Gospel – Luke 19:1-10
At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”
Reflection on Sunday Gospel
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God…
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus begins his public life by reading and preaching in the synagogue of his hometown of Nazareth. (Chapter 4) He chooses the writing of Isaiah, chapter 61. When finished reading He proclaims that He is “The One who is to come” and bring peace and freedom.
In chapter 18 of Luke there is narrated the story of a prominent, wealthy, and fervent young man who keeps the Law. This young man asks Jesus what further he must do to live a good life. Jesus compliments him for his observance of the Law, yet tells him what is lacking in his present state: give all you own to the poor, and come and follow me. The young man cannot do that, much to Jesus sadness.
In chapter 19 Luke presents us with an example of the same desire from “The One who is to come” in the person of Zaccheus. A prominent tax collector, one of a group of people despised by his contemporaries – as is still common – , obviously a man of wealth (although mostly by fraud), acts rather strangely. He hears of Jesus coming by, and short as he is, runs and does something quite daring and childlike: he climbs a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. Zacchaeus is drawn by “something’ about Jesus. Similarly, Jesus is drawn by “something” about Zacchaeus. Jesus invites himself to dinner in Zacchaeus’ house. This rich man is overwhelmed. He promises to make good on his fraud – quite genuinely and generously – and professes belief and attachment to Jesus. In response, Jesus says “Today Salvation has come to this house!”.
A big, daring, childlike, and spontaneous heart is filled by Jesus.
St. John Baptist de La Salle … Pray for Us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts … Forever!
Br. James Loxham, FSC