Today we have our memorial for family and loved ones who have died this past year. It is a good thing to remember those who have gone before us. These are people who have, in some way, shaped who we are. Through their lives they have spoken to us how to live the Gospel.
In today’s Gospel we hear the story of Zacchaeus, a tax collector, despised by the people. In her reflection in Celebration, Angie O’Gorman quotes Catholic blogger Todd Flowerday who refers to Zacchaeus’ experience as “an interlude of mercy” (https://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/reconciliation-lectionary-wisdom). The phrase captures a sense of God’s interlude in the time between transgression and awareness, when God invites us forward into life. It is so much more powerful than anger or violence. This interlude of mercy in the face of our error and sin, that space in which to face ourselves free of external judgement and condemnation, offers wisdom on how we might act when we are confronted by the error and sin of others. O’Gorman asks us to “think about the possibility that, in this story, the Lord sought to save not Zacchaeus, but the people who wanted to condemn him.”
In these interludes of mercy, we once again know God who waits patiently for us to awaken to what the Divine holds out for us.
The saints were people who experienced these interludes of mercy. Every time we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation we experience this mercy. As we celebrate All the Saints on November 1st and All Souls on November 2nd, we remember people who know God’s mercy and showed that mercy to others. They remind us to do the same.
Nov. 1 – All Saints: masses at 8:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 2 – All Souls: mass at 8:00 a.m.
Nov. 5 – Parish Auction at 6:00 p.m.
I hope you can find time to celebrate with your fellow parishioners.