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Today salvation has come! – Br. David Vryhof

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davidv150x150If any of you were present at the Red Sox’ victory parade in Boston yesterday, you may have some sympathy for Zaccheus, the undersized tax collector who scrambled up a tree to catch a glimpse of a local celebrity as he passed by.  It was a bold move, one which would have invited the ridicule of others, but Zaccheus, I think, was used to the ridicule of others.  As a chief tax collector, Zaccheus was implicated in the corrupt and oppressive rule of the Romans over the Jews.  He was a man on the margins of society, despised by his fellow-Jews and used by the Romans.  But some strong desire – perhaps the fruit of his own unhappiness – compels him to look for Jesus, about whom he had undoubtedly heard so much. He climbs a tree to see Jesus, but is surprised when Jesus sees him, and invites him to come down and share a meal with him, an act of generosity that upsets the crowd.  “All that saw it began to grumble, and said, ‘he has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner’” (vs.7).  The result of the meeting, however, is a dramatic conversion, in which Zaccheus promises to give half of his worldly goods to the poor, and to make restitution to all those whom he has cheated.

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