31st Sunday in Ordinary Time C

October 30, 2022


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Video Overview | First ReadingPsalm | Second Reading | Gospel

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year C)


The Time of Change

What was the most important choice you made today? Why was it so important?

Look! Today is the only day you have!

How can anyone argue with such an emphatic statement? But like many other such apparent truisms, the call to focus on today can drift off and change into the next piece of momentary wisdom. We all would like to live as if today was the only day that mattered. But few of us do. Reflection over the past and anxiety over the future do not allow us the luxury of living each day on its own terms.

But there are those rare days that do change the course of life. Days when life-changing decisions are made. And many times we don’t even know those days will come until they arrive. Those are the days when life is full. Yesterday and tomorrow don’t seem to matter.


31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year C)


Click above to access reflection & discussion questions (PDF)
  1. How does Zacchaeus compare with the rich official (Luke 18:18-30) in his approach and response to Jesus? How did Zacchaeus show himself to be a true son of Abraham (Luke 3:12- 13; Romans 4:12)?
  2. Why does Jesus dine with Zacchaeus? Why does this bother others? Do you think Jesus’ words (vv 9-10) stopped the crowds’ muttering?
  3. Where did Jesus first find you? (Up a tree? Out on a limb?) How did he get you to join him?
  4. What was Zacchaeus’ attitude toward his own dignity in his desire to see Jesus? How willing are you to make a fool of yourself so that salvation may come to your house? What wrongs do you need to make right?
SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics © 2010 Vince Contreras

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year C)


Team RCIA Questions

Michael Marchall

Jesus is in Jericho; his—and our—journey to Jerusalem is almost over. This Sunday’s gospel selection in a way builds on last Sunday’s. The repentant tax collector went back home at rights with God, but what happens then? Here we see a sinner whose desire for mercy is graphically portrayed by his willingness to lose his dignity by climbing a tree just so he can see Jesus. When Jesus reaches out to him in love, his immediate response is not just restitution for his past fraud but openhanded generosity to the poor. As the Letter of James says, “faith without works is dead,” but works without faith or love lead nowhere.

  1. When have you not stood up for your beliefs and values because you were afraid of embarrassment?
  2. When have you been bold enough to “climb a tree” in order to get closer to Jesus?
  3. Which people in your life do you need to open up to about your spiritual journey?
  4. Which people in our church or society are trying to dehumanize people by labelling them as some kind of “sinner”?

Practice: This week each day pray St. Ignatius’s Prayer for Generosity, “Lord, teach me to be generous;…” Each day take a single line of the prayer to ponder more deeply.


31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year C)



The Catholic Church teaches that justification is God’s saving action in Jesus by the Holy Spirit that frees us from sin and renews us. Those who are justified are cleansed from sin and put in a right relationship with God. For us believers this happens in the gift of baptism (CCC 1987). In the saving waters of baptism sins are cleansed and we are made new. God alone saves and justifies us. God’s saving action is celebrated in the sacraments.

Our Catholic understanding is that we can cooperate with God’s grace and be renewed. It is possible to grow in holiness as we practice good works. In the story of Zacchaeus we find someone who cooperates with God’s grace and grows in holiness. Jesus sees that Zacchaeus is on the path of goodness.

Zacchaeus is an example of one who is justified. Justification heals us and frees us from sin. It puts us right with God.

  • What sacraments celebrate God’s forgiveness?
  • How can you stay on the path of goodness?
  • What helps your relationship with God to grow?


31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year C)


God Has a Weakness for
the Humble Ones

Anne Osdieck

How does Pope Francis use the story of Zacchaeus to help the United Nations develop goals that impact the “structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in protecting the environment, ensure destructuralized and productive labor for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family”?

It is the encounter between Jesus Christ and the rich tax collector Zacchaeus, as a result of which Zacchaeus made a radical decision of sharing and justice, because his conscience had been awakened by the gaze of Jesus. This same spirit should be at the beginning and end of all political and economic activity. The gaze, often silent, of that part of the human family which is cast off, left behind, ought to awaken the conscience of political and economic agents and lead them to generous and courageous decisions with immediate results, like the decision of Zacchaeus. Does this spirit of solidarity and sharing guide all our thoughts and actions?

Pope to UN: Resist the Economy of Exclusion, Sept 5, 2014


SOURCE: Sunday Web Site – Saint Louis University

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year C)


Ascension Catholic

Fr. Eamon Tobin


1. Turn to the person next to you and share what word/s or image/s in the readings caught your attention? Did they comfort or challenge you or touch you in some way? The facilitator can decide which is more helpful: to share the next questions with the whole group, or to share in smaller groups of three or four.

2. In the second reading, Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to try, with the grace of God, to be “worthy of God’s calling in their lives.” In your opinion, what does this involve?

3. In climbing up a tree to see Jesus, Zacchaeus was stretching himself. Lots of people may have laughed at him. What would be a spiritually stretching exercise for you to grow in your relationship with Jesus?

4. Do you think that we often tend to harshly judge individuals simply because they happen to belong to a certain group or race, or work in a particular profession? What are examples of such groups and professions today?

5. Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.


Having listened to God’s Word and listened to others’ reflections on it, take a quiet moment to reflect on what you are hearing God say to you. Your response will be what you bring to Eucharist on Sunday, asking Jesus to help you respond as he asks of you. When ready, jot down your reflections.


Share with the person next to you one way you can act on this week’s readings. Suggestions: If burdened with sin, meditate on Jesus’ outreach to one who may have been a very corrupt public official. Reread the second reading, then with the grace of God, seek to be worthy of your awesome calling as a child of God and a disciple of Jesus.


SOURCE: Ascension Catholic

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