The Gospel reading from the Mass for Tuesday for the 33rd Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 19:1-10.

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 Christ but cannot because of the crowd.  Zacchaeus, whose name ironically means “clean, pure”, was a serious sinner: tax collectors were notorious sinners who 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 certainly 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 Zaccchaeus’ 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.  After Zacchaeus makes his public act of contrition, Christ proclaims 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 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) Christ’s revelation that Zacchaeus is “saved” happens only after Zacchaeus, full of contrition (“sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.”), repents from his sins and offers extraordinary reparation for his theft. Refresh your understanding of Contrition (CCC 1451-1454, 1457, 1480, 1492) and pray for Christ to help you always have perfect contrition for your sins.

3) Like Zacchaeus, those who have perfect contrition have a strong desire to make reparation for their sins; Christ demonstrates the ultimate example of reparation for sins by dying on the Cross (CCC 613-617) Review the Catechism’s teaching on Reparation (CCC 1491, 2409, 2412, 2454, 2487, 2509) and pray for Christ to help you make restitution to those you have hurt.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels

Virtue of the Day – Justice

Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful