Gospel: Luke 19: 1-10
Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town when a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance; he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man. He was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd; So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him:
‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’
And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully.
They all complained when they saw what was happening. ‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house’ they said. But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, ‘Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost’.
The Gospel of the Lord Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
Donal Neary SJ
Church Reflections, Year C
Made to belong and to share
In the presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus, the little man with a big story, found out who he, really was and, what he was made for. That's the way it is with Jesus.
His big story wasn't impressive. The whole town knew of his corruption, and his exploitation, Many could tell a story of being diddled by him into paying more tax than was just. He carried this burden all the time and somehow the arrival of Jesus impelled him to climb a tree so that his life would be changed. Our stories are all a mixture of good and evil. We carry burdens of guilt and sin and hurt and anger. We need to get free and be the self we can be.
Zaccheus found he wasn't the mean person he had been showing all his life. He found that restoration of ill-gotten gains, and a promise to help his neighbour, would bring more happiness than his past. He found in meeting Jesus the acceptance that allowed him to change, to go public on his change, and to continue a changed life no matter what others thought.
He was made for community, belonging and sharing; not for isolation, loneliness and greed. He knew now he was made for love for he found himself loved by God in Jesus, so that the one everyone was talking about visited his house now.
It didn't make Jesus popular. They blamed him for going to the house of someone like that. It's often like that; we would like Jesus to look down on the ones we look down on. The only time Jesus looks down on us is from his cross - to raise us up to the heights of love and humanity we are made for.
Lord Jesus we are made in your image;
help us to live in your likeness.
Gospel and Gosple Reflection are taken from Mass Readings and Sunday Homily - Catholicireland.net