leaders.
This story is a good indication that our loving, merciful Christ is always seeking and saving us regardless of our past or present history. We need the humility of Zacchaeus who didn’t care about attracting attention to himself by climbing a tree, being criticized because of his occupation, or being limited by size. None of this prevented him from seeking Jesus. Zacchaeus is open to Jesus and changes his life.
Despite any obstacles we have in our lives, if we make the smallest effort to get closer to our loving God, God will respond with love and mercy. Humility helps us recognize and own who we really are at our deepest core. This doesn’t prevent us from overcoming any shortcomings we may have, rather knowing that we still have need for growth in our lives should spur us on to a deeper relationship with God. The example of Zacchaeus is worth emulating because his humility and effort to see Jesus changed his life. That type of effort can change us as well.
The words from the Book of Wisdom are reassuring. “Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.” This includes us!
Take some time to look at nature around us. We see the changing seasons and the physical changes that take place. If God does this with our physical environment, just imagine how we can be changed because we have been fashioned by God as well.
We have to continue to seek Jesus just as Zacchaeus did and respond to the love and mercy offered. Are you aware of God’s presence all around you? How do you respond to that?
Are you willing to respond to God’s mercy and love?
How willing are you to recognize areas of growth needed in your life and then take the steps necessary to change?