“Make Haste and Come Down”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Today’s Gospel: Luke 19:1-10 (Jesus and Zacchaeus)”He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Very interesting insight to today’s gospel. How would you react if Jesus said to you, “___, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today!” We know that no one is perfect, no one is without sin; but the real question and thought I guess would be: How ready for Jesus’ arrival are we? Would we have to ask Him to please wait outside, I need to clean up and put away (hide) those things I’d be ashamed for you to see Lord. Or rather, can we say, “Praise Jesus, come into my home anytime You desire Lord, I am always ready for You.” Zacchaeus’ heart was forever changed after spending time with Jesus. Zacchaeus was not popular in a good way, he was a ruthless tax collector that abused his authority and stole from many, by overcharging them. But today was going to change his heart forever –today Zacchaeus wanted God’s mercy and forgiveness for all he had done; he wanted to be right with God.
Zacchaeus’ experience with Jesus not only changed his heart and his life; but his generosity of repentance, changed the whole community as he made restitution with so many from all the evil he has done against them. One man’s changed heart changed many. Can you to change like that when you are with Jesus? My life has never been the same since Jesus came into my life. His presence forever changed the way I act, speak and treat others. Zacchaeus’ experience is one for us to learn from and return to time and time again to remember…
Please take a moment and read what St. Augustine of Hippo said in his sermon about today’s gospel: “The Lord, who had received Zacchaeus in his heart deemed himself worthy to be received in his house. He tells him: Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for I must stay in your house. (Luke 19:5) He considered seeing Christ as a good luck. And he who considered seeing Him as great and ineffable luck, found himself worthy to have Him at once in his house. Grace is infused. Faith moves through love, Christ is received, who was already dwelling in the heart. Zacchaeus tells Jesus: Lord, I will give half of my goods to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back fourfold.(Luke 19: 8) It is as if he said: I am keeping half of my wealth, not to possess it, but to have something from which I pay people back. Behold, this is what it means to receive Jesus, that is, to receive Him in the heart. Christ was truly there; He was in Zacchaeus, and by his inspiration, he said to himself what he was hearing from his heart. It is what the Apostle says: May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith. (Ephesians. 3: 17)
Since it was Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector and a great sinner, that crowd, believed to be of sound mind, was preventing him to see Jesus. They were filled with awe and found reproachable the fact that Jesus entered into a house of sinner, which is the same as finding reproachable a doctor, who enters the house of the sick. Since Zacchaeus turned to be an object of mockery as a sinner, those sick ridiculed him, he who was already restored to health. The Lord responded to those deriders: Today salvation has come into his house. (Luke 19:9) Behold the reason why I entered this house: Today salvation has come. Had the Savior not entered, truly salvation must not have come to that house”. (Sermon 174,5-6)
God Bless you my sisters and brothers, have a blessed Sunday.
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And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS