I heard a herd berates the word
and run afoul are we.
But Luke’s rebuke will timely spook
our spirits will for Thee.
So on this Hallows Eve do share
yummy treats and tricks galore.
But with the fun please do pair
remembrance of those who’ve gone before.
In today’s reading from Luke 19 we learn about Zacchaeus. He’s the tax collector from Jericho. Not exactly mister popular at the time. But we’re not going to focus on Zacchaeus. He was getting it figured out.
In fact, did you know that older (translations published before the 1970’s) versions of the bible don’t include the word “shall” in verse eight? In other words, after he went up the tree and Jesus called him down, Zacchaeus said … “I give to the poor.”… and “I repay it four times over.”
So it seems that rather than reacting to having seen Christ and vowing that he would change his ways, Zacchaeus was already striving to live as Christ would have him live – despite the fact that the crowd was hating on him something awful.
Now I may be way off on this one. Especially since it’s a this translation vs. that translation type of opinion. Regardless, an interesting idea presents itself at an even more interesting time of year.
What is your crowd doing these days? Yes, on Halloween, but also in general. See, I don’t think Zacchaeus was the lost one in Luke today. It was the crowd.
Be careful of what crowd you run with, are influenced by, lean on, confide in, trick-or-treat with, etc., etc.
Sometimes it pays to be the loner. When’s the last time you made a decision that got you run up a tree? If you do it willingly, and wait patiently… who knows, maybe Christ will come stay at your place.
A Why-the-Hell-do-Catholics-Do-That Fun Fact
The poem at the beginning of this post mentions that going with the crowd can sometimes lead us astray. Then it asks you to do something that probably isn’t very popular. No doubt you’ve seen many crowds celebrating this weekend with scary costumes and candied corn. (I still think that is a fascinatingly odd combination)
Anyway, isn’t it interesting that the holiday that many people recognized this weekend stems from two Catholic celebrations – one of which most of them do not believe in. #1 – All Saints Day which is actually celebrated on November 1. However, it’s what is known as a solemnity and a solemnity’s observance begins with the vigil on the evening before the actual date of the feast. It is also known as All Hallows, hence, Hallows Eve. . . and eventually Halloween. Most Christian churches (that I know of) recognize this celebration.
Here’s the interesting part. Hallows Eve is actually a commemoration of all the saints. Those who have “Made It” I guess you could say. The day that inspires all of the scary-funny-sometimes-sexy-creepy-frightening-slimy-zombie ghosts and goblins you saw this weekend is actually the day after All Hallows. #2 – All Souls’ Day is celebrated on November 2. It is a commemoration of the dead. Not saints. Just dead. Yes, there are specifics that could be listed from here to the moon and back that discuss who is considered a saint and who is not, but that’s an entirely different conversation. The point is this – Catholics pray for the dead.
The short answer: LOL! 😉
Yea, there’s not a short answer. But here’s the shortest I can give for now. 2 Maccabees 12:38-46 talks of Judas Maccabee ordering that sacrifices be offered in the Temple in Jerusalem for slain Jewish soldiers. This could be a Biblical source for the practice except that Maccabees is not included in many versions of today’s Protestant bibles. (again, a whole other conversation) If it is included, it is usually referred to as the Apocrypha or Deutero-canonical texts. Who knows where they get these names ;).
Anyway, my bible has Maccabees and those particular verses tug at my intellect quite a bit. The concept has promise, but for some reason, personally, I can’t throw all my chips in on that Maccabees hand. Not because I don’t trust the word, but because for reasons way over my head, it has been decided by nearly half the Christian population that it’s a fantastic educational text, but possibly not inspired. Who knows?
But here’s another one. In 2 Timothy 1:18, St. Paul prays for Onesiphorus. And guess what…
Onesiphorus was dead.