“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling….”
God created us without our permission but he cannot save us without our cooperation.
The story of biblical Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector and a wealthy man, is one who climbed a sycamore tree because of his short stature so he could see Jesus who was passing that way. This narrative could cause laughter and fun when told to young people in a religious education class if told in a lighter mood. However, Zacchaeus did this and it worked for him as one who could go extra miles for what one wanted. Jesus, seeing him, told him to climb down and Zacchaeus welcomed Him into his house with joy. Despite the grumbling and murmuring of some people about the kind of man Zacchaeus was, Scripture told us that he stood his ground and made his promise to Jesus of a change of life style that would take place in him to give half of his possessions to the poor and if he had extorted anything from anyone he would repay it four times. For this challenge, the Lord spoke to him in these words, “Salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and save what was lost.”
Jesus has demonstrated His love for humanity by His ministry on earth, His suffering, death and resurrection to enable those who believe in Him to be saved. He has called Himself the Good Shepherd who goes for the lost sheep of the House of Israel that they be saved. Nevertheless He does not force His teaching and its acceptance on anyone, but by free choice. It is only those who heard Him, believed Him and followed Him with all the challenges accompanying His teaching that are promised salvation.
31ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME