A Divine Appointment

Luke 19: 1-10
Rev 3:1-6,14-22 / Ps 15:2-5

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 19:9-10)

Grasp the moment’s opportunity
When salvation comes to pass your way;
Zacchaeus had to climb a tree,
A small price for dignity to pay.

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10)

Reflection

Our loving God seeks to save even the sinners, because it is His will that none of His children be lost. But salvation requires a reciprocal action – the sinner must also be willing to be found. A sinner who loses hope, or takes his salvation for granted will never find it in Christ Jesus.

A certain former politician, who was known to “live by the sword” finally met his tragic end in the hands of a gunman. The greater tragedy was not his untimely death, but the lost opportunity of going back to God in repentance and faith. Death can come in an instant, and even the young are not spared, as what also befell a very promising young photo-journalist whose senseless killing in Jolo was condemned by the whole country, and highlighted the lawlessness prevailing in that part of our land. In his case, however, his untimely death was not in vain, and in fact, as many in his profession saw it, his death even immortalized his brilliant works of photography. Not so the former politician, who had been given so much time in his life to mend his ways and seek the Lord, but chose instead to “die by the sword.”

In today’s Gospel, our Lord shows us that the call to save is active, not passive. Jesus did not wait for people to come to him; He actively sought out the lost in order to save them. He did not wait for an invitation; He invited Himself in (“I must stay at your house today”). The Holy Spirit gives us insights into people so that we might be bold to help them. By His grace we are able to see that there is no such thing as a chance encounter. That is why we can set aside social “niceties” to get into the real purpose of the “divine appointment”.

We thank You, dear God, for seeking us out, and calling us to come down from our loftiness, and humbly follow Your ways. Like Zacchaeus, may we free ourselves of all our worldly attachments, and choose to walk in rightful paths, abiding by Your will, and living by Your holy Word. Amen.

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