Seek the Lord – Save the Lost

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Come and See 31
31 Sunday Ordinary Time C

Wisdom 11:22-12:2
2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2
Luke 19:1-10

Jesus’ long journey to Jerusalem comes to an end. Jerusalem, according to Luke, reveals a crucial theological meaning. At the beginning of the mission, in the third temptation, Jesus was led to Jerusalem (Lk 4:9-10). It may be concluding that Luke wanted to connect this temptation with the final temptation in the Agony and eventually Jesus overcame the final temptation in Jerusalem. He was glorified in Jerusalem.

On this journey toward Jerusalem, Luke clearly presents Jesus’ mercy and forgiveness to pardoned sinners, especially today who is Zacchaeus. There are three points relating to the Reading today. (1) Zacchaeus is rich, but not happy. (2) Zacchaeus determines to see Jesus when hearing about Him. And (3) He is changed after encountering Jesus.

Undoubtedly, Zacchaeus is rich, but he is not happy; he is a lonely man because he is a tax-collector. His way of life puts him in an outcast. However, hearing about Jesus, Zacchaeus determines to see Jesus. He seeks Jesus not because he wants to see miracle, but because he “had heard of this Man who welcomed tax-collectors and sinner.”[1] He wants to find a friend; he wants to associate with someone who “welcomes” him. In his searching, he does find a wonderful Friend. He steps into the Gospel of Jesus by making a decision: to transform his life.

My dear friends, the mission of Jesus is to save the lost. Who are the lost? We are lost when we wander away from our path, our home, our duty, and our Lord. The question is whether or not we know that we are lost. Our desires for love and being loved give us a signal that we somehow are lost; we are in a wrong place. Therefore, we need to spend more energy to seek the Lord who does not “bring paradise here and now,… [but] I [the Lord] have come to bring you the horizon, the sea,…freedom,… I have come to bring you the desire and the direction. ‘You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect’(Mt 5:48).”[2]

[1] William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (Kentucky: JWK:2001), 278.
[2] Paul Claudel, “Why Christ Cures on the Sabbath” in Magnificat, Oct 2010, Vol. 12, No.8, 388.
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