Gospel Reflection Oct 30 – Msgr. Hendricks
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
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,
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.”
Zacchaeus, Like Matthew in the gospel is a tax collector. And Zacchaeus is the chief tax collector in Jericho. He climbs a tree to see Jesus passing by. He has an interest in Jesus and we don’t know why, but the real part of the story is that Jesus has an interest in him. Jesus changes his plan and invites himself to dinner in the house of Zacchaeus. You may recall he did the same thing to Matthew. The ability of Jesus to make friends with sinners and those outside the Jewish Law is significant. Why? Because Jesus has come to save all those who believe in him, in his message, and in person.
We never hear from Zacchaeus. We believe that he did what he said he would do. He changed his life because of this encounter. As in all the gospel message of Jesus, a change is call for by all who encounter him. The same goes for us who hear his words in the gospel today. What do you wish to change because Jesus has encountered you?