Faith Daily | 16 November 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST
whose sovereign purpose none can make void:
give us faith to be steadfast amid the tumults of this world,
knowing that your kingdom shall come,
and your will be done,
to your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 19: 1-10
He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” 6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” 8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” 9Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: by Penny Graham
Zacchaeus was not well liked by the people of Jericho, mainly because he was a chief tax collector and he was despised by the majority of the people living there. He also made money on the side and became very wealthy. Some of his dealings were legitimate and some not so. The people knew that this money was theirs, and that he had no right to it, but they could do nothing about it until Jesus came through the town one day.
Zacchaeus was a small man and he was desperate to see Jesus, so he climbed a Sycamore fig tree in order to get a better view of him. Jesus spotted him there and asked him to get down immediately.
Jesus saw straight through him, the layers of graft and greed, and of callous contempt for his fellow citizens. Jesus was well aware of what tax collectors were up to.
Jesus said to Zacchaeus that he was staying at his house, and he welcomed him with joy. He then repents to Jesus in public. Repentance here isn't just a change of heart, as in Judaism. In general, repentance involves restoration and making amends. Zacchaeus is intent to do the right thing now, and relinquishes his possessions as he has found something more valuable.
Because Jesus wants to stay at his house, this is salvation for Zacchaeus, and where Jesus is, salvation is to be found.
Zacchaeus changes his ways, and he lives out his new life and re-establishes himself as part of the renewed Israel, right where he is now.
FINAL PRAYER: Jim Cotter “Unfolding the Living Word”
Living God, welcoming and generous,
knowing that we human beings
grow in love for one another
in exchanges of mercy and grace,
give us the discernment and the humility
to ask a favour from others,
that by respecting their dignity
and depending upon them,
we may open both our heart and theirs
to the spirit of friendship.
We pray this in the hope and life of Jesus
and in the power of the Spirit.