FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
33ND Tuesday of Ordinary Time
November 15, 2022
At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“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.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”. (Luke 19: 1-10)
How shall I live this Word?
Zacchaeus: a man who desires to see Jesus and, taken by curiosity, places himself on the path that He will have to travel. Jesus, the Christ, wishes to meet man, every man, even the most hardened sinner; He, a lover of life, tries not to lose any of His children. Jesus sees Zacchaeus and, going against all rules, asks him to invite Him to his house. Two freedoms meet and bring Life and Salvation. Jesus came to seek and save sinners: he saw Zacchaeus’ unhappiness. He goes to meet him and calls him. Zacchaeus, who had an absolute need for life, feel himself loved and welcomed, immediately sets out to welcome Him. God is just waiting to be welcomed! And when you meet God, you discover the truth of yourself and share everything with your brothers and sisters. In fact, Zacchaeus discovers that bringing Jesus into one’s life generates a change of attitude and conduct. Welcoming God and letting oneself be encountered by Him gives rise to the desire for a true following that becomes a gift exceeding the good: “Here, Lord, I give half of my possessions to the poor and, if I have extorted anything from anyone, I shall pay it four times over.”
Zacchaeus was able to listen, to allow himself to be radically transformed by the beauty and strength of the Word of Jesus. Jesus comments, “Today salvation has come to this house.”
Lord, do not let me tire of looking for You and finding You can transform my desires for good into concrete gestures of life.
The Voice of Pope Francis General Audience 12 October 2022
Desire is not the wish of the moment, no. The Italian word comes from a very beautiful Latin term, this is curious: de-sidus, literally “the lack of the star”. Desire is a lack of the star, lack of the reference point that guides the path of life. … Desire then is the compass to understand where I am and where I am going, indeed it is the compass to understand if I am still or going, a person who never desires is a stationary person, perhaps sick, almost dead. …Unlike the wish or the emotion of the moment, desire lasts over time, even a long time, and tends to materialize. … Often it is desire that makes the difference between a successful, coherent, and lasting project, and the thousand ambitions and the many good intentions of which, as they say, “hell is paved”. “Yes, I would like, I would like, I would like … “but you do nothing. The era in which we live seems to favor maximum freedom of choice, but at the same time it atrophies desire. You want to satisfy yourself continuously – mostly reduced to the whim of the moment. And we must be careful not to atrophy desire.
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