17.11.2020 Lk 19.1-10

The Lord is seeking us long before we seek him. Today’s first reading also has something similar and very beautiful to tell us; “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev 3:20). Jesus went on to say to Zacchaeus, ‘the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost’. Yet it is our persistent seeking that opens the way to an encounter with the Lord. Zacchaeus’ meeting with Jesus was for sure not by chance. He must have heard of Jesus and of teachings and this might have been a cause of trouble in his mind. This restlessness would have led him to seek Jesus. When Jesus looked up at Zacchaeus in the tree, he didn’t see Zacchaeus the sinner but rather Zacchaeus the seeker. He was responding to Zacchaeus the seeker.
What is really astonishing is the response of Zacchaeus; “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.” This was an extreme step taken by him because being a publican and at the same time a rich man was not common at that time, even though a tax collector enjoyed many privileges from the Romans. Only through extortion and deceitful actions he could attain wealth. But Zacchaeus is now ready to part with all his wealth. He may even become a debtor if he executes his plan, because he might not find much possessions which have not been obtained by illegitimate means. Anyway, he is not worried about that. He has found the real wealth which is valuable than all of his possessions. Just like St. Paul he could also say; “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:7-8).