If you visit the Holy Land and especially the oldest city on earth, Jericho, from the Gospel story, the locals will take delight in pointing out the ruins of the walls that Joshua (led the Israelites into the Promised Land) brought down in one of the Old Testament’s mighty battles that may never have taken place! Best of all are the 39 or so sycamore trees that Zacchaeus is alleged to have climbed in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by, or the house of the town’s famed chief tax collector-turned-saint!
Today’s Gospel is one of Jesus’ beloved meals scenes in the New Testament. Luke’s portrait of Zacchaeus is vivid and irresistibly charming! The story of Jericho’s famous tax collector (Luke 19:1-10) is unique to Luke’s Gospel. We are told that he was the chief tax collector and very wealthy at that. Though also a rich man, Zacchaeus provides a contrast to the rich man of (Luke 18:18-23) who cannot detach himself from his material possessions to become a follower of Jesus. Zacchaeus, according to Luke, exemplifies the proper attitude toward wealth: he promises to give half of his possessions to the poor, and is consequently the recipient of salvation.
Jesus declares publicly, “Today salvation has come to this house” (19:9). It’s almost as if Jesus said to the chief tax collector of Jericho, and through him, to each of us, “Zacchaeus, don’t climb too high in that tree of yours and hide yourself from me. Don’t waste all your energy concentrating on your guilt as you see it. I need to talk with you and find out where you have boxed yourself in. Together we’ll find a way past all of your excuses. I’ve come to save you!"
In the month of November, all the parishes in our Archdiocese of Seattle are conducting the annual tradition of Christian Stewardship. Let me first say a “big word of THANKS” to all of you who had generously given to our parish this past year.
Let’s be mindful of what Christian Stewardship is all about:
“God give it ALL and then call us to SHARE”. Everything we have and everything we are, indeed are gifts from God. So, Stewardship is the ability to share our gifts of life – Time, Talent and Treasure – with others; with no strings attached and no conditions. We share these gifts out of our love for God and gratitude to God.
Therefore, Christian Stewardship: Receives God’s gifts gratefully; Cherishes and tends our gifts in a responsible manner; Shares them in love with others; and Returns them with increase to the Lord.
Please read the material in regard to “Stewardship of Treasure” that you receive in the mail and make a pledge to the parish in returning the Stewardship Card in the collection basket or mail it to the parish office. Thank you for your renew financial commitment in support our parish.
At the main entrance, there is “Cloth Scroll” on the table for you to write the name of those who have passed away to pray for the “Feast of All Souls”. There is also, a “Prayer Binder – Labeled For the Deceased” that you could write in the names of your loved ones whom you want our parish community to pray for them in this month of November. Also, it’s not too late to send in the All Souls’ envelops (to the office or through the collection basket at Mass) with the names of your loved ones who have passed away and wish our parish to pray for them.
A special word of “Thanks” to all parishioners from St. Gabriel and Prince of Peace Parishes who minister to the veterans at “Retsil – Washington Veteran Home in Port Orchard” every Wednesday of the week, especially, this coming Wednesday (November 6) in anticipate of this important Veteran Day. Veteran Day this year will be on Monday November 11.
Fr. Phuong Hoang