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.” LK 19:1-10Top of Form
Bottom of Fo
Motto: “But he could not see him because of the crowd” – what do you see at mass events? – Mostly the crowd, the back of other people. This is nice for children, because they are put on their father’s shoulders. Of course, nobody helped Zakeus. Since he was a tax collector he was not and could not be popular. But Zakeus’ desire was stronger than anything else. He did not complain he did not talk badly about the organizers; rather he hurried to climb a tree. He must have been an athletic person. Or he outdone himself? His new location proved to be favorable. Not only saw he Jesus, but Jesus also saw him. It was his reward for his perseverance and his toughness. The turn of events might have surprised him: Jesus declares that he must stay at his house. What does it mean that “has to”? Because he must take a break of his pilgrimage and Zakeus seemed a good solution? Because he saw some potential for an apostolic mission? Since his name is known to us, this suggests that Zakeus became a permanent follower of Jesus. Or did Jesus want to give a lesson to the locals to stop excluding people like Zakeus? Be as it may, the joy of Zakeus was limitless. Despite of that he remained circumspect. He only distributed half of his wealth. It is a matter of imagination what happened with the other half.
For all the Zakeuses this is a nice lesson. Do I invite Jesus to come to me, or does the crowd put me off?
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2019, November 4th
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