Reflections - October 30, 2016

“Today salvation has come to this house.  For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”  Lk. 19:9-10.
Today the Gospel presents us with the story of a man named Zacchaeus.  He was tiny in stature and was a tax collector.  Last week Jesus taught us how a tax collector prayed.  Today Zacchaeus receives salvation, who was also a tax collector.  He was someone who collected tax on behalf of the Romans and was despised and thought unclean by the religious of the Jewish law.
Yet, that man tries to discover who Jesus was and asks:  Who is He?  They answer:  “He is Jesus of Nazareth” The Holy One of God.
Zacchaeus tries to approach and many take the opportunity to prevent him from passing.  He then climbed a sycamore tree and Jesus speaks to him.  He does not pass by.  He looked at him and how he looked!  He then said:  “Zacchaeus, today I must spend the night in this city.  Do you allow Me to stay in your house?”  I ask myself:  “Where is the Lord’s house?  Today it is in the house of Zacchaeus, the sinner.  The tax collector came down right away.  Jesus invites him to “come down”.  My Father, God, has waited many years for this moment.  “The Lord jumps over many laws, He goes beyond”.  As Pope Francis would say:  “Jesus wants to smell like a sheep to save a soul, and, of course, this sheep smelled strongly”.  To the extreme that the “good” murmured saying:  “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner”.  We always forget that what is impossible for man is possible for God.
Zacchaeus allowed Jesus to enter his house and has a party.  In the midst of this encounter he feels touched by the grace of God.  Faith, hope and charity touch his heart because if there is no faith there is no change, and if there is no hope in eternal life and charity there is no detachment, which means:  idiocy for the world, but wise in the eyes of God.  Zacchaeus said:  “I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over”.  Jesus, the wisdom of God, responds:  “Today salvation has come to this house…..because the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost”.  May the Lord find our house (our soul) prepared when He visits us and say:  Today salvation entered this repentant soul.
Let us pray to the Lord in the Eucharist that we will be able to open our hearts so that Salvation will enter our home and community.  Let us pray that we will be able to discover through the celebration of All Saints Day, whose feast we celebrate on November 1st, the Mercy of the Lord.  Let us also remember with our prayers on November 2nd, All Souls Day, our relatives and friends who have departed from this world so that the Lord will receive them in our Good Father’s house.  Amen.