A Compassionate God
Today’s reading from the book of Wisdom presents an image of a patient God who “rebuke[s] offenders little by little” (Wisdom 12:2), an image endorsed by the psalmist, singing of how the LORD is “slow to anger and of great kindness, and compassionate toward all his works” (Psalm 145:8, 9). The crowd with Jesus, however, grumbles when they see Jesus’s kindness and compassion extended to Zacchaeus, who was not just a tax collector, but the “chief tax collector”—a title that surely emphasizes his standing as a sinner to be scorned. In the second reading, Saint Paul urges the Thessalonians to be “worthy” of God’s calling, so that “the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you” (2 Thessalonians 1:12); such people, unlike the crowd in the Gospel, would rejoice at Zacchaeus’s determination to change his life after encountering Jesus.
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