Gospel of Luke 19:1-10 Reflection:
This story of Zacchaeus was used for the gospel just a couple of Sunday’s ago; it is surprising to see it again so quickly but it is still a great story of conversion and God’s love.
There is a host of sub plots in these few short verses. We have Zacchaeus’ desire to repent and make good what he has done wrong, we have the arrogance and unforgiveness of the Pharisees, we have the surprise of the crowd and we have the Lord teaching that forgiveness and salvation is open to all.
There is a sense of the dramatic in the way that Luke introduces Zacchaeus; Luke tells us that ‘Zacchaeus made his appearance.’
Jesus in return continues this sense of drama and urgency when he says to the tax collector, ‘I must stay at your house tonight.’
You can read many levels of Christian thinking into these lines: Zacchaeus stands before the Lord of all judgements, he is faced with the Truth that we shall all meet and he chooses the path of repentance. St Paul tells us that every human being shall make their appearance before Jesus who shall judge us openly and honestly.
Jesus in his turn shall stand there hoping for our repentance, either he shall stay with us that night or we shall choose otherwise.
These last two weeks of the church year are full of warnings about death and judgement. The modern world does not like to think of such things yet we all know in our hearts that we shall have to give an account of our lives. This fact is written into our DNA, that there is a God and he is Lord of all.
Zacchaeus finally woke up to the fact.