Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saints and Scripture Zaccheus

Today was Zaccheus Sunday in the Byzantine Churches. As such, the Gospel reading was the story of Zaccheus:
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, "Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house."
And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, "That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner."
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold."
And Jesus said unto him, "This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."-- Luke 19:1-10
I read somewhere (I forgot save the link) that Zaccheus climbing into the sycamore was symbolic of Zaccheus taking up his cross (Paul mentions Jesus dying on the cross as bearing the sin of hanging from a tree) and dying to himself and his greedy desires in order to see who is Jesus.
When I did a Google Image search for pictures of Zaccheus, some of the pictures displayed were from the Garden of Eden. It does occur to me that it is almost the reverse of Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit. As Adam and Eve picked the forbidden fruit from the tree and mankind fell, Jesus called Zaccheus from the tree and brought salvation to his house in order "to save that which was lost".
According to some traditions, he followed St Peter after the Ascension of our Lord and became bishop of Caesarea.
May God bless all who read my ramblings,

Adopt A Catholic Blog

1 comment:

Catholic Mama said...

I love Zacchaeus! He is a sinner like me but willing to do whatever it takes to get to Christ! I know there may be better role models, but I think he's a pretty good one.