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Jesus is always there to offer forgiveness

Based on Wis 11:22–12:2; 2 Thes 1:11–2:2; Lk 19:1–10

This Sunday’s readings tell us is God is always ready to forgive our sins.

In the Gospel, Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus. Because of the crowd, and because he was a very short man, he runs ahead and climbs a sycamore tree for a better view.

The sycamore tree is one of those low trees with long, hanging roots that look like ropes. That made it easy for him to climb the tree.

Zacchaeus is wealthy and a chief tax collector in Jericho, a city of wealthy people. The people dislike Zacchaeus because he works for the Roman rulers and often cheats the people from whom he collects taxes.

As Jesus walks by, he looks up and says, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.”

Surprised, Zacchaeus hurries down and joyfully welcomes Jesus. Surprised, too, is the crowd. They grumble and complain, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”

Thrilled and honored with Jesus’ presence, Zacchaeus says, “Lord, I will give half of everything I own to the poor and repay four times as much to everyone I have cheated.”

Jesus is pleased. Smiling at Zacchaeus, Jesus says, “Today salvation has come to this house…. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

Jesus’ life on earth was dedicated to bringing people back to God’s love and friendship. Jesus loved Zacchaeus, despite his wrongdoing, and because of this love Zacchaeus turned back to God.

We all make mistakes and even though we may sin, Jesus is always ready to forgive us. He is full of forgiveness and mercy, and will fill us with his love, goodness and grace to help us make a fresh start.

Lord Jesus, help us to be more loving and ready to forgive others just as you forgive us.