Pentecost 24 :: Climbing trees for Jesus

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This looks like a good tree to climb!

So. In this, the mid-point of our parish's Stewardship Campaign, wee Zacchaeus gives us some food for thought, huh?

Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.

Hey, there’s some good stuff there. Right? Half of his possessions given to Jesus? Paying back fourfold anyone whom this tax collector has cheated? Why not throw in your vacay home in Tel Aviv? Or your timeshare on the Nile? Think what Jesus could do with all that, the people he could feed, the homeless for whom he could provide shel- ter, or the clothing he could hand out to kids. Good stuff! Right?

But let’s be serious for a moment.

Who in their right mind would give away half of her possessions or pay back many times over what he has cheated people on? And who would cash in a CD or IRA or liquidate their tax shelter or vacation home or sell off all their precious artwork and jewelry in order to follow Jesus?


St. Francis did. So did St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Louis of France and Sts. Augu- stine, Antony, Clare, Brigid, etc. etc. etc. You get the idea. Oh yeah, Zacchaeus did as well.

Now this doesn’t mean everyone who follows Jesus has to give away all their possessions. But think about it: If you were straining to get a glimpse of Jesus, as was Zacchaeus that day, and the very object of your desire pointed to you and said, “Hey. I’m gonna come over and have dinner with you.” Don’t you think you’d be willing to give up everything for the chance?

You bet you would! 

RCL Lectionary for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

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