Zacchaeus the Tax Collector Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' " But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 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 came to seek and to save what was lost."
MeditationEach Sunday, we learn more about the effects of Salvation which Jesus brings to the humanity. This Sunday’s gospel reveals the great Love of God which has been incarnated in Jesus Christ. He does not ask the death of the sinner but he invites him to repent and helps him to erase the sins of all kind. And here he is, waiting all those who knock on his door to welcome them. The eagerness of Zacchaeus and his aspiration to see Jesus made him climb the tree in order to see him. This initiative led him to the penitence because Jesus stayed at his house and gave the Salvation to him and to his family. The initiative of Jesus was most important. Thus, all we need is to make the first step which is the penitence so God can forgive and deliver us. Jewish despised Zacchaeus and considered him as a sinner because he worked for the Roman Empire and used to pilfer from what he collected from citizens. However, Jesus due to his love and his endless mercy helped him to overpass the sins. Thus, he gave half of his possessions to the poor and gave back all he has stolen; “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luc 19:10). This text invites us to repent and to correct our faults no matter how bad they were as Zacchaeus did. In addition, it invites us to take the right way, to be honest, to work with love and to help poor. We have to believe in Jesus Christ because God looks for lost people and brings them to His Kingdom for He is endlessly merciful. “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luc 19:9).