From the Pastor

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,Sixth Sunday of Easter Image

So this is the last Easter Sunday before we start the various “Feasts of the Lord” [Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity and Corpus Christi]. Jesus is saying farewell to his disciples and His instruction to them is basically to obey his commandments. He also promises the Holy Spirit whom we should be praying for in earnest for ourselves and the whole church.

The question I ask you is what are His commandments? Clearly he would not identify the 10 Commandments as His. We could look at several lists of commandments he has given such as the Beatitudes or the Last Judgement parable and this would give us a good idea. We could also remember the two commandments of love God and love neighbor which He combined into one commandment declaring them inseparable.

I like the commandment to love one another as He has loved us. This is surely a great summary of all and the greatest challenge to follow. If we seek this standard of obedience to Jesus, we will pray with all the greater intensity for the help of the Holy Spirit.

With love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

The image of the vine and the vine grower is really a powerful teaching on the unity of the church. We are one! The same veins carry the same nutrition and life throughout the whole. To be cut off is to die, but to remain in Him is to live, grow, prosper and bear fruit.

5th Sunday of Easter ImageThis perspective is so very important. We are in need of Christ in our lives, to be one with Him. Others too need this source of life and we are sent to link them to Him. As the Good Shepherd of last week, we seek out the lost or those who have been cut off. Unlike the vine, they (we) can be restored to the vine and healed even though we might have been cut off for a while. God is a miracle worker in the power of the healing God can effect.

In our first reading today, we see one who was cut off (Saul) who not only became a part of the vine, but a strong and life-giving branch. Saul became Paul and a vital link to Jesus for many through the witness he gave to the faith. The other apostles, wary as they were, were instruments in that graft of Paul to the vine.

Perhaps you know someone who has been cut off (quit coming, has serious doubts, is in deep grief). There is your opportunity! Let the Holy Spirit use you to bring about a re-union and restore life.

With love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,4th Sunday of Easter Image - Jn 10:2-4

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is always “Good Shepherd Sunday.” The gospel of John gives us this image which Jesus uses to teach us of his care for us. The primary image, besides His protection, is that we are called to listen for His voice and follow.

Our second reading is from St. Peter reminds us that “you had gone astray like sheep but now return to the shepherd and the guardian of your souls.” The apostles learned to listen to Jesus and eventually to follow Him. At first, their pride got in the way as they relied on their own wisdom and the wisdom of the world instead of grasping the wisdom of the Paschal Mystery.

Easter then is a call to us to continue to challenge our pride and willfulness. We still are too much like sheep who do not wish to follow anyone. Our shepherd is a gentle master who invites us into His protection and leads us to green pasture.

With love,

Fr. Tom

3rd Sunday of Easter Image of flowersMy Dear St. Bernadette Family,

“We were hoping” said the two disciples to Jesus. They were hoping that the Resurrection was true. That Jesus was alive. But, they did not yet recognize Him standing right in front of them.

Like these two we are invited to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. Intently focusing on Him present in our midst, we will also see Him in the Word and in the Body of Christ. Soon, we will see and recognize Him in the least of our brothers and sisters as well.

During the Easter season we are invited to go deeper and deeper into the mystery of the Resurrection and the presence of the living Christ in our midst. This awareness changes everything. As He is present, so they and it became holy. We are standing on holy ground; we are gazing into the face of Christ in every person. His DNA is in the trees, the animals and especially in the people we bump into (from a safe distance) every day. Knowing Him this way, we will treat every bit of creation in a different, more respectful and grateful way. We will experience the unity which strengthens us even though we may be apart.

Being Easter people transforms our lives! Let’s seek that joy with renewed intention.

With love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,Sixth Sunday of Easter Image

So this is the last Easter Sunday before we start the various “Feasts of the Lord” [Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity and Corpus Christi]. Jesus is saying farewell to his disciples and His instruction to them is basically to obey his commandments. He also promises the Holy Spirit whom we should be praying for in earnest for ourselves and the whole church.

The question I ask you is what are His commandments? Clearly he would not identify the 10 Commandments as His. We could look at several lists of commandments he has given such as the Beatitudes or the Last Judgement parable and this would give us a good idea. We could also remember the two commandments of love God and love neighbor which He combined into one commandment declaring them inseparable.

I like the commandment to love one another as He has loved us. This is surely a great summary of all and the greatest challenge to follow. If we seek this standard of obedience to Jesus, we will pray with all the greater intensity for the help of the Holy Spirit.

With love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,2nd Sunday of Easter image of tree blossoming

This weekend bring the Second Sunday of Easter, also called “Divine Mercy Sunday.” We call it Divine Mercy Sunday through the teaching of Saint Pope John Paul II, but we also see this beautiful title in the gospel story. The apostles, gathered in fear in that room, experience the Divine Mercy as Jesus appears to them. There are no words of judgement nor condemnation for their sins, but a gentle invitation to His peace and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus comes to each of us with the exact same gifts. Peace and the Holy Spirit are what frees us from the past and allow us to serve God in the present, spending our lives (as did the apostles) in proclaiming the Good News.

I love Thomas (the doubter) as he is like me and so many of us. He doubts, he searches honestly and He is blessed to pronounce the most profound faith in Christ, “My Lord and My God!” May we imitate all the apostles in their lives and especially Thomas in proclaiming who is Lord and God.

In these troubling times, may the mercy of God be ardently felt in your life.

With love,

Fr. Tom

 

Easter Sunday ImageMy Dear St. Bernadette Family,

Our gospel story this morning leaves us wanting more. We have an empty tomb, we hunger for the Risen Lord. A personal encounter with Him. Like Mary Magdalene, we want to run to Him and em-brace Him with love and gratitude.

Easter Season which lies ahead gives us seven weeks to do exactly that. He will appear to us through the power of the Scriptures and Liturgy. We will have opportunity to embrace Him and thank Him. But, there is more. We don’t know when we will again gather for Sunday Masses, but the beautiful Scriptures of the Easter Season are before us. I strongly recommend them to you, not only for Sundays, but for weekdays too. Spend some time with the Scriptures every day.

By strengthening our relationship with Him these weeks, we will more faithfully follow Him and know the joy of His presence at all times in our lives. It just keeps getting better for we also will learn that by serving Him through our neighbor, we can see His face in every person and through tending to their needs, be blessed.May the season of Easter be for you and your family a time of grace and joy in the Risen Lord!

With love,

Fr. Tom

 

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,Palm Sunday Image of Jesus on colt

All that we learn, all we understand and all that we believe will make no difference unless we act. We will watch the apostles, who were instructed by Christ for three years, not put all their knowledge into action and in fact behave very badly. They are us. We have the wisdom of Christ’s life, teaching and now dying and rising to guide us. These are carried on beautifully through the church and as we have been noting, in the Encyclical of Pope Francis Laudato Si.

Awareness even conviction changes nothing. We must change in order that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This week we see clearly that we must die in many ways in order to give life. Dying to selfishness, complacency, pride, and greed are needed if we are to take our rightful place among all God’s creatures.

In the beginning of this Lenten journey, we saw how Adam and Eve learned their place the hard way. Sin has consequences for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters. Indeed, we are our brothers and sisters keepers. The grace of Lent has brough us to our knees, may the grace of Easter give new life to our world.

With love,

Fr. Tom

Image of Jesus calling Lazerus out of the tombMy Dear St. Bernadette Family,

In the story of the raising of Lazarus, we have an introduction to understanding of the Paschal Mystery soon to unfold before our eyes in Holy Week. Death gives life is a core faith for Christians. Christ’s death has given life to the world.

We see this in nature as a seed dies only to grow, as winter gives the new life of spring. This is also celebrated in the Sacrament of Baptism as we are called to die to self to experience the amazing life of God within. During Lent, with Pope Francis’ teaching, we have seen how dying to the excesses of waste, consumerism, and irresponsibility can give life renewed to the world and those who dwell upon the earth.

A culture of death can be resurrected into a culture of life. Jesus is the Resurrection and the life and shows us the way to emerge from the grave of consumerism to care for our common home. Faith tells us it is not too late to make changes personally and in society. Even little care can go a long ways to reversing the damage to the environment and living conditions of the poor. We can do this!

With Love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

The beautiful story of Jesus healing the blind man in John’s gospel has an interplay between sight and blindness, light and dark, seeing and refusing to see. Those who chose the dark are even responsible for throwing a man out of the Synagogue and condemning Jesus for doing good. How are we blind and how does our blindness cause others to suffer?

We overcome our blindness when we learn to see our world through the eyes of God. Pope Francis teaches us in Laudato Si that all of God’s gifts, intended for all people, will only be shared when we come together and work together for the common good. We must see our sins, our greed, and shine the light on dark deeds bringing God’s holy anointing to the earth and all its inhabitants.

With love,

Fr. Tom

Image for the 3rd Sunday of LentMy Dear St. Bernadette Family,

The water Jesus gives us wells up eternally, giving life to the world and to all who thirst. Jesus saved the woman and her town, quenching their thirst. Our brothers and sisters have both physical and spiritual thirst. Jesus depends on us to offer them spiritual refreshment as well as clean drinking water, the most need for life. Human dignity demands an end to the waste of this precious resource and a united effort to assure all persons have clean drinking water.

Throughout the Scriptures, water is rich imagery of God’s hand in creation. Water also is cleansing and refreshment. In our Gospel today, Jesus offers “living water” to us.

One way to pray in response to today’s gospel is to mindfully drink a glass of cold water and then meditate on the experience. What does this tell you about your needs, your thirst and God’s gifts?

With Love,

Fr. Tom

 

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

Abram’s  inheritance  is  the  land, the  Holy  Land.  Ours too! All the earth all creation is holy.  Through Christ, salvation comes to us.  Through our following Him in dying to self and living for God, we are transformed.  His Transfiguration gave hope to the apostles when they faced their ultimate challenge. He will help us in our time of need.

We remember when Moses approached the burning bush he needed to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground.  Pope Francis helps us see that all ground is holy as it is created by God. The Son of God walked on the earth too!

Do we treat the ground as holy or do we exploit the goods of the earth selfishly or without consideration of others. Pope Francis reminds us that we need to live simply so that others might simply live. Let’s challenge  ourselves  to  reduce  consumerism  and waste. Let’s care for all God’s many gifts to us.

With Love,

Fr. Tom

1st Sunday of Lent ImageMy Dear St. Bernadette Family,

During Lent this year we will look at sin in our world and in our lives through the lens of Pope Francis’ Encyclical called Laudato Si (Praise to You). This important letter looks at our responsibilities to our neighbor and to all creation.

When God finished creation, God looked and said “it is good.” Sin entered the world through the fall. Like gods (the first sin) we have not cared for the earth, rather we have exploited it for our own consumption. Our temptation is to continue to do so or blame others (as Eve).

Paul tells us where sin decreases (as we take responsibility), grace increases. Grace is our hope for our planet, our children and all God’s people (especially the poor).

On the first Sunday of Lent each year, we look at temptation for Jesus and for ourselves. One temptation is to not take responsibility for the conditions among people and between people and creation. The first work of Lent is a change of heart, humbly admitting our need to change behaviors too.

With Love,
Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,Painting of Jesus and words "7th Sunday of Ordinary time - Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." - Mt 5:44

There is a deeper message in today’s readings. At first they look like a call to passivity in the face of abuse, but in fact they call us to active nonviolent resistance. Turning the cheek to one who strikes you is demanding they be responsible for their actions and treat you as an equal. Going the extra mile with an oppressor is to force them to acknowledge they are not treating you with respect. Loving your enemies is not to simply forgive any past acts, but to decide to work out differences with them and achieve reconciliation.

This is not easy work, but it is how Jesus lived and the lesson on how he died too. Not being passive in the face of injustice or abuse is such an important understanding here. We must not allow others to be abusive toward ourselves or toward others. We must stand up against cruelty in whatever form it takes. This includes against ourselves, other people or against creation.

People like Ghandi and Martin Luther King have shown us the lesson here and that it can be successful. They trusted in the Lord and gave their lives. There is a cost to active resistance, but the cost of passivity is so much greater.

With love,

Fr. Tom

Image of Jesus teachingMy Dear St. Bernadette Family,

We can’t just spend our lives trying to stay out of trouble, obeying laws or not getting caught. Jesus tells us our “righteousness” must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, who are known for focusing on religious observance laws only.

Righteousness is a wonderful word. It means living in right relationship with God, people and all creation. Righteousness is not easy and is not simply obeying laws. You can imagine what family life would be like if everything was regimented by obedience to laws.

The readings for this weekend celebrate the wisdom that is found in the laws. If we simply look at them as obligations we miss their value. Jesus invites us to look deeper, past the letter of the law, to its true meaning and the opportunity laws give us to live right and enjoy life’s fullness.

With love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,5th Sunday

Throughout the year, we follow St. Matthew’s gospel this year, with a few exceptions.  Last week the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time was replaced with the Feast of the Presentation. As a result, instead of reading the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, we read the story of the Presentation in the Temple found in the Gospel of Luke.[1]

Our gospel today follows the Beatitudes in Matthew, but beautifully fits with last week’s Feast as well.  The gospel basically asks us if we are light?  How does your light shine? How does the light of Christ shine through you?[1]

In his sermon, Jesus tells us that it is our deeds through which our light shines. Those good deeds are our living out of the Beatitudes. It would be good to go to your bible and read the Sermon on the Mount from beginning to end. It is Matthew chapters 5,6 &7. You will find clarity on what “good deeds” are according to Jesus.

With Love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

 

Painting: Presentación de Cristo en el templo

Presentación de Cristo en el templo by Philippe de Champagne, 1602-1674. Public Domain.  Click to enlarge

Our gospel reading today is a marvelous story. The parents of Jesus bring him to the temple to present him there. Two people greet them, Simeon and Anna. Both elderly people are wise in the way of the Lord. Joseph and Mary listen to them and share with them their joy.

There are many wise persons around us, especially among our elders. You too can find them in church, praying. By sharing your joy or sorrow with them you will open a channel of grace. By listening to them, you just might be listening to God.

One wise man we all have the privilege of listening to is Pope Francis. His sermons and letters are available to us every day through the media of choice. His Encyclicals have been filled with wisdom and insight. Laudato Si is the most recent.

Please pray that our parish will seek wisdom from our elders, listen and pray. They are light to help guide our way.

With Love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,3rd Sunday of Lent

Jesus’ first word, as he began his public ministry, was “repent.” Repent means to have a change of heart which leads to a change in behavior. The text from Matthew refers to a world in darkness. We can easily see that darkness surrounding us today. Whether it be poverty or disease, refugees fleeing war or famine, violence, materialism, hatred and a diminished value of human life, a culture of death is that darkness which still is with us.

Our response is to repent. This means to take personal responsibility for both the darkness and bringing the light of Christ into the world. Pope Francis in his Encyclical Laudato Si, shows convinc-ingly that much of the darkness can and must be changed by our care for the earth. All of the above elements of this darkness are essentially connected to our plundering the earth for personal gain. The first to suffer are the poor. The first priority in respect for life is care for “our common home.”

Tomorrow night we will have a gathering to introduce ourselves to Laudato Si. Please join us as we find a path together to repent and be light.

With Love,

Father Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

Image of man and words "Here I am, Lord"Today we begin Ordinary Time meaning weeks are numbered. It is a kind of count down to Christ the King. Our readings for this day are chosen to get us off to a good start. Although we will read through Matthew’s Gospel this year, we start with a reading from John.

The gospel speaks about Jesus, who is identified as “the Son of God” who John baptized that he might “be known to the world.” In the first reading he is seen as “a light to the nations.” Our response is “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”

This gives us a great start, we know who He is and who we are. He is the light, we are the servant. At St. Bernadette, we are adding another tool to come to know who He is and His will. We will be reading and praying on Laudato Si, the most recent Encyclical from our Holy Father Francis. Through this study, we will discover new ways we can serve and follow. Please join us.

With love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

Image of the Baptism of Christ

The Baptism of Christ. Carl Bloch [Public domain]

The scriptures tell us that when Jesus was baptized by John he was submerged in the Jordan river and then came up out of the water. This prefigured the Paschal Mystery which he would accomplish just three years later when he suffered, died and went into the grave but then rose again emerging from the darkness to become himself the light.

This then is the central image of baptism today. Die to self, live in the light for Him. Baptism then is a calling to a special kind of life, one that is in the image of Christ. Peter tells us today that from the baptism, Jesus, anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, went about doing good. Does this describe you?

Jesus gathered around him people with whom he could travel, talk, share meals and receive the support he needed for his work. We gather as church, a family with the same intentions for one another. By being baptized into Christ and into the church, we have all we need to go about doing good.

With love,

Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

Epiphany Image“Let there be light!” The scriptures begin with the creation of light and the theme of light shining in the darkness is found throughout. On the Feast of St. Lucy in December, we traditionally light the Christmas lights. On the Feast of the Presentation in February we bless our candles celebrating the light. Today, Epiphany Sunday, we celebrate Christ “The Light of the World” who has come to enlighten all the nations.

The emphasis today is that the light comes to all. God’s light is meant to reveal His truth and gather all into it’s warmth. The Wise Men follow the light (they represent the world) and Isaiah celebrates that the darkness that covered the earth has been overcome by the Lord.

We can easily see there is too much darkness still in our world. Deeds done in the dark (secret) are what keeps us apart and cause much suffering. This feast calls us to bring His light into the world, into our community, family and heart. Light can be warm. Light can be powerful. Light can shatter the darkness.

Let us recommit our lives to the light. Following Him and shining His love and truth every day.

With Love,
Fr. Tom

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,
Image of the Holy Family

In this “A” cycle of readings, we have focused on Joseph’s story.  This continues today as he protects his precious family enduring the trials of a long journey.  Our first reading compliments this focus through honoring those who are fathers to their children.

These images are given broader meaning in the Responsorial Psalm as the call to honor our father is extended to our relationship with God our Father.  We are reminded that families that are well fathered are places where children prosper.  God wishes us to know His fatherly care that we also might prosper.  We are blessed!

Today is a wonderful time to thank God for our parents and family.  Let’s express this gratitude through caring for one another.  Do something together today.

With Love,

Father Tom

Fourth Sunday of Advent

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, we always begin telling the story and focusing on Joseph and Mary. Without their “yes” to God, our story might not have happened. They too needed to stop and listen before the could hear God’s call.

Do you suppose God is calling you for some part of his plan? Are you listening?

We not only praise and thank God for Joseph and Mary, but look to them as an example. I am sure both of them were well formed in prayer, to seek that quiet place where God could speak to their heart. After their “yes” I am sure they spent a great deal of time in that same place seeking the strength and wisdom to parent such an important child.

Let’s not get too busy to seek that quiet place in our lives and listen to God.

With Love,

Fr. Tom.

Third Sunday of Advent

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

Jesus tells the followers of John the Baptist that the signs of his presence will be little acts of kindness. If we take the time, we can see these all around us. They are not random, but consistent acts of caring for one another, even for the stranger.

We can enter into this mystery of the presence of Christ in our midst in two ways. One is to stop and notice. Being mindful, even in a crowd of shoppers, of those little ways His presence makes a difference. The other is to be engaged in such acts ourselves. Looking for opportunities to help those in need whether through some organized charity or an individual act of generosity. We will become more aware of God’s presence and it will help us know the true meaning of Christmas.

With Love,
Fr. Tom

Second Sunday of Advent

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

Image of advent wreathPeople have dreamed of peace for many thousands of years as we see in our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah. The dream is not just a cessation of fighting, but peace and justice for all. This dream includes the imparting of gifts of the Holy Spirit: counsel, strength, knowledge and fear of the Lord. These are tools of peace.

It seems strange, the dream of peace we all share and the path to this peace being clearly laid out for us from ancient times, yet it is not achieved. Might John the Baptist call us a “brood of vipers” too? Do we embrace the ways of the Lord or of the world?

Paul tells us to “welcome one another as Christ welcomes you.” Let’s take the time during Advent to be aware of the great gift that is the coming of Jesus into the world. A gift of welcoming us and our sure hope that one day, His peace will come to the earth! Simple acts of welcoming others into our busy life are tools we can use today to know His presence and promote His peace.

With love,

Fr. Tom

First Sunday of Advent

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

If you have ever climbed a mountain, there is an amazing blessing. On top of the mountain we behold a wonderful view. We can see for miles and get a broad look at the world around us. This is a very different view from down in the city. With buildings blocking our view and often times people or trucks and such, our sight is limited.

This image then is used throughout Scriptures to speak of a meeting with God. From a place near God, our view of life, the world, the past and future is changed. Clarity is often achieved by spending time on this mountain top.

During Advent, when we are often amidst crowds, we need to rise to a place of clear sight. We can find this place in prayer, in a quiet place, in church or even perhaps on a mountain. Take the time to gain perspective, especially as we begin this journey of Advent. Vespers is one of my favorite places. What an amazing view.

With love,

Fr. Tom

Christ the King

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

Do you want to be the king or queen or would you rather be Jesus? There is something enticing about being the one in charge, the one with all the power. But, with being king comes responsibility and the cross.

His kingship is not something we would want, yet we are so glad he embraced it. His kingship sets us free and promises us to be, “With him in paradise.” In dying for all of us, our God takes delight in our salvation and welcomes to his side for eternity.

We pray, “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” This means that although we are not king, we do build the kingdom. We pray and work so that even here on earth our brothers and sisters might experience that eternal presence and the reconciliation experienced by the good thief while hanging upon a cross.

With Love,
Fr. Tom.

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

Jesus invites us to act out of confidence in Him instead of fear. When we act out of our fears, we often act in a way that is focused on our own well being, whether that is survival or safety, comfort or control. When we can trust in Him, we know that all will be well and we are then free to act with love seeking survival, safety and comfort for others.

In Jesus’ teaching he acknowledges we will see terrible sights and experience awesome sights and signs. Our faith allows us to interpret these things correctly. While lack of faith might see chaos, faith tells us that out of the chaos, God has created and out of death, God gives life.

Malachi speaks of the “sun of justice” which will heal. We now know this is the Son of God and his justice will have the last word.

With love,

Fr. Tom

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Dear St. Bernadette Family,

32nd Sunday Mass Reading imageAs we come closer to the end of our church year, the readings pick up on nature and the winter experience of falling leaves and seemingly dead trees. The cold air furthers our awareness of death and the questions it brings to the living. In the readings today, we are pondering the question of the resurrection of the dead, that is, what will happen to us on the other side of this life? Is there another side, heaven, judgement, etc.?

Jesus’ answer is not an attempt to describe but an invitation to trust. That is, we cannot describe an experience beyond this life, but we do know who it is that is in charge. Our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is who we place our trust in with all questions of eternity. God, who has revealed love for us beyond any human experience, invites us to believe that God’s incredible love which is without limit.

Our Alleluia verse ofter points to the heart of the readings. Today’s is “Jesus Christ is the firstborn of he dead; to him be glory and power, forever and ever.” That glory and power is our eternal hope.

With Love,

Fr. Tom

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

31st Sunday image: Zacchaeus and JesusMy Dear St. Bernadette Family,

As our gospel story begins, we see Zacchaeus as a successful businessman (a Tax Collector) but someone who is curious to see Jesus.  He isn’t a follower but knows something is missing in his life.  He hungers for more, but not sure what it is he hungers for.  His curiosity leads him to seek Jesus.  He thinks he only wants to see Jesus, but in fact he hungers for so much more.

There are many Zacchaeus’ in our world today.  They are successful by the world’s standards, but something is missing.  They are searching, but do not know where to look.  Like Zacchaeus, they are “up a tree”, or “out on a limb”.

What they might not know is that they are looking for Jesus.  Not just to see him, but to know him in a personal way.  Not just for him to pass by, but to stay in their home.

Perhaps, that is us!  Maybe you are the one looking, hungering for something more.  Undoubtedly you know someone else who is looking in all the wrong places for “salvation”.

Although our story does not give us the ending, we are certain that Zacchaeus’ life was forever changed.  His relationship with Jesus would have flowed from this encounter and he would have become more honest, generous, and caring.  It would have been a big change for him to leave it all behind and follow Jesus.  He probably didn’t do that, or we would have heard more about him.   But he did find what he was looking for.

With Love,

Father Tom