Today is All Saints Day on the Liturgical Calendar. Take time to remember those who’ve have gone before us in faith, who have been our examples and taught us what a life dedicated to God means.
Our scripture for this week is Luke 19:1-10.
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.”
The Lord changed lives on His visit to Jericho. Zacchaeus proclaims his new way of living, but others were affected as well. Some would be the recipients of the “tax rebate” Zacchaeus offered, but all were touched by the lesson the Lord taught there.
Jesus shows us that no matter what we may think of people or a situation, no one is beyond God’s love and redemption. He taught us that people can change based on that love, and that our opinion of them is not what gives or denies salvation. God alone is the judge of that.
Luke 23:42-43 tells of the thief crucified with Jesus who asks to be remembered when He comes into His kingdom, and the Lord replies “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise”. Would any of us have expected such a promise to a thief justly condemned to death? If we are truthful with ourselves, we are all condemned to death and only the promise of Jesus can save us.
Loving Lord, we are too quick to judge others and not look at ourselves. Help us to change our lives and gladly accept Your promise of salvation. Amen.