31th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C


“Jesus entered Jericho.” Luke’s Gospel is about the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem, to the Cross. We are almost there. Jericho is a little more than a Sabbath walk from the Temple. 

We meet Zacchaeus, one of the characters of the Bible. Zacchaeus is a publican, a senior tax collector, a wealthy man. He was not tall.   He was anxious to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was passing by. 

Because of his small stature he climbs the sycamore tree to get a better view. 

He receives the invitation from Jesus. “Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry because I must stay at your house today”. “And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully.” 
I would like to make a few comments. “They all complained”. Every time Luke mentions the word ‘they’, they are complaining. The people in the gospel are always complaining.!!!!! 

I owe Zacchaeus an apology. Over the years I have always thought that the visit of Jesus was the cause of his conversion. But the text needs correction. It says: “Look sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor…….”. The Greek clearly says “I am giving half my property to the poor…..”Jesus is visiting Zacchaeus because he is already converted. He is not a man full of promises. He is already making restitution. Jesus is inviting himself into Zacchaeus’ house to confront the complaining crowds who do not accept his conversion. This eating with publicans gives rise to the three parables in Ch 15. 

 It is the complaining crowds that need conversion. No matter what is his past, Jesus wants to assure Zacchaeus that “salvation has come to his house”. 
The Conclusion says it all. “The son of man has come to seek out and save what was lost”.

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