Passing through the ancient city of Jericho on the way towards His Passion in Jerusalem, Christ is surrounded by a huge crowd. A chief tax collector of the region named Zacchaeus desperately attempts to get a glimpse of Jesus but cannot because of the crowd.  Zacchaeus, whose name ironically means “clean, pure”, was a serious sinner: tax collectors were notorious for they worked for the occupying Romans to squeeze taxes out of the Jews, often stealing by overcharging.  Zacchaeus was a rich and in charge of multiple tax collectors; he was one of the most hated men in Jericho.

Blocked by the crowd due to his short stature, Zacchaeus runs ahead and climbs a tree, desperate to get even a passing glimpse of Christ; it is an undignified display for a prominent man. Mysteriously, as Christ passes by, He knows Zacchaeus by sight and by name. Christ commands Zacchaeus to come down and announces that He will stay at Zacchaeus’ house.

In an incredible conversion, Zacchaeus obeys and joyfully receives Christ. The crowd, knowing of Zacchaeus’ past treachery, are scandalized that Christ would enter the house of such a contemptible sinner. But Zacchaeus stuns: he promises to repay those he has cheated 4-fold (the law only required a 2-fold restitution) and to give away half of his wealth.  Christ, the cause of Zacchaeus’ spectacular public conversion, confirms that Zacchaeus has been saved.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ is omniscient, knowing about the inner and outer lives of every man.  Divine King, Christ has a perfect plan that mysteriously and unexpectedly impacts each soul. Divine Mercy, Christ converts, forgives and saves even the most treacherous of men who seek Him.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Be awed by Christ’s marvelous plan of salvation. Christ purposefully graces the heart of a treacherous man (like the conversion of the murderous Paul) who makes very public conversion: Zacchaeus’ conversion undoubtedly lead others to Christ’s power and immediately gives financial relief to many.  Zacchaeus’ conversion still moves men’s hearts.

2) Like Zacchaeus, many men are driven by greed to amass wealth and power. Like Zacchaeus, realize that Christ is seeking you.  Pray for Him to more fully convert your heart of your most damning sins.

3) Each man’s sinful acts and failure to take holy action, leaves a trail of seen and unseen suffering of others. Pray for Christ to move your heart to constant conversion and for the courage to make restitution to those you have hurt.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity

Virtue of the Day – Charity

Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner