Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We worship God, whose mercy for all people never fails. Zacchaeus took Jesus at his word and changed his life.
Just and merciful God, true Lord of every house, sure delight of every heart, come into our midst today to speak your word and satisfy our hunger. Enable us to see you clearly, to welcome you with joy, and to give justice and mercy a place in our lives. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” – at Royal Albert Hall, London
A Reading from the Apocrypha: Wisdom 11:22-12:2 (NRSVCE)
[God loves all of creation and encourages those who sin to repent.]
The whole world before you is like a speck that tips the scales, and like a drop of morning dew that falls on the ground. But you are merciful to all, for you can do all things, and you overlook people’s sins, so that they may repent.
For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made, for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved?
You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living. For your immortal spirit is in all things.
Therefore you correct little by little those who trespass, and you remind and warn them of the things through which they sin, so that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in you, O Lord.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, 13, 14 (NLT)
I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever.
The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you. They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power.
For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.
The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
“Psalm 145” – Travis Cottrel
A Reading from the Letters: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2 (NLT)
[Paul writes of his pleasure at the faith of the community. But he also wants to reassure those disturbed by a false claim that Christ is about to return.]
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us.
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 19:1-10 (NLT)
[Zacchaeus welcomes his savior into his house and decides to change his ways.]
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
“I will never be the same again.” – Sapphire Singers
Merciful God: You raise those who are bowed down with grief or worry. Hear our prayers.
+ For those who follow Christ — that we, like Zacchaeus, may declare our sins and find peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who have never known Your love — that Your mercy may surround them…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the suffering people of Aleppo and Syria — that You may defend them and protect them…. Lord, hear us.
+ For refugees of good will — that they may find safe havens and support while waiting to return home…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the people on the edge of our communities — that they may discover You are close to them…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all those in need, the sick and the worried — that the care of friends may bring them peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the upcoming US presidential election – that truth, justice and wisdom may prevail, and that Your will be done…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all those who have died in Christ – that they may know Your compassion and dwell with You eternally…. Lord, hear us.
O God our King, You support Your people in all our needs: show us Your kindness, we pray, through Christ our Lord.
“Faithful one” – Robin Mark
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen