November 21, 2017
(The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
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_19:1-10
Are you lost, beloved? Or do you know someone who is?
There is always hope!
Zacchaeus was a hated tax collector. He was hated because he was a Jew who placed the burden of the Roman taxes on his own people. And those tax collectors were known for their dishonesty. Beyond the taxes they had to remit back to the Romans they pocketed huge amounts for themselves, out of the pockets of their poor brothers and sisters. And whether they all did that or not, it really didn’t matter, because they were all clumped into that same category of “dishonest tax collectors,” much like lawyers are categorized today.
So whether Zacchaeus was actually one of the dishonest ones or not, something caused him to have a pretty keen interest in Jesus. And Jesus sensed this and wanted to get to know him a little better. In the process, Zacchaeus turned his whole life over to Jesus. He just may have been lost before, but now he found the hope of Jesus, the light of salvation, and his life had a whole new mission. We call it kerygma or the proclamation of the “Good News.”
Whether it is we ourselves or someone else who is lost, EVERYONE needs to know that Good News – that God LOVES us, no matter what we may have done in the past. All we need to do is turn to Him and allow Him to turn us inside out. From lost to found, from hatred to love, from death to life, from self centeredness to compassion for everyone, even those who may still be lost!
What awesome HOPE there is in Jesus!
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