Luke 19:1-10 (New International Version)
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
This follows the Catholic liturgy for today. It’s a fairly well-known passage, one that reminds me of another passage where Jesus describes himself through an analogy of a physician who doesn’t come for the healthy but for the sick (Mark 2:17).
Why is it that when I tell some people I’m a Catholic they suddenly assume I should be a perfect person? One of the things that marks a Christian is his or her realization of imperfection. Whenever some spiritual teacher claims to be perfected or fully “realized,” a huge red flag goes up in my mind. And I admit, I usually think they’re inflated.
Inflation is a psychological term for overly identifying with the gods or God. Instead of relating to the deity, people with inflated egos actually believe they are the deity. To me, this is a sure sign of… well, let’s just say, I think it’s a good idea to remember that God comes to us in our weakness and imperfection. So anyone who thinks a Christian is a hypocrite for not being utterly sinless is just being unrealistic and uninformed.
And to be honest, I often wonder what they’re up to!
- What difference does it make? (jacobjuncker.wordpress.com)
- Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C (semperquaerens.org)
- Gospel: 31st Sunday OT (jessicahof.wordpress.com)
- A repentant tax collector (bibleaid.wordpress.com)
- 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (stbasiltoronto.wordpress.com)
- Guess Who Is Coming to Dinner? — A Lectionary Reflection for Pentecost 24C (bobcornwall.com)
- VATICAN – Pope: With Zacchaeus, God remembers: there is no sin or crime that can erase us from God’s heart (asianews.it)
- Earning the Friendship of God? A Reflection (vox-nova.com)
- To Make a Long Story Short – A Homily for the 31st Sunday of the Year (adw.org)