Luke 19: 1-10
Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way—he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.
When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.” Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Everyone who saw the incident was indignant and grumped, “What business does he have getting cosy with this crook?”
Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, “Master, I give away half my income to the poor—and if I’m caught cheating, I pay four times the damages.”
Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”
During World Youth Day earlier this year Pope Francis drew out three modern obstacles to faith from this Gospel. The third of these which Pope Francis sees as an obstacle to faith is “the grumbling of the crowd, who first blocked him and then criticised him”. He goes on, “people may laugh at you because you believe in the gentle and unassuming power of mercy. But do not be afraid.” To help us to continue in the face of criticism from others he urges us to remember when Jesus says “blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy”.
He also recognises that people may dismiss you as a dreamer because you “believe in a new humanity, one that rejects hatred between peoples, one that refuses to see borders as barriers and can cherish its own traditions without being self-centred or small-minded.” He urges us not to be discouraged! “with a smile and open arms, you proclaim hope and you are a blessing for our one human family, which here you represent so beautifully!”
Salesian Volunteer & Charity Worker
CAFOD 'Hail Mary, Mother of Mercy' Prayer
'Hail Mary, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To you, we cry, as children of God, joined as one with our wounded world, with hearts full of hope for a home transformed.
Mother of Creation, look upon us we pray, so we may come to see God’s earthly garden through the radiant light of wisdom.
Holy Mary, Mother of all, make us worthy we pray, to treasure the earth our common home, and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
This prayer is inspired by the Salve Regina.