On this Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost, we hear the transformational story of the tax collector, Zacchaeus. Last Sunday we heard the short parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, but this week we hear details of a "chief tax collector" who is a rich man; and a man who became rich at the expense of others. Jesus meets Zacchaeus as he enters the city of Jericho, and this divine encounter becomes the center of a transformational event in Zacchaeus' life. We will reflect on how God enters into our lives and how we are invited to be open to the transforming love and grace of God in our lives.
Our Scripture passage is found in the Gospel according to Luke. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Luke 19:1-10).
For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):
Read the Scripture lesson from this week, following the link above. The story of Zacchaeus is patterned on a "transformation story" of someone encountering another, who redirects their life in a transformational and dramatic manner. How has Jesus' presence in Zacchaeus' life accomplished this change? What might this story be saying to each of us?
Read the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below and reflect on the author's statement of the power of "repentance." Consider also that the idea of "repentance" includes a reorientation of one's life...literally, "changing direction." How might this "change in direction" also speak to the transformational story idea in the question above?
Read the "WHERE..." paragraph below and reflect on the author's statement of the saving nature of Jesus' mission to the people of God. Reflect on how the Sacrament of Baptism incorporates the idea of being named and claimed as God's own child, and how this brings us into the grace of God.
Read the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below and reflect on the following: what does it mean to you to "look for your tree to climb" so that you may find Jesus? Consider times in your life that you have felt the desire to "climb a tree" and ask yourself - what did you find?