“To Seek & To Save The Lost”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Today’s Gospel: Luke 19:1-10 (Zacchaeus the Tax-Collector) “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."”
Lord today’s blessed gospel shares much about these most sorrowful mysteries. Today in this mystery we are reflecting upon the Contrition of a man who was indeed lost. But we can see by the gospel, as Jesus spent time with Zacchaeus, his life began to Conform to the Will of God. His heart knew that the agony inside was seeking answers. Today’s gospel and this first sorrowful mystery have two amazing things in common: Both Jesus and Zacchaeus were directed to God’s Will, and both openly accepted it.
The 2nd Sorrowful Mystery – Scourging at The Pillar.
Let us begin this second most sorrowful mystery with my head bowed before You Lord. This mystery hurts me tremendously, tears are almost impossible to stop when I reflect upon this most vicious hateful act of violence towards You Lord. When the crowd murmured against Zacchaeus (a much hated man), a man truly unworthy of having Jesus over his home. The back-lash from the people who already hated him only intensified. Purity most certainly must have begun in Zacchaeus’ heart; and there’s no doubt Mortification for his many sins, also must have shaken him.
In this mystery Lord, I can see how strong You were physically, mentally and most importantly -spiritually. In today’s gospel Zacchaeus showed similar strength in opening his home for You Lord; and in doing so while being surrounded by a crowd that hated him. I also see Lord that Zacchaeus showed much Moral Courage as this visit and conversion and experience filled his home and his life. As the thorns ripped Your skin and dripped Your blessed blood to save us; Zacchaeus’ wealth was poured out of his selfish heart in repentance to all he offended and stole from.
This journey was indeed a journey that brought You Lord to the Cross, to be nailed upon a tree. There was more than just Patience and Love that guided You through this horrible ordeal Lord. Zacchaeus in many ways made a similar journey. He sought to see You but could not, so he ran ahead to climb a sycamore tree, so that his view was clear and he could see You. Just as this huge branch of a tree was on Your shoulder Lord, so that You might save the world; Zacchaeus climbed out upon a huge branch to see You, so that You might save him.
The 5th Sorrowful Mystery – The Crucifixion.
This fifth and final Sorrowful Mystery sadly needed to be fulfilled, as You have told us many times in scripture Lord. How can I to, live a life that reflects what You have taught me Lord, on this most sorrowful journey? Your example of unselfishness and truly living a life of honest Self-denial; has taught me much about what really matters in this life. In today’s gospel Zacchaeus finally got to the point of unselfishness and a heart that truly loved others. Your love filled his heart, and once that happened Lord, he to realized that nothing else in this life matters, except Your love.
Thank you Lord for such a blessed experience in today’s Rosary. It is time for us to make room for You, in our hearts, in our homes, in our lives and yes throughout our busy days. Embrace You and Welcoming You into our lives needs to our life’s goal. We need to climb our sycamore tree and make clear the view of YOU in our lives. +JMJ+
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And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS