31st Sunday in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading Wisdom 11:22-12:2: You are merciful to all because you love all that exists.
II Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2: The name of Christ will be glorified in you and you in him.
Gospel: Luke 19:1-10: The Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.
The Conversion of Zacchaeus: The Meaning of Conversion, Lk 19:1-10
God loves everything that he created, hut His love for humankind is great, even he/she falls into sin, immediately He saves from sin. We read in the Book of Genesis that after their disobedience, Adam and Eve “hid from Yahweh among the trees of the garden” (Gen 3:8). God called to the man (Adam and Eve): “Where are you?” In the same way Jesus came into the world to save the sinners particularly Zacchaeus, the tax collector in today’s gospel and the tax collector in the previous Sunday’s gospel and Matthew the tax collector etc. who were considered as the sinners in the Jewish society.
What is important and what we can learn today is that like Zacchaeus we must look for Jesus, search for Jesus and try to see Jesus and listen and obey the words of Jesus and follow him immediately to carry out his mission through our ministry to all especially to the poor and needy in the society.
The man had a great hope to meet God face to face so he tried his best to see Jesus as his real need in life.
1. Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector-a man who was very rich (v.1-2)
2. First, being desperate to see Jesus: Who He is
a. He was thrust back
b. He persisted
3. Second, receiving the invitation of Jesus (v.5-6)
a. Jesus saw him
b. Jesus called him by name
c. Jesus asked to be received
d. Zacchaeus obeyed
4. Third repenting, that is, changing one’s whole way of life (v.7-8)
a. He was a sinner
b. He repented, changed his life
5. Fourth, looking to Jesus as the Saviour (9-10)
a. The One who proclaims salvation
b. The One who seeks and saves the lost
Thought: Zacchaeus completely turned around from his sinful life to God and His way of righteousness by giving half his possessions to the poor. He did exactly what Jesus had said and he did exactly what the rich young ruler had refused to do (Lk 18:18-24). He gave back to those whom he had cheated; he gave four times what he had taken. Restitution became the thrust of his life. This is called conversion is repenting and changing one’s whole way of life.