The Gospel for this Sunday is from Luke 19:1-10, the Sunday of Zaccheus. This is the story of the entire purpose of God sending Christ to give us abundant life.
Zaccheus was a Jew, but also a tax collector for he hated the Roman state which exacted exorbitant taxes from his own oppressed people. He was ruthless in his pursuit for personal wealth from which he benefited from the suffering of the Jewish people. He was devoid of interest in religion and least of all paying homage to the Temple; from which, according to Jewish tradition, He would have been forbidden to enter.
This however would change, for Zaccheus had the initial interest and stirrings of faith that made him one day risk embarrassment by climbing up a tree in order to see Jesus pass on His way to Jericho. It was not mere curiosity but rather a sincere interest to cast off the old self and change from his previous selfish ways to that of a liberated man freed by the miracle of Christ’s abundant life.
This is evident in the way Zaccheus welcomed Jesus into his home and showed his transformation into a new, free and joyful man. Jesus once said, “I have come in order that you might have life — life in all its fullness” (John 10:10). It is indeed true that God’s Grace can liberate any person giving abundant life in Christ, when they are stirred by the desire, the decision and especially the devotion towards the person of Christ.
This is our part in the miracle of living faith and new life; which, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, frees us of our former sinfulness and despair and takes away the greed, selfishness and uncaring attitude which kept us from our sincere faith in a forgiving and loving God!