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November 3, 1995     The Message
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November 3, 1995 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 --Commentary-- Zaccheus of Jericho: The use of wealth and conversion Gospel commentary for November 11, 1995, Thirty.first Sunday, Cycle C: Luke 19:1-10 The journey to Jerusalem ap- proaches its end. Jesus reaches Jericho, the city of palms. This beautiful city was rebuilt by Herod the Great not long before the time of Jesus. Herod had his winter horae in Jericho. The city was 750 1eet below sea level, while the capi- l City, Jerusalem, was 2500 feet oove sea level, making for a con- DB(NFATHER DILGER COLUMNIST siderable difference in climate. Jericho was a wealthy city, rich in was rich. He intends for Zaccheus to be the foil or opposite of a rich magistrate in the preceding chap- jtee.Whwas unable to leave his wealth and follow . us. To Which the Lucan Jesus replied: "It is eas- lt:fnr a cam. el to go through the eye of a needle B,,* [or a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." . -e.added: "What is humanlv impossible, is Dos- o,,le with God." The story of Zaccheus demon- - Strates this possibility. ,_ Za, ccheus had heard about Jesus and wanted see him. He could not see Jesus because of the raay people around him and he was too short to see OVer them. He ran ahead, climbed up a caraore tree, and waited for Jesus to pass by. Jesus Stopped, looked up, and said: "Zaccheus, on down! I have to stay at your house today." joyfully received Jesus into his house while others grumbled that he was staying in the house of a sin- ner. Zaccheus says to Jesus: "Half of what I own I give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone I pay them back quadruple." Luke thus , demonstrates that this "sinner" is I actually an observer of the Torah i or Law of Moses. That law stated: "If someone steals an ox or a , sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep," Exodus 22:1. The law was extended be- yond restitution for livestock. Throughout his gospel Luke has condemned and ridiculed wealthy people. Only Luke wrote: "Woe to you rich, you have re- ceived your consolation." More than the other gospels he has insisted on total renunciation of all things to follow Jesus. The Lucan Jesus refuses to intervene in a dispute over inheritance because he sees greed in the one who appeals to him. He declares to be a fool a man who spent his life ac- quiring things and, when he died, had to leave all behind. Luke alone criticizes some religious lead- ers as "lovers of money." He alone has the exam- ple of the rich man who feasted every day, shared nothing with Lazarus the beggar, and ended up in hell begging for a drop of water. With Mark and Matthew he gives us the story of the rich man who was invited to follow Jesus but sadly de- clined because of his wealth. With the story of Zaccheus Luke shows us a compromise. For those whose calling does not permit them to leave all and follow Jesus there is another way. That way is sharing. Zaccheus is an example not only of charity when he gives half his possessions to the poor, but also of justice, for he re- pays fourfold any fraud he may have perpetrated. It is important for Luke that Zaccheus is a despised and hated tax collector, a sinner in the eyes of his fellow citizens, because Jesus always reaches out to those whom no one else wants. These so-called sin- ners, Luke says, may only seem to be. Instead they can be a valuable resource for the poor. Thus Luke has taught his Christian people the correct use of wealth. He has something else in mind too. The story of the "Zaccheus compromise" is not only a story of the correct use of wealth. Luke also intends it to be a story of conversion, or, in his favorite terms, "repen- tance and forgiveness." This is why Jesus says in re- sponse to Zaccheus' declaration of charity and jus- tice: "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost." With this state- ment Luke proclaims Jesus as the true shepherd of Israel which is said of Yahweh by Ezekiel 34:16, "I will seek the lost and bring back the strayed, bind up the crippled, strengthen the weak .... "Zaccheus becomes Luke's model not only for good people who have always shared generously with the poor, but also for cheats and frauds who repent and repay. Both types are true "children of Abraham," ob- servers of Torah, in whose house Jesus feels wel- come. Read/ngs for 31st Sunday, Cb C. w 11".22 -12-'," H Thessal_ _mts 1:11-??= GOlden jubilarians &ttstia Vedd. and Alberta (Lannan) Zinkan of Montgomery will celebrate their fiftieth Chttr:ganniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 5 p.m. Nov. 4 at All Saints -", anne ' " fOllo, ... . Iburg. The couple will renew their wedding vows, a receptmn will .11 friends and relatives are invited; the couple requests no gifts. They Nov. 3, 1945, at All Saints Church. They are parents of three chil- Taylor of Crestwood, Ky., Patricia Delaney and Michael Zinkan, They have seven grandchildren. SALES and S , St, Anthony, iana PHONE 326-2321  ; i Miller & Miller Colonial Chapel Supports the Knights of St. John MEMBERS Bernie Miller Gerald Miller Jon Miller Greg Betz ^ Wedding D. J. Entertainers ny Eve,,t. Any Mu.ic -v Millions Enrr, ainM 5ir,;e 1974 Call today for your free brochure 812482-1266 or 800-363-0383 Golden Jubilarians Elmer J. and Betty J. (Cobb) Lambiotte of Vincennes will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary on Nov. 3. A reception will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 5 at St. Francis Xavier parish center All friends and relatives are invited; the couple requests no gifts. They were married Nov. 3, 1945, at Old Cathedral, Vincennes, by Msgr. Paul A. Decry. They are the parents of three children: Jeanne Marando of Ocoee, Fla., Mark Lambiotte of Be]ieville, Ill., and Hillary Jane Hewitt of Nashville, Tenn. They have seven grandchildren.  1.,,,,,,  VIII,I 486-3977 Just off Hwy. 50 in Montgomery, IN [ I II I I I I II I All You Care To Eat Buffet Dining FAMILY STYLE DINING AND A-LA CARTE BANQUET ROOMS ,WAtLABLE PRE-ARRANGED ,." 'TOURS Flea Market May --  r Tuesday and Wednesday 9 ,-- 4 p.m Every Monday Seniors re ve 15% off! I II I I [ [I I I I J I!