“Today salvation has come to this house”
Reflections on the readings for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (November 3, 2019): WIS 11:22-12:2; PS 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14; 2 THES 1:11-2:2; LK 19:1-10
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
The story of the meeting between Jesus and Zacchaeus makes clear how He sees us so much more clearly than we can ever see one another.
To his Jewish neighbors, the tax collector was a traitor and thief, a reprehensible sinner. However, Christ recognized in this man someone who was anxious to get close to Him, but not merely out of curiosity. Zacchaeus really wanted to know more about this preacher of Good News, this miracle worker, this man that some said might even be the Messiah. It did not matter to this sinner that he looked silly hanging onto the branches of a tree. He wanted more in his life and hoped Jesus could give it to him.
Christ did not even wait to see if Zacchaeus would talk to Him. He simply told him to climb down and then invited Himself to stay at the tax collector’s house. No wonder many in the crowd were shocked. Good people avoided bad people. It was as simple as that. However, Jesus recognized that the soul of Zacchaeus was changing. The others could not see it, but our Lord knew that He had won the heart of this man who had a true conversion. “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’” (Luke 19:9-10). Our Lord saw a fellow Jew who was worth far more than his worst sins. Zacchaeus became a faithful follower of Christ because that is exactly what Our Lord came among us to do – to seek and save those who have been lost. Jesus does not reject sinners, as long as they acknowledge their faults and embrace His mercy.
Suggested missionary action: We can examine our conscience and reflect on the times when we have judged others guilty of sin. We can also ask God’s pardon and ask Him to help us to change our attitude and leave such judgments to Him.