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A reading of the holy Gospel according to Lk 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."


"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

On our Holy Land Pilgrimage we visited Jericho and a Sycamore tree. I can identify with Zacchaeus and his problem of short stature. I can just see him peering through the branches. One branch away from falling down.

Being a chief tax collector was like wearing a "sign" that you should be hated because you worked with the enemy to oppress your brothers and sisters for profit. Suffice it to say that he was hated. And maybe best to hide from the crowd up in that tree.

But we focus in the mercy of God. Zacchaeus can now wear that sign of hope of divine pardon. Yes, the Divine Jesus seeks us out -His creatures-because He is goodness and love. And what a great honor to have God invite Himself to your home!

The longing to see Jesus overcame all embarrassment, awkwardness and any hesitation.

St John Paul II commented on this Gospel by asking, "Do I want 'to see Christ? Do I do everything 'to see him'?

Jesus can read our hearts, our motives and personally loves us. Every true encounter brings repentance and joy:

When God calls us, may we embark on a new life just as Zacchaeus: "For the Son of Man has come to seek out and to save what was lost".

Pray for that encounter.

God Bless us all!


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