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From: Luke 19:1-10

The Conversion of Zacchaeus

[1] He (Jesus) entered Jericho and was passing through. [2] And there was a rich
man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. [3] And he sought
to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was
small of stature. [4] So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to
see Him, for He was to pass that way. [5] And when Jesus came to the place,
He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I
must stay at your house today.” [6] So he made haste and came down, and re-
ceived Him joyfully. [7] And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in
to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” [8] And Zacchaeus stood and said to
the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have de-
frauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.” [9] And Jesus said to him, “To-
day salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. [10]
For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”


1-10. Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind; He has healed many sick people,
has raised the dead to life and, particularly, has brought forgiveness of sin and
the gift of grace to those who approach Him in faith. As in the case of the sinful
woman (cf. Luke 7:36-50), here He brings salvation to Zacchaeus, for the mis-
sion of the Son of Man is to save that which was lost.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector and, as such, was hated by the people, because
the tax collectors were collaborators of the Roman authorities and were often
guilty of abuses. The Gospel implies that this man also had things to seek for-
giveness for (cf. verses 7-10). Certainly he was very keen to see Jesus (no doubt
moved by grace) and he did everything he could to do so. Jesus rewards his ef-
forts by staying as a guest in his house. Moved by our Lord’s presence Zac-
chaeus begins to lead a new life.

The crowd begin to grumble against Jesus for showing affection to a man they
consider to be an evildoer. Our Lord makes no excuses for his behavior: He ex-
plains that this is exactly why He has come—to seek out sinners. He is putting
into practice the parable of the lost sheep (cf. Luke 15:4-7), which was already
prophesied in Ezekiel: “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed,
and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak” (34:16).

4. Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus, and to do so he has to go out and mix with
the crowd. Like the blind man of Jericho he has to shed any kind of human re-
spect. In our own search for God we should not let false shame or fear of ridi-
cule prevent us from using the resources available to us to meet our Lord. “Con-
vince yourself that there is no such thing as ridicule for whoever is doing what is
best” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 392).

5-6. This is a very good example of the way God acts to save men. Jesus calls
Zacchaeus personally, using his name, suggesting he invite Him home. The Gos-
pel states that Zacchaeus does so promptly and joyfully. This is how we should
respond when God calls us by means of grace.

8. Responding immediately to grace, Zacchaeus makes it known that he will re-
store fourfold anything he obtained unjustly—thereby going beyond what is laid
down in the Law of Moses (cf. Exodus 21:37f). And in generous compensation
he gives half his wealth to the poor.” Let the rich learn”, St. Ambrose comments,
“that evil does not consist in having wealth, but in not putting it to good use; for
just as riches are an obstacle to evil people, they are also a means of virtue for
good people” (”Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.”). Cf. note on Luke 16:

10. Jesus’ ardent desire to seek out a sinner to save him fills us with hope of
attaining eternal salvation. “He chooses a chief tax collector: who can despair
when such a man obtains grace?” (St. Ambrose, “Expositio Evangelii Sec.
Lucam, in loc.”).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 11/19/2012 9:27:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

First reading Apocalypse 3:1-6,14-22 ©
I, John, heard the Lord saying to me: ‘Write to the angel of the church in Sardis and say, “Here is the message of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know all about you: how you are reputed to be alive and yet are dead. Wake up; revive what little you have left: it is dying fast. So far I have failed to notice anything in the way you live that my God could possibly call perfect, and yet do you remember how eager you were. when you first heard the message? Hold on to that. Repent. If you do not wake up, I shall come to you like a thief, without telling you at what hour to expect me. There are a few in Sardis, it is true, who have kept their robes from being dirtied, and they are fit to come with me, dressed in white. Those who prove victorious will be dressed, like these, in white robes; I shall not blot their names out of the book of life, but acknowledge their names in the presence of my Father and his angels. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”
  ‘Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea and say, “Here is the message of the Amen, the faithful, the true witness, the ultimate source of God’s creation: I know all about you: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth. You say to yourself, ‘I am rich, I have made a fortune, and have everything I want’, never realising that you are wretchedly and pitiably poor, and blind and naked too. I warn you, buy from me the gold that has been tested in the fire to make you really rich, and white robes to clothe you and cover your shameful nakedness, and eye ointment to put on your eyes so that you are able to see. I am the one who reproves and disciplines all those he loves: so repent in real earnest. Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him. Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I was victorious myself and took my place with my Father on his throne. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”’

Psalm Psalm 14:2-5 ©
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne.
Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain?
  He who walks without fault;
he who acts with justice
  and speaks the truth from his heart.
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne.
He who does no wrong to his brother,
  who casts no slur on his neighbour,
who holds the godless in disdain,
  but honours those who fear the Lord.
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne.
He who keeps his pledge, come what may;
  who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent.
  Such a man will stand firm for ever.
Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Ps129:5
Alleluia, alleluia!
My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.
Or 1Jn4:10
Alleluia, alleluia!
God so loved us that he sent his Son
to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.

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.’

5 posted on 11/19/2012 9:40:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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