Prayer: God, Creator and Savior, source of peace for the entire world: be our life today. O Christ, you call us to share with others: unite us in your love. O Christ, our Shepherd, you come to seek those who are lost, you visit the lonely and the abandoned: give them new hope. Comforting Spirit, you place in us hope and joy: fill us with your love. Comforting Spirit, you awaken in us a love that forgives: come to us, Holy Spirit. (Taize Prayer for each Day. www.taize.fr/en_article5806.html)
Read St. Luke 19: 1 – 10
Zacchaeus, the Tax Collector. What a great story of forgiveness and redemption. Here is a man who was despised by his own peoples for being a tax collector. Yet, when he heard Jesus was coming, he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a tree so that he could see Jesus. Jesus looked up at Zacchaeus and said, “I must stay at your home today”. Wow! The crowd is horrified. Jesus has said he is going to the home of a sinner. Gasp! Yet, by Jesus reaching out to Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus’ heart is changed. Zacchaeus said that here and now he gives away half of his possessions to the poor and will pay back four times the amount of anyone he cheated.
This story of Zacchaeus is in direct contrast to the Rich Ruler. The Rich Ruler could not give away his possessions and could not follow Jesus. Zacchaeus gave away his possessions and paid back four times the amount of anyone he cheated. Zacchaeus followed Jesus. All because Jesus showed compassion and love to Zacchaeus.
Today meditate and ask yourself how your community could change if the Church showed compassion and love within the community.
Prayer: Lord Christ, enable us to turn to you at every moment. So often we forget that your Holy Spirit dwells in us, that you pray in us, that you love in us. Your miracle in us is your trust, and your constant forgiveness. (Taize Prayer for Each day. www.taize.fr/en_article5806.html)