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Up A Tree?

**Today salvation has come to this house** (Luke 19:9).
Wisdom 11:22-12:2; Psalms 145:1-2,8-11,13-14; II Thessalonians 1:11-2:2; Luke 19:1-10

Sermon Topic Salvation

Sermon Week Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 19:9


The tragedy of September 11th, put us all in touch with the great Mysteries we encounter in our human situation; the Mystery of Life itself; the Mystery of Love, which is the Mystery of God; the Mystery of Evil, which begs the agonizing question, "Why?"; and, of course, the Mystery of Death, which includes the awesome mysteries of afterlife and salvation.

Salvation! That is the question raised in today's Gospel Lesson. The story begins with a man named Zacchaeus who is, literally, "up a tree."

Zacchaeus was a rich Tax Collector, a swindler and extorter of sorts. Therefore his wealth was tainted: ill-gotten. At the time of today's Lesson, Jesus was passing through Jerico, the town in which Zacchaeus lived. Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus and was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he couldn't get through the crowd that was following Jesus and being a small man, he was too short to see over the crowd. So he climbed a tree in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus ...

As Jesus passed by, He looked up and spoke to Zacchaeus. Clearly, Jesus had sensed that Zacchaeus was "up a tree" because of the kind of life he was living. "Zacchaeus, come down," Jesus said. "Hurry, because I must stay at your house today." Whereupon Zacchaeus hurried down and, joyfully welcomed Jesus into his house. "Look Sir," he said to the Lord, "I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody, I will pay him back four times the amount." To which Jesus replied, "Today salvation has come to this house" (Luke 19:9)

Zacchaeus, a sinful man, was filled with remorse for the ways in which he had mistreated and exploited other people. He wanted to make amends. He wanted to make things right. He wanted to change his way of living. In other words, he wanted to repent. And no longer would money be his first priority. No longer would his love of money get in the way of his need to love other people -- the same people [...]

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