Today our Gospel reading comes from Luke 19:1-10. It’s the story of Zacchaeus, “who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man.” Zacchaeus is no bargain. Not only is he a tax collector but he is a chief tax collector. I’m not sure what a chief tax collector’s duties are but I can assure you it’s probably not favorable to the local people. In spite of this Jesus sees something special in this man and invites himself to stay at Zacchaeus’ house. Jesus is always doing something to make people sit up and take notice. The local leaders immediately took offense at Jesus saying “he has gone to stay at the house of the sinner.”
While they are grumbling, Zacchaeus stands before Jesus saying “behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” Jesus proclaims that salvation has come to the house of Zacchaeus and the “Son of Man” has come to save those who are lost.
What a wonderful story of reconciliation between God (through Jesus), humans and a sinner! Zacchaeus has offered to make full restitution and more for his sinfulness. It must have been difficult for him to admit his sinfulness and make it up to all those he hurt.
Perhaps today is a good day to look into our own hearts and recall those we may have hurt during our lifetime. Perhaps today is a good day to ask the Lord to forgive us our sins and help us to sin no more. Perhaps today is the day we can reconcile with each other and put all that hurt and selfishness behind us.
Peace and All Good! Deacon Jim