Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA:

Zacchaeus was leader of the tax collectors, a man entirely abandoned to greed, whose only goal was the increase of his gains. This was the practice of the tax collectors, although Paul calls it idolatry,4 possibly as being suitable only for those who have no knowledge of God. Since they shamelessly, openly professed this vice, the Lord very justly joined them with the prostitutes, saying to the leaders of the Jews, “The prostitutes and the tax collectors go before you into the kingdom of God.”5 Zacchaeus did not continue to be among them, but he was counted worthy of mercy at Christ’s hands. He calls near those who are far away and gives light to those who are in darkness. read more

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

FULGENTIUS OF RUSPE:

We defeat the adversary only if we fight with tears and with prayers, in continual humility of heart. It is written, in fact, that “the prayer of the humble penetrates the clouds and is not withdrawn from God until it is answered.” The weeping of the humble is therefore a great antidote against carnal concupiscence. Tears that spring from compunction of heart defeat the enemy and gain for us the gift of a victorious happiness. In fact, those who “go out weeping, scattering their seeds, will return rejoicing, carrying their sheaves.” How wisely the holy prophet teaches that the seeds of good works must be watered with rivers of tears! Indeed, no seed germinates without being watered. Nor does a seed bear fruit if it has been without the benefit of water. We also, therefore, if we wish to harvest the fruits of our seeds, should not cease watering them with tears, which should spring from the heart more than from the body. This is why we are told through the prophet to rend our hearts, not our garments. read more

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

JEROME:

The rich man, in purple splendor, is not accused of being greedy or of carrying off the property of another, or of committing adultery, or, in fact, of any wrongdoing. The evil alone of which he is guilty is pride. Most wretched of men, you see a member of your own body lying there outside at your gate, and have you no compassion? If the laws of God mean nothing to you, at least take pity on your own situation and be in fear, for perhaps you might become like him. Give what you waste to your own member. I am not telling you to throw away your wealth. What you throw out, the crumbs from your table, offer as alms. read more