The author of the book of wisdom was a wise and noble and spiritual person who had come to know God as the God of forgiveness, healing and wholeness. So he encouraged his readers not to be afraid because he, the Lord, "would prompt you to repentance and welcome you home even if you sin and stray from God".
He encouraged his readers to trust in God who is intimate, close to all things he made: "The imperishable God is in all things", making all things essentially good.
This is a psalm composed for public worship. It is an acrostic (alphabetic) poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This Psalm focuses primarily on God's compassion, especially for the underprivileged and depressed. It offers us a daily reminder of praising the unfathomable greatness of God, which goes beyond all our doctrines, theologies and philosophies. Verse 4 invites us to meditate on the wondrous acts of God and to pass on this memory to the future generations. Verses 8-9 express the most basic faith of the O.T. about the very nature of God: "steadfast love", "compassion" .all-embracing love, abundant love. Verses 9-10 - All God's works give thanks because of the "all-embracing love". The whole Psalm proclaims God's name as "Steadfast love"
Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom,
and speak of your might.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 - 2:2
Paul wrote to the Thessalonian community encouraging them and affirming them in their works of love. He told them how much he appreciated their faith and how encouraged and supported he felt when he came to know of their faithfulness in love. He assured them of remembering them constantly in prayer.
Say a word of encouragement and support to someone today! Remember in prayer those who serve you in faithfulness and love!
He also encouraged them to give up their anxious and sometimes hysterical waiting for the second coming of Christ. In this excerpt, we read about Paul's denial that he ever said that the day of the Lord had come. They had misinterpreted his teaching. He taught them to trust in God who will gather all people to himself in Christ in his time.
Trust in the Lord! Be not anxious! Be not afraid! God will gather all people to himself in Christ Jesus!
Jesus came into Jericho, a wealthy and important town, considered to be "the fattest in Palestine". Jericho was one of the greatest taxation centers. Zacchaeus was a wealthy man in Jericho, a tax collector on top in his profession. He was curious about Jesus and was determined to take a look at him. So he climbed a tree, being small of stature, to take a look at Jesus. Jesus saw him before Zacchaeus did and invited him to come down the tree and take him home as a guest. Zacchaeus was a changed man when he came down from the tree. He went home with Jesus and gave a wonderful testimony of the radical change that came into his life: "I give half my belongings to the poor and if I have defrauded any one in the least, I will pay him back four fold".
Let changed and renewed life be the testimony of your encounter with Christ!
Jesus came to Jericho and everything changed for Zacchaeus. He experienced the tender mercies and loving forgiveness of God in Jesus. Zacchaeus accepted God's gift of the Grace that calls, challenges, confronts; the Grace that calls for surrender; the Grace that challenges us to leave the past behind and overcome the obstacles that stand between us and the one who calls.
Welcome God's Grace into your heart and let it transform you inside and out.
Zacchaeus did not plan to get involved with Christ. He was just curious. Even a curious look found blessing and grace. Every movement of the heart and mind in God's direction, in the direction of goodness, love and truth find blessing and grace. Learn to respond to the movements of your heart.
Zacchaeus had an encounter with Jesus and he had a radical transformation of his life. How about you?
The Gospel says, "Zacchaeus stood his ground" and gave a witness to the change that had happened to him. The man who was sitting on a tree found a ground to stand on. He had found Christ. How about you?
Have you discovered a solid ground to stand on? Have you been witnessing to the change that has been happening in your life as you encounter Christ.
GRACEFULNESS:A GRACEFUL FACE IS ONE OF THE BEST FORMS OF GREETING. IT MAKES THE OTHER PERSON FEEL WELCOME AND APPRECIATED.
Fr. Gus Tharappel,msfs