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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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St. Albert the Great

2 Maccabees 6:18-31
Psalm 3:2-7
Luke 19:1-10

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"He first ran on in front, then climbed a sycamore tree which was along Jesus' route, in order to see Him." —Luke 19:4

The world is full of Zacchaeuses: people not so much small of stature (Lk 19:3) as small of heart. We are surrounded by petty, mean-spirited, little people. We are sometimes that way ourselves. We need to see Jesus to become big-hearted, great-souled men and women of God.

Like Zacchaeus, we need a tree to climb so we can see Jesus. We are too petty to see over the crowd of faithlessness and selfishness obstructing our view of Jesus. We need a tree by which we rise above our sinful littleness.

The poet, Joyce Kilmer, wrote: "Only God can make a tree." By God's grace, many small Zacchaeuses have seen Jesus and become tall trees. These former Zacchaeuses help the present ones become new trees for future Zacchaeuses to climb.

A tree was part of the first sin. Jesus was crucified and died on a tree (Acts 13:29) to take away our sin. Jesus was lifted up on the tree of the cross so that we might be lifted up (see Jn 3:14; 12:32), see Him Whom we have pierced (Jn 19:37), and become life-giving trees (see Ps 1:3) in a "culture of death."

Climb a tree. See Jesus. Be a tree.

Prayer:  Father, make me a mighty oak tree, planted by You to show forth Your glory (see Is 61:3).

Promise:  "This is how he died, leaving in his death a model of courage and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation." —2 Mc 6:31

Praise:  St. Albert found God in all aspects of life and found truth in all branches of study. For all his study of nature, he never took his focus off of Jesus.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Effects of Sin on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011)

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