The following is a schematic
commentary, point by point on the wonderful conversion of Zacchaeus. Read the Biblical passage and then use the commentary
to help to fill in the gaps!
Jerusalem. Jesus is heading towards
Jerusalem where He will undergo His passion, suffering and death for our
salvation. Principle and Foundation—know where we came from and where we are
JESUS- SAVIOR. The primary purpose of the coming of Jesus
was and is to save the world from sin and bring them to heaven.
PUBLIC MINISTRY—Jesus carried out
three basic activities: teaching/preaching, exorcisms, and miracles. Jesus
preached whenever He could in all times and places where there was an occasion.
OPEN HEARTS. Jesus then as well as now is looking for open
hearts. He stands at the door and knocks.
THE PERSON AND THE STORY OF ZACCHAEUS…
JERICHO—A very rich city, one of the
riches of Palestine for its Palm forests and fruit and exchange. For this
reason the Romans/ Tax-collectors highly taxed those who entered and left
Jericho. Good Samaritan told in the
context of Jericho.
Had reached the top of his profession and according to some commentators
was hated by many. Remember that St. Matthew was also a tax-collector.
He was wealthy but he was not
happy. Truly money cannot buy us true
happiness on earth. His money could buy
him pleasure and things but not true joy.
He as despised rejected, and hated by men, this brought him to seek for
God. Apparently he had heard of Jesus
who had no prejudices. Jesus loved all especially sinners and tax-collectors;
so Zach. Would try to meet Jesus. He had nothing to lose.
DIFFICULTY IN SEEING JESUS FOR
VARIOUS REASONS. First of all, he was
small of stature. Next he was despised by many.
If he got close to Jesus in the crowd then they would have taken the
opportunity to pinch him, or nudge him, or elbow him, or kick him or knock him
down—as a sign of revenge. In a word he would be bruised black and blue.
CREATIVITY/INGENUITY. He would climb a tree so that he could at
least see what Jesus looked like. Imagine him shimmying up the tree, maybe
slipping at first. Maybe he got a blister or two. Hanging from the limb might
have been dangerous. Of course the people seeing him would make fun of him
calling him crazy! He did not care. It was worth seeing Jesus!
CONVERSION: CHANGE OF HEART BY HIS
ACTIONS. His failure was with money and
taking advantage of people and most likely levying taxes that were too high, as
was the custom of the Tax-collectors.
Look what he does and he confesses publically. He would give half of his money to the poor!
That is already extreme. But still more, if he defrauded anybody, he would
repay four times as much. This went way beyond
the Levitical requirements!
REPARATION. A very important aspect of spirituality the
call to repair or reparation. In justice when we do something wrong we should
try to repair the damage. The following are examples:
Confession—the priest gives us a
penance. Often it is very small and maybe we should add to it.
STEAL—you/ child should try to
restore what was stolen. (Laura S. and the stolen cookie story)
STORE—Give too much should return.
Slander—Restore the person’s name you
ruined. Neri and chicken story. Unpluck
the feathers and cast them to the wind and then gather them. Much easier to do
then to restore the reputation destroyed!
Husband hurt wife, should try to make
up for it.
Broken window by baseball, pay for
the window before getting the ball back.
Miss Mass on Sunday with family—go to
a week-day Mass.
Harsh word that hurts—try to repair by a kind
BREAK IT—Buy a new one.
Borrow book—restore it!
PAY NOW OR LATER—PURGATORY!
VICTIM SOULS—those who willingly
suffer for these reasons: to console the
wounded heart of Jesus—Fr. Mike Gaitley’s book, to repair for past sins, for
the conversion of sinners. Examples: Padre Pio, Faustina, and the children of
10. JESUS REJOICES!!! At
the conversion of this sinner. He made an effort to see Jesus, climbed the tree
and showed true signs of repentance by a desire to repair the damage.
11.HIS HOME. Wanted to go to his home. Once again, Jesus
wants to go to our home, our heart in Holy Communion!
12. COMMUNION OF
REPARATION—one of the best ways to repair for sin is Mass and Holy Communion of