Nov 16, 2010 - Tuesday Meditation (Are You A Good Witness for Christ?)
The first reading today invites us to reflect upon the quality of our own witness to Jesus and everything he stood for. Am I one of those who think, "I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything," or do I fully realize and live out of the truth that I am "wretched, pitiable, blind, and naked?" Am I ready to open my heart whenever Jesus (mostly through the poor) comes knocking at the door? Memorial of St. Roch Gonzalez, S.J., martyrs Anniversary of the El Salvador Martyrs Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22 Psalm 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5 Luke 19:1-10 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man named Zacchae'us; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchae'us, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." 6 So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." 8 And Zacchae'us stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." 9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost." Meditation by Bert Thelen, S.J. Besides celebrating three canonized Jesuit martyrs, Sts. Roch Gonzalez, John del Castillo, and Alphonsus Rodriguez, and their companions, today is also the anniversary of the six Jesuits and two women who were murdered at La Uca (the Jesuit University ) in El Salvador in 1989. That event and this date is forever engraved in my mind and heart. It has inspired me more than I can ever put into words. Two of my Jesuit classmates, Jon Cortina and Jon Sobrino, both survived the massacre only because they were busy with other pastoral duties, Cortina as a pastor in Guarjila and Sobrino as a lecturer in the East. Most of all today, I remember and celebrate the eight victims of the army, every bit as true martyrs as the others we celebrate today -- maybe more so, because they were martyrs for justice, as well as faith. The first reading today invites us to reflect upon the quality of our own witness to Jesus and everything he stood for. Am I one of those who think, "I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything," or do I fully realize and live out of the truth that I am "wretched, pitiable, blind, and naked?" Am I ready to open my heart whenever Jesus (mostly through the poor) comes knocking at the door? Do I hear his voice (the cry of the poor, at times), open up to and welcome him, receive Him with great joy? The gospel reading, the story of Zacchaeus, offers a further golden opportunity to reflect upon our own discipleship, whether we are ready not only to see Jesus, but to go out on a limb for him, to jump down and welcome him into our inner chamber? That, of course, will cost us everything, as it did Ignacio Ellacuria, Amando Lopez, Joaquin Lopez, Martin Baro, Segundo Montes, Juan Ramon Moreno -- all Jesuit priests -- and their companions, Elba Ramos and her daughter, Celina. Like Zacchaeus, they were able to receive Jesus and His way with joy. Am I? If I am, we are promised that we will hear these words of our Psalm fulfilled in us, "I will seat the victor beside me on my throne." We will flourish for all eternity in "the joy that no one can ever take away from us."