Quote of the day, 31 October: Silvio José Báez, o.c.d.

Zacchaeus, who wants to see Jesus, surprisingly finds that Jesus has seen him. Zacchaeus had made every effort to see Jesus, but Jesus took the initiative and saw Zacchaeus first.

That is how God is: he sees us first, and he loves us first.

St. John of the Cross says that “if anyone is seeking God, the Beloved is seeking that person much more” (The Living Flame of Love, 3:28).

Moreover, the gospel says that Jesus “looked up” to see Zacchaeus (Lk 19:5). Jesus sees Zacchaeus from below while looking up. Jesus is below and from there he sees Zacchaeus.

This is what God is like. He never looks at us from above, in an accusing and contemptuous way. God comes down to look at us.

St. Thérèse of the Lisieux says that “the nature of love is to humble oneself,” adding that “when coming down in this way, God manifests His infinite grandeur” (Manuscript A, 2v–3r).

God’s grandeur and greatness are seen in his merciful love for us.

Silvio José Báez, o.c.d.

Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily, Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (excerpt)
30 October 2022

John of the Cross, St. 1991, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Revised Edition, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K and Rodriguez, O with revisions and introductions by Kavanaugh, K, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Featured image: Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Awaiting the Passage of Jesus is one of the many images created by French artist James Tissot (1836–1902) in his series The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ (La Vie de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ). Each piece in the series of artworks was executed in opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper. This image and most of the objects in the series are found in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum in New York (No known copyright restrictions).

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