Understanding Your Calling
21st Sunday of Ordinary Time
Readings: Isaiah 1:10-20
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Luke 19: 1-10
Jesus teaches us principles on a first hand basis so that we can receive directly from Him and not from other sources. It is in knowing who we are in Him that we have the strength and security to be able to face trials and difficulties. He travels throughout Israel, going around the areas and teaching people about the life of God. He was letting us know that He came to set a pattern and that we are to be like Him. Christ came to destroy the works of the enemy and restore us back to the Father. As Jesus approaches Jericho, and we know Jericho to be the first city that the children of Israel entered in after coming out of the wilderness. They had no weapons or anything to defend themselves. They simply obeyed God. They were instructed to march around the city once everyday for 6 days, and on the 7th, they were to march around 7 times and were to shout and blow their horns with great impact, causing the walls of Jericho to crumble and fall.
We now see Zaccheus, the “boss” of the Publicans, who was a tax collector, very wealthy and not following Jewish laws, or the teachings of the temple. He was compromising with Rome. Zaccheus was the chief, the leader of all tax collectors who had heard of Christ. He came because he just wanted to see Christ. But there was one hindrance. He was small and could not see Christ from his vantage point. He then saw a Sycamor tree down the road. He climbs up the tree so he could see Christ. When Christ approaches, He looked up the tree and sees Zaccheus, and said, “Zaccheus, come down. Hurry because I need to go to your house and stay there.” Christ saw beyond the flesh. He saw a heart that was hungry. So Zaccheus came down the tree and went with Christ. He told Christ, “I will give back what was stolen and give to the poor.” He can probably be likened to a greedy businessman who swindles from people to get rich. Christ was calling Zaccheus and he responded. Today, Christ is calling us but we have to respond. We have to be the ones to choose and receive that which Christ is offering us. Zaccheus opened his heart to Christ. He was giving half of his wealth to help the poor. He became wealthy due to greed and only thought about himself. This story reminds us that we need to listen to God’s calling and to respond to Him. Zacchaeus had a change of heart.
We have been commissioned by God to help redeem the world. As Christ was, we are to be His instruments to reach out to the poor and the needy. If we have been given everything by God, there should be no room for anxieties and insecurities. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” “The Lord is my life and my salvation, whom shall I fear.” “My Grace is sufficient for thee.” Zaccheus understood the calling of God, because there was repentance on his part. “When we are weak, then we are strong.” John 11:40 “Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” In the midst of turmoil, what do we see? Do we see the problem or do we see the glory of God. We are to be a ministry to the world. Mark 9:23 “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” We should not see things as barriers. Zaccheus was not limited by his height. He found a tree and overcame the problem because he found a solution. “Power is perfected in weakness.” It is God who will do the work through us. Christ wants us to understand this. He came as a baby but rose to become the Savior of the world. God has breathed His Breath of Life into us. His very life is in us. We need to understand that this life belongs to us, and we need to realize who we are in Christ.