Gospel Reading and Thoughts for November 3, 2013

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,Zacchaeus
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.”

 

We know the story of Zacchaeus from our childhood and how he climbed a tree to see Christ pass by, only to be picked out of the crowd to host our Lord for dinner.  Oftentimes, sermons on this gospel reflect the innate sinfulness of Zacchaeus and how the Lord still loved him.  But today, I’d like to write about how I can relate to Zacchaeus, not just due to his sinful nature (which we both share), but because of his inability to see Christ.

Here was Zacchaeus, perhaps too unimportant and too small to get to the front of the crowd of people, yet he knew someone special was coming.  He knew that there was someone he just had to see.  And he did whatever was necessary to catch just a glimpse of this man. 

Some days, I too feel as if I can’t quite see God.  I  know He’s there and He has something amazing in store for me but I can’t quite see it.  If I’m not careful, I will lack the fortitude of Zacchaeus and just give up.  But what we need to do, what God wants us to do, is to overcome those barriers in our lives that are keeping us from seeing Christ clearly.  We must go to confession, or forgive that person who has hurt us.  We have to let go of worries and just trust in his plan for our lives.  We have to climb that tree to see over the busy-ness of this world so that we too can catch a glimpse of our Lord!

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